More Lowcountry parents opt to home school children amid safety concerns


    If you give Grey Glowacki a soccer ball, life is good. “I have been playing it since I was four,” said the 11-year-old.

    Most summer days, you'll find him in his front yard on Isle of Palms, “I just love playing it. It is so fun,”

    His yard has become his make-shift field, but come Monday, it will be his school playground. “My mom looked into it, and here we are,” he smiled.

    Grey is a homeschool newbie. His mom will be his facilitator.

    The rising 6th grader has been in a traditional classroom setting since pre-school, but last January, the conversation shifted.

    Grey’s mom Rachel Glowacki said, “We would study together and he would just say things like ‘I really get it when we work together’ Then he asked, ‘I wish I was just homeschooled.’”

    Rachel has education experience. She taught pre-school in New York and English in Honduras.

    But Rachel also did her homework, “I just started interviewing families and researching and going to classes and I said ‘Grey, this could really be a possibility if you want, I am willing to try it.’"

    So are many other Lowcountry parents.

    In Dorchester District 2, there's been a 63 percent jump in home school enrollment since 2012. Just in the last year, there’s been a 14 percent increase.

    In Charleston County, there's been at least a 42 percent jump since 2012. Between 2017-2018, there’s been at least a 6 percent growth.

    "I think because homeschooling has grown over the years we are more visible now. A lot of people are seeing it as a viable option and an alternative to the traditional classroom,’ explained Amy Bryant with Lowcountry Christian Home Educators Association.

    Bryant says parents reasons differ. “Many parents are pulling their children out of school for safety, but they are also concerned about meeting their child's educational needs,” said Bryant.

    Glowacki was heartbroken hearing what happened in Parkland, Florida last winter. Seventeen students and staff members were shot dead. It became a reminder, yet again, to be prepared.

    She said, “They’re talking about an active shooter drill and that's alarming. When I drop my kid off, I think every parent is praying that every child is safe."

    For Glowacki, an even bigger homeschool motivator, is a school plan geared towards Grey's learning style.

    “There are so many museums all over the country that you can go hey let’s go to New York and see what we are actually learning in ancient civilization because that is what 6th grade requirement. Find a museum that matches that and bring your textbook to life.”

    As for the social aspect, that's where Bryant's organization can help. LECHA Is a support group for parents and homeschool students.

    “We provide things like honor society and clubs, robotics many things for the children to get involved in. Many things that children would be involved with in a traditional setting,” Bryant said.

    Glowacki has another son. Liam is a rising 7th grader in the Charleston County School District. She says he has no desire to homeschool and she respects that.

    Glowacki isn't teaching everything. She has a human anatomy teacher and Spanish teacher lined up. She wants parents to know if you don't feel qualified to facilitate everything, help is available.

    ABC News 4 also requested homeschool enrollment numbers from Colleton County, Berkeley County and Dorchester District 4. They have not gotten back with us.

    We asked the State Department of Education for data but found out they are not required to track it. It's state law for homeschool agencies to report their enrollment numbers to local districts.

    LCHEA is having a "How to Homeschool" class in September. They also have a section on their website open to the public that answers many questions new homeschoolers need to know. Check out details about he class and resources LCHEA offers on their website by clicking here.

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