LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — For the last year, Lauren Roush has had to play many different roles: wife, mom, and teacher.

Her children — 8-year-old Zac and 6-year-old Riley — like many kids during the pandemic, have been forced to adapt to a school day that isn't necessarily the norm.

What You Need To Know

  • The pandemic's impact on education has caused a rise in children being home-schooled

  • Typically, just 3% of the country's children are home-schooled, but that number has grown to almost 10%

  • One Los Alamitos family decided to home-school their two children because they didn't want the kids spending so much time online and in front of a screen

  • Home schooling has allowed the family to bring back a needed sense of consistency and control over their education

"It was kind of hard to wrap our head around it," Roush said. "We got a phone call one day, 'You need to come pick up your kids.' And they came home with all their school supplies."

That interaction was back in March. From there, both children began distance learning via Zoom. While it worked for a few months, the summer brought the Roush's a sense of uncertainty about the future.

“They wanted the kids online form 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Roush said. "It kind of hurt my gut. I didn’t want this for the kids. We wanted them to have consistency. Even though kids are really resilient, I think consistency is really important for them.”

The extended time on-screen and the instability of the school day pushed the family to make a decision they never thought they would: Roush would be a home-school mom.

Over the last year, many other families have made similar choices. According to a study by the EdWeek Research Center, typically just 3% of school-aged children are home-schooled. However, in the last 10 months, that number has grown to almost 10%.

The Roush's are happy with their decision. Their time at home has given them a chance to test out new learning styles and spend precious time together as a family. But this semester, as their school began to bring students back on campus, it's also brought new questions — namely, "When is the right time to send them back?"

"For me it’s, 'Yes it’d be great to be back, but would he be OK at the picnic bench at lunch time, and there’s only one other kid because they have to keep their distance?'" said Roush. "I don’t know what’s right or when it’s right."

So for now, they'll continue with their new normal.

"I think time with kids, you can’t get back, so I feel like we made the right decision for right now," Roush said. "I never dreamed I’d be a home-school mom, but I’m really enjoying the journey."