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'They will talk about it for years', Manitowoc event booms as home school numbers rise

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 07, 2024

MANITOWOC (NBC 26) — In grade school, nothing beats a field trip. I went on a trip today for home schooled kids as numbers rise across our state.

  • Since 2019, the number of home schooled kids in Wisconsin rose by more than 7,000 students.
  • Manitowoc Historical Society Director, Amy Meyer says that they have made home school field trips a focus.
  • Home school mother, Rachel Cotie says that she was shocked by how many resources there are for home school families.

Rachel Cotie brought her two homeschooled kids, Miles and Evelina.
"Everything is just living education,” Rachel said.

Rachel made the decision to homeschool the kids a few years ago and the learning includes trips to places like the Manitowoc Historical Society's Village.

"I’ve just been astounded by what is all available,” said Rachel. “Not only with regards to the number of curricula, but also the programs and the people."

The Coties are not the only ones seeing the incentives. According to the Department of Public Instruction nearly 29,000 students took home-based learning in Wisconsin last school year. That's up 7-thousand students from 2019, the year just before the pandemic.

Manitowoc Historical Society Director, Amy Meyer says, more and more kids have been coming here on home-school field trips.

"We have seen it grow exponentially coming off of the pandemic,” Meyer said. “Families are looking for something to do in a safe space and it's very educational."

She says they had 215 kids visit the village in 2018. Last year they welcomed 480.

"It's really bringing home the point that it is a family experience,” said Meyers. “They can learn that experience out here and then take that back to their home classroom to learn or build upon."

A beloved day for the Coties.

"Put real life application to what they've learned and what we're reading at home,” said Rachel. “It makes it memorable and they will talk about it for years to come."

Meyers said that families have started to come from all over the state. In my few hours there I met multiple families from more than an hour away.