Interest In Homeschool Still Growing, Indicating Trend Could Continue Post-Pandemic

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Homeschool curriculum and online learning companies are reporting a steady interest in homeschooling as many schools remain closed over a year after the start of the pandemic, and believe the growth will continue even when things are back to normal.

There was an explosion of new interest in homeschooling when schools began to close and parents found themselves suddenly responsible for facilitating their children’s education themselves.

Many parents, it seems, discovered that homeschooling might be a better option for their children than traditional in-person learning when faced with the day-to-day reality of educating young minds.

Those of us already in the ranks of homeschoolers prior to the pandemic can certainly understand!

Just the News spoke with a number of representatives from home education companies who all report steady growth that they predict could continue even as public schools begin to re-open.

“Some schools across the country have since opened up for in-person instruction, yet homeschooling leaders across the country are reporting still-elevated homeschool activity from parents who in normal years would likely not have considered it,” the outlet notes.

Part of the homeschool community’s growth could be attributed to the fact that when parents had no other options than to facilitate at-home learning, they found it wasn’t as daunting as they’d imagined.

So, those who may have otherwise felt they weren’t up to the task discovered that, in fact, they were.

“What typically happens is parents decide to homeschool in a bad situation, like in the pandemic,” John Edelson, the founder and president of Time4Learning, told Just the News.

“What they find is that they like it, and that their children thrive.”

As any veteran homeschooling parent knows, it takes a bit of time before a family will find their groove but this adjustment period is a great learning experience!

“All the parents start with great trepidation,” he explained. “People are scared of homeschooling. They don’t know if they can do it.”

Parents often “decide to do it for a second or third year” once they get a feel for curriculum that’s available and begin to find their footing in the community.

Even as Virginia’s students return to traditional schools, for example, research specialist Hamilton Lombard of the University of Virginia estimated at the start of this school year that “the share of Virginians who work from home or homeschool will undoubtedly be even higher than was predicted before the pandemic.”

Curriculum company Oak Meadow has seen a 186% increase in applications to their distance learning school, and online education company Outschool reported a 2,000% growth from last year.

“We expect that the interest in our unique offering will remain, even as schools open up,” the company told Just the News.

“I think the future for homeschooling is really bright,” Edelson said. “All the grownups have learned during the pandemic that work is something that you do, not somewhere that you go.” And that has led many of them to rethink traditional schooling models as well.

“Parents are realizing that sending their kids to school is not necessarily the best education. This is opening up all sorts of new thinking on education.”

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