More Alachua County parents choosing to homeschool children

More Alachua County parents are choosing to homeschool their children.

As the school year wraps up most students are signing yearbooks.

Peyton and Sadie are signing handwriting books.

Their parents, Jared and Kasey Mincey, have chosen to homeschool their three children, a decision that's becoming more popular in Alachua County. Homeschool enrollment has increased nearly 30 percent in Alachua County since 2015.

"We really wanted to introduce Jesus and have that in their curriculum, intertwined with everything they are learning from start of their life to further on," Jared Mincey said. "So we felt like if the kids were here then they would be getting our influence and have that control of what they were being exposed to.”

Kasey said she needed convincing at first.

"My husband was 100 percent behind it," she said. "It was me that had to come around to the idea."

But now they're in their fourth year and are happy with their decision.

“The first two years seem to be really tough after the first kid," Jared said. "It’s much easier for the second and third. They have a routine; they just follow suit.”

Kasey said they probably spend about an hour and a half a day on actual school work but the lessons continue throughout the day.

"When your kids are with you, you don’t realize it but they’re kind of learning all the time," she said. "Because you’re just answering question after question. It may not be subject specific, but they’re learning all day long.”

Jejetta Lee, homeschool coordinator for Alachua County Schools, said it has its advantages.

“With homeschool, standardized testing is not required," Lee said. "Some families like that aspect. I think kids learn differently and families are realizing that different curriculums fit best for different kids, learning styles are different. And some people are wanting to find a curriculum that fits their child or the learning and they have the flexibility to do that.”

Kasey said all families need to find their way and figure out what's best for them. Kasey said it can be tough having the kids home all day but, "I wouldn't change it."

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