As the pandemic drove millions of parents into their first experience with at-home education, homeschool advocates waited with bated breath to see if maybe, just maybe, parents would find out that they actually really enjoyed and preferred homeschooling.
The first study of its kind examining state and national data on the number of U.S. families with school-aged children that report they are homeschooling as compared to the start of the pandemic has revealed that it appears this has been the case, after all.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey reported that while the number of families homeschooling was just 5.4% in the spring of 2020, when the pandemic began, that number had jumped to 11.1% by the start of the 2020/2021 school year.
The survey distinguished between families that are practicing true homeschooling, as opposed to simply doing virtual learning at home with a public or private school.
This is a jump of 5.6%, meaning the percentage of U.S. families with school-aged children who report they are homeschooling has doubled since the pandemic began.
That’s a big jump!
Perhaps most noteworthy is the increase among black families; while the percentage of black families who reported they were homeschooling was roughly the same as the national rate at the start of the pandemic, this number has increased a stunning five-fold, jumping up to 16.1%.
The pandemic has undoubtedly shone a new light on the nation’s public school system in a number of ways. On the one hand, parents were given a closer look at what kids were really being taught as they sat in on virtual classes, on the other, children were kept at home as teachers unions’ negotiated re-openings with high demands from states and localities.
Protests and confrontations at school boards have become common in 2021, as parents grow angry at controversial curricula regarding sexuality or race that many deem inappropriate for the public school classroom.
Of course, at the end of the day, what has likely happened with many new homeschool parents is that as the pandemic gave them the opportunity to try homeschooling for themselves when they otherwise might not have taken the jump, they’ve found that they enjoy it!
We can certainly relate to that. Homeschooling is a fantastic option for children and parents alike, and a great way to take your child’s education into your own hands and instill them with the values and skills that mean the most to you and your family culture.
For any new homeschool families out there — you’re in good company!
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