Some families new to homeschool say they may never go back after pandemic

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BUCYRUS, Kan. — You’ve likely never heard of “Lewandowski University,” but for at least one family in the Blue Valley School District, “Lew U” is the way to go.

“When you can apply as many of the five senses to learning, our view is you’re going to get more out of it,” father Jeff Lewandowski said.

The Lewandowski’s two sons, Cash and Cruz, are now learning subjects like math, ancient world history, and the U.S. Civil War from mom and dad.

“You have these amazing moments, where are you have a breakthrough with your kid,” said Mandy Lewandowski. “They will say they hate school, ‘I hate school, I hate school,’ and then you have a moment where, ‘Oh, wow, that was really cool!’ And it’s just so heartwarming.”

The Lewandowski’s are using the BookShark home curriculum.

“They work at their pace and I kind of fill in to help where needed,” Mandy Lewandowski said. “So a lot of it, they’re doing on their own, and then I’m just going back and checking in with them.”

Homeschooling officials across the region say more and more families, like the Lewandkowskis, are giving homeschooling a try during the pandemic.

“As a parent, you’ve been teaching your children since that child was born,” Kim Quon, a regional director for Families for Home Education, said. “You taught them how to walk and talk and eat and everything else.”

Some families, like the Sniders in the Piper School District in Wyandotte County, said they will likely never return to their old school.

“I couldn’t stand the thought of my kids being in a mask all day,” Rachael Snider said.

Snider admits switching to homeschooling has required some adjustments, but she believes, in the final analysis, it has been worth it.

“It’s hard juggling everything, but I’m able to teach my son how to read, and that’s something that I’m going look back on and enjoy and be proud of the rest of my life.”

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