LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Student participation in homeschooling has more than doubled in Kentucky since 2018, according to a report from EdChoice Kentucky.

What You Need To Know

  • A report from EdChoice Kentucky finds homeschooling participation doubled in Kentucky since 2018

  • It found that last school year, 39,535 students took part in homeschooling

  • Louisville mom, Angela Hackman, homeschooled her three kids during the pandemic

  • This school year, they have a split house with her daughters taking part in homeschooling and her son back in a traditional school setting

Angela Hackman said she never really thought about homeschooling as an option for her kids until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. With health uncertainties, she felt more comfortable with her kids at home, but did not think NTI was not working well for her family.

That’s why she started homeschooling, and, mostly, they came to like the new way of life.

“I think the flexibility is pretty nice to go wherever your learning wants to take you and being flexible for the kids,” said Hackman. “We like being able to go outside when it’s a nice day. There’s just a lot of room to do different things.”

Angela Hackman teaches her daughter Maria a math lesson as part of her homeschooling curriculum in fall of 2021. (Spectrum News 1/Amber Smith)

The house is busier than it was this time last year when Spectrum News 1 first caught up with Hackman. Her sister-in-law, Ashley Baldini, homeschools her girls, Sophia and Viola. This year, they joined forces.

“My sister-in-law homeschools, and we started homeschooling around the same time. Trying to decide what we wanted to do for this year, it just made sense since our kids are around the same age and have the same interests,” said Hackman.

Both Hackman and Baldini bring unique skills to the table. Hackman is a physician still practicing part-time.

“I love learning, so this is great for me too,” said Hackman.

Baldini was a music teacher before her kids were born. With that background, she works with all the kids on music lessons based on their interests and skill levels.

“It’s just really nice to be able to incorporate music into our homeschool,” said Hackman.

This type of learning was working well for Hackman’s daughter, Audrey, who she says is a self-motivated learner. Audrey is often working independently through her 5th grade curriculum, with her mom there to guide her and answer questions when needed.

Hackman said homeschooling has also been working for her youngest, Maria, who is in 1st grade. You can often find Maria and mom doing interactive activities for math, such as card games and simulating real-life scenarios with fake money.

When it came time to make plans for this school year, though, they had to consider what was best for her oldest child, Charles.

“He missed his friends, and he is kind of a competitive kid, so being around the other kids was very motivating for him. When you took him out of that setting and made it just about learning, it was hard,” said Hackman.

They decided to have him return to a regular school setting for his 6th grade year.

“I think it was a really good decision to send him back [to traditional school],” said Hackman.

The Hackmans have now tried traditional school settings, NTI and homeschooling. From trial and error, they’ve come to realize there is not always a one-size-fits-all model for education.

“If the school system is not working for your kid, it’s okay to try it at home. If that’s not working, it’s okay to try something different, too,” said Hackman.