The numbers of parents deciding to homeschool are ramping up as COVID cases continue to rise in WA

Homeschooling 'surges' in WA amid COVID

The number of WA parents switching their kids from regular schools to homeschooling is on the rise, according to the Home Education Association.

"WA has had consistent growth in home education over the last two years, with just over a 10 per cent [increase] in 2020 and again in 2021," president Karen Chegwidden said.

"We expect that number to be higher in 2022 as we are seeing a surge in inquiries from WA families at the moment."

While the number of parents home schooling in WA this year are yet to be released, HEA and online homeschooling groups have witnessed a strong increase in people asking for advice on homeschooling this year.

"We expect the official numbers to reflect the increase that we are certainly seeing anecdotally," Ms Chegwidden said.

Nanci Nott, who homeschools her three kids in Mandurah, said she had seen a surge in the number of parents reaching out to online homeschooling groups for advice with homeschooling.

"If I'm online and I see people asking questions, I try to reach out because I think it's really important we support each other," Ms Nott said.

"Over the last few weeks, there were too many people. I didn't have the time," she said.

"So I ended up starting a group on Facebook, a private group where people can jump on and do a zoom chat on the weekend."

Ms Nott said she believed the recent rise in homeschooling was due to both concerns over catching COVID-19 and the mask mandate for students in year three and above.

"There are people who want to keep their kids home because they don't want them catching COVID."

"There are people who are keeping their kids home because they don't feel it would be feasible for their child to wear a mask all day."

Mother-of-two Kieana Copeland, who also homeschools from Mandurah, said she had been thinking of homeschooling prior to the pandemic, but the COVID-19 outbreak confirmed her decision.

"When COVID hit, it was a no-brainer that this [regular school] was not for us. It confirmed in many ways why we didn't want to be in mainstream school," she said.

"More and more, there was a divide happening with the kids. Especially with masks coming in, that was huge for the students who already have learning difficulties and anxiety."

The homeschooling parents who spoke to the Mail said they welcomed the growing numbers of parents joining their homeschooling communities.

"There are people that I know who would have never considered homeschooling before, that ended up changing their opinion after having spent time with their kids during the pandemic," Ms Nott said.

With both her 19 year old and 14 year old currently undergoing tertiary education, Ms Nott said she was hopeful that the rising number of families trying out homeschooling would lead to it becoming a more normalised path of education.

"When people see what a big difference autonomy in their learning can make to young people, my hope is that it will create a paradigm shift to the way we approach education," she said.