*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Study Finds.
As autumn nears and the coronavirus outbreak wears on, the next school year is becoming more uncertain for many parents. A new survey finds four in five parents are thinking about homeschooling their school-age children this fall. Of those parents, nearly half say they’re seriously considering keeping their kids home in 2020 and 2021.
The poll, commissioned by Crispy Green and conducted by OnePoll, spoke with 2,000 parents to see how families are adjusting to the “new normal” created by COVID-19. Researchers reveal if given the choice to open or close all schools this fall, one in four parents would not allow children back into the classroom.
The vast majority of respondents say the risk of infection is the biggest driving force in considering homeschooling. Among the parents thinking about virtual education, 81 percent point to increasing health concerns. Eighty-two percent admit they’re more scared to send their kids into a school than ever before.
Parents also worry that once children are back in class, hygiene issues will quickly put schools at risk. About 60 percent of respondents don’t believe their children will properly wash their hands in school. Nearly half the respondents say they’re trying to teach their kids about proper hygiene during the pandemic.
Despite all the preparations families are making, 77 percent say they won’t be fully prepared for schools to reopen. Many parents have a long list of demands for education officials before they begin to feel comfortable with the idea of going back to school.
Over half, 55 percent, want increased COVID-19 testing and regular temperature checks on school premises. Nearly the same number of parents want smaller class sizes in the fall. Fifty percent want plenty of hand sanitizer available for children, while four in ten parents want schools to use more digital textbooks too.