KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The coronavirus pandemic has lead many of us to change our routines and cancel plans; it has even brought many East Tennessee families to make the switch to homeschooling.

A spokesperson for Time4Learning, an online-based curriculum program, reported hundreds of Tennessee families have signed up for the learning service following school closures. John Edelson, Time4Learning founder and president, said their company saw interest in their services triple mid-March nationwide.

Felicia Bellamy-Roseberry decided on homeschooling to help ensure her 11-year-old son, Eli, doesn’t fall behind.

It was an idea their family had considered, given the number of school cancellations due to illness and weather, prior to the pandemic. COVID-19 shoved the idea into reality.

Eli has dyslexia and difficulty reading. Roseberry said that affects other subject areas, as well as his confidence.

Eli is building on the progress he made in school, due to having great teachers, Felicia said.

It’s the short-term absence of those teachers that brought her to homeschool.

“They do absolutely everything they can. They have so much more knowledge with learning disabilities than I do…in this situation, at this time, he and I can work one-on-one and really focus on the issues he has and see what tools we can find that will help him move forward,” she said.

She also said the switch is temporary. Ultimately, she hopes to return him to public school on a better footing for learning.

Edelson said this is a trend around the country. As homeschooling, in general, has gained popularity, the number of people opting for two to five years has also grown.

If you’re interested in the idea of homeschooling, Edelson said the first step is to inform yourself. He pointed to Time4Learning‘s free guide for interested families or the free guide at, as helpful first steps.

He described the transition as one that will require a lifestyle change, but one that also allows parents to take control of their child’s learning.

Roseberry acknowledged she doubted her abilities early on, but said she quickly learned it wasn’t as daunting or difficult to manage as she expected.

He emphasized higher education, nor a teaching certification is required. “You’re not going to be a teacher in a classical sense…in front of a white or blackboard, up there lecturing the kids. What a homeschool parent does is orchestrate their children’s education and support their child,” Edelson said.

Homeschooling and the traditional school setting, Edelson said, are not competing concepts. “Many of these parents have children with special needs, either their children are on the spectrum, they have special reading or dyslexia challenges, they have attention issues…there’s also a whole range of physical and emotional issues where homeschooling is a good solution for a period of time,” he added.

Edelson also pointed out their service covers material that’s mandated by the Tennessee Department of Education “with rigor and in-depth.”