CV NEWS FEED // Even as many schools return to in-person learning, many parents are opting to continue teaching their children at home.
According to the US Census Bureau, the rate of parents homeschooling their children rose to 11% in September 2020, more than double the rate of 5.4% just six months earlier.
Black households saw the largest increase in homeschooling, from 3.3% in the spring of 2020 to 16.1% in the fall.
Explanations for the rise vary, but the common thread is that a once-temporary decision to educate children in the home led to unexpected benefits for students and their families.
Arlena and Robert Brown of Austin, TX, found that homeschooling was an excellent alternative to the virtual classes offered by their local school district.
The Browns tried homeschooling with Seton Home Study School, a Catholic curriculum. They detailed their experience in an interview with the Associated Press.
“I didn’t want my kids to become a statistic and not meet their full potential,” said Robert Brown, a former teacher. “And we wanted them to have a very solid understanding of their faith.”
The Browns plan to continue homeschooling post-pandemic, as they appreciate the ability to custom-fit the best education for each of their children. Jacoby, 11, has been diagnosed with narcolepsy and sometimes needs naps during the day. Riley, 10, has tested as academically gifted. Felicity, 9, has a learning disability.
Arlena Brown, also a former educator, has found the new venture to be very fulfilling.
“In the beginning, the biggest challenge was to unschool ourselves and understand that homeschooling has so much freedom,” she said. “We can go as quickly or slowly as we need to.”
The trend of families moving from traditional public schools to homeschooling may see even more growth as schools continue to make controversial decisions, such as new mask mandates and pushing critical race theory in curricula.
Charmaine Williams, another new homeschooling mom from St. Louis, told the AP that homeschooling and the accompanying support network led her to have completely elevated her children’s educational experience.
“There’s no turning back for us now,” she said. “The pandemic has been a blessing — an opportunity to take ownership of our children’s education.”
Readers can find the full column at the Associated Press.