Facebook group created by Valley mother aims to keep homeschooled children engaged

3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Wednesday, December 07 2022 Dec 7, 2022 December 07, 2022 10:43 PM December 07, 2022 in News - Local

Annette Sankowski, a former nurse, started homeschooling her four school aged children last year.

Once schools resumed in-person learning, her kids returned for two weeks before she changed her mind, Sankowski said.

“We did get Covid, and then just with every sickness kids were missing a lot of school,” Sankowski said. “It was a lot of disruption, and we knew that during remote learning they were thriving, so we gave it a shot and we haven't looked back."

Although her kids don’t prefer regular school anymore, Sankowski organized a Facebook group called "Engage: RGV meetups for homeschoolers” so her kids can socialize with their peers.

The group meets up at least twice a month, either at local libraries or places for kids to play.

“That social interaction is super important,” Sankowski said. “Just providing these opportunities for the kids to play in a natural environment. We've seen so many great things happen amongst the kids through these opportunities."

Doctors say this time of engagement is important for homeschooled children.

"Covid has told us how important it is to have kids socially interact with the similar age group kids for their development,” pediatrician Dr. Umesh Kumar Pathak said. “[It’s] for the learning, for interacting back-and-forth — positive or negative — so they can know how to communicate versus being on the iPads."

Sankowski says the only downside to homeschooling her children is that she no longer has income and there isn't any funding to homeschool kids.

Despite the lack of funding, Sankowski has no plans to re-enroll her children in public school.

“We got to see how our kids were thriving at home compared to what it was like…and so with that we decided to take the leap."


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