As thousands of children across western Montana prepare for school, there are many who will be part of the numerous home school co-ops in Missoula and Ravalli Counties.

Christine Agin is one of the co-directors of the Lone Rock Home School Co-op. She said demand for home schooling during the pandemic has exploded.

We have 20 families involved and we have 56 kids signed up, and we actually have a waiting list because we’re all filled up,” said Agin. “We do have a couple of remaining openings just in the high school classes, but all of our elementary school classes are full at this point.

“We have 20 families involved and we have 56 kids signed up, and we actually have a waiting list because we’re all filled up,” said Agin. “We do have a couple of remaining openings just in the high school classes, but all of our elementary school classes are full at this point.”

Agin said parents teach their children at home using a variety of mostly Christian oriented curricula such as Sonlight, My Father’s World, or Abeka, then get together with other home schooled children for various group activities.

“We meet every other Friday, and we do subject matter that it's hard to do at home with small groups of children,” she said. We do things like PE; we do a lot of science, a lot of art projects. We usually enter a scarecrow in the Stevensville scarecrow festival and we host the home school science fair.”

Agin was asked how the home schoolers are responding to the Governor’s mandatory masking order.

“We don't,” she said. “I know that sounds terrible but because of the nature of our co-op, we have just left it up to the individual parents. We have a lot of kids that are special needs with on the autism spectrum, and these are not kids you could make wear a mask anyway.”

Agin was asked whether Ravalli County is addressing the masking issue for home schooled children.

“No, mostly because we are a home school,” she said. “We are a home school group that is voluntarily getting together and we are not really an official school. So we're really not under the purview of anything, and Ravalli County in general is really not complying.”

Agin said there are home school groups in Missoula and throughout western Montana.

Read More!

."}" data-sheets-userformat="{"2":33554688,"11":4,"28":1}">