James Hendrickson, 11, explores near the backyard of his home on Saturday, October 3, 2020, in Rochester. James and his sister June, 7, just recently began homeschooling. “For us play is a lot of the purpose of having them homeschooled. That they get to really enjoy, they get to really engage with something deeply, their imagination, exploration. There is a lot more learning that is going on in that. I trust the play that they do as a kid to be will be really good for them longterm,” Brandon, James’ dad said.

James and June do an experiment with their mom Kristin using dry ice and soap on Thursday, October 8, 2020, outside their home in Rochester. “The minute we switched to distance learning, we knew it wasn’t going to work with them, so we realized it was a chance to start doing homeschooling earlier,” Brandon Hendrickson said. The COVID-19 pandemic kickstarted a dream they’ve always had of homeschooling their children.

June climbs a tree while playing with her brother James on Saturday, October 3, 2020, in Rochester. June, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, is allowed multiple play breaks a day now. “It only makes me make more noise and make more trouble inside if I can’t get outside,” June said.

June gets excited as she learns about the properties of light with her dad Brandon on Thursday, October 8, 2020, in Rochester. The parents found mainstream classrooms weren’t a good fit for the kids. James is on the Autism Spectrum and has ADHD, and June is twice exceptional, a gifted student with ADHD.

James, 11, takes a break from the outdoors to complete some math problems on Saturday, October 3, 2020, in Rochester. It’s typical of the family to do some school work on the weekends, with certain exceptions.

James gets a closer look as his mom Kristin tries to create a bubble filled with dry ice on Thursday, October 8, 2020, outside their home in Rochester.

James and June play freeze tag on Saturday, October 3, 2020, outside their home in Rochester. The change to homeschooling has brought some calm to the once chaotic family. “We have more —significantly more —positive times than negative times,” Brandon said of the switch. “And before, it was not that way.”

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