Home schooling has been a controversial topic for many decades in this country and has seen a noticeable increase since the onset of Covid-19, however, educator experts cannot agree if this is the most effective way of educating our children, despite the jump in enrollment. This issue’s blog will focus on how the pandemic has spurred an increase in homeschooling not only in Texas, but the nation, as well.
According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), there were approximately 3.7 million home school students in 2020-2021 in grades K-12 in the United States (roughly 6 to 7 percent of school age children). This was an increase over the 2.6 million students that were homeschooled in 2019.
According to a U.S. Department of Education nationwide study in 2019, 41% of homeschooled students are Black, Hispanic, Asian and other non-Whites.
A report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) gave the three most important reasons parents identified for homeschooling their children which included; Covid-19 concerns, school environment such as safety, drugs or negative peer pressure, and parents dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at their schools.
The surge in homeschooling has been confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported that the number of households homeschooling their children rose to 11% by September 2020, more than doubling from 5.4% just six months earlier. Nearly 2.6 million children have switched from traditional school to homeschooling since the pandemic began, according to a new report from the Bellwether Education Partners. On top of the families who have pivoted to homeschooling, there are millions more who have moved their kids from public schools to private school. The total number of children who have switched schools is 8.7 million according to Bellwether.
The jump in home schooling has also been found locally in San Antonio as homeschooling increased at least 228% in 20 years as stated by digital journalist Mary Claire Patton in December 2020. According to the Texas Home Schooling Coalition, “Between 1997-2019, withdrawals from Public Schools to homeschool in Texas increased 228% compared to a 41% increase in public school enrollment over the same period”. Based on the numbers, Northside and North East Independent School Districts in San Antonio had some of the highest withdrawal rates in Texas.
Homeschooling is considered one of the fastest growing forms of education in America due to Covid-19 and other influences. The next blog on homeschooling will focus on reasons people choose to homeschool, expected requirements and where to obtain information.