As schools begin for the 2020-21 term, there is a huge weight on parents to make the best decisions for their family’s health, well-being, finances, and sanity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some parents are sending their children to in-person school, while others are opting for online teaching or a hybrid situation. Other parents are deciding to forego school districts altogether in favor of homeschooling their kids. Many families have considered whether homeschooling is the best option for their children, and it can often be difficult for parents to agree on the matter, especially if they are separated or divorced.
The Homeschooling Option
Modern homeschooling grew in popularity in the 1970s, and many families in Florida and across the United States have opted for this educational alternative. Parents can obtain curriculum and online materials that are in accordance with Florida’s educational regulations to ensure their children stay on track. There are texts, exams, and other guides to help ensure your child receives the necessary education at home. Some children attend online classes from home. Many families join homeschooling co-ops, and the students within a co-op might gather for in-person lessons or activities once or several times per week for socialization and to give parents a break.
Deciding on Homeschooling
Homeschooling can be highly beneficial for many children and families, but it is not right for everyone. The situation can become challenging when parents are separated or divorced, and they disagree about whether their child should be homeschooled.
When parents separate, they must determine how they will share decision-making powers for their children, which is referred to as parental responsibility under Florida law. How parental responsibility will be shared is set out in your court order, and it applies to decisions regarding education, healthcare, and more. In most cases, parents will share decision-making authority for their children.
If you have joint parental responsibility, you and the other parent will need to decide together on whether or not to homeschool your child. What if you want to keep your child at home to protect their health, but the other parent wants your child to attend school in person? Many separated parents are in disagreement about this matter and reaching an agreement can be challenging.
Ultimately, you should base this decision on what is in the best interest of your child, and consider many factors, including:
- Does your child have health risks?
- Is your child’s school following safety protocols and procedures?
- Do you have the time, resources, and availability to homeschool your child?
- Will this be a temporary situation due to COVID-19 or a long-term change?
- Are there other concerns about in-person school, such as bullying?
If you are in disagreement about whether or not to homeschool your child, you should discuss how to resolve this issue with the right Brandon family lawyer.
Consult with an Experienced Brandon Family Law Attorney
The legal team of Carman & Bevington, P.A., knows that these are unprecedented times and that complex custody and parenting issues can arise. We can provide guidance with parenting issues and help represent your parental rights. Contact us online or call 813-305-0213 today.