Rise In Homeschooling Continues As Parents Take Control of Education

Due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, homeschooling in the US reached an all-time high last year. But even though schools have reopened and vaccines are widely available, many parents have chosen to continue directing their children’s educations themselves.

The number of homeschooling students increased by 63% in the 2020-2021 school year, then fell by only 17% in the 2021-2022 school year, according to data shared by 18 states.

Health concerns and disagreement with school policies are among the primary reasons many families have stuck with homeschooling. But many parents simply want to stay with what works best for their children.

Around 3% of U.S. students were homeschooled before the pandemic-induced surge, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But it’s still unclear whether this year’s small decrease signals a step toward pre-pandemic levels – or a sign that homeschooling is becoming more mainstream.

Once a relatively rare practice chosen most often for reasons related to instruction on religion, homeschooling grew rapidly in popularity following the turn of the century before it leveled off at around 3.3%, or about 2 million students, in the years before the pandemic, according to the Census.

In the absence of federal guidelines, there is little uniformity in reporting requirements. Connecticut and Nevada require little or no information from parents, while New York, Massachusetts and some others require parents to submit instruction plans and comply with assessment rules.

Photo by sofatutor on Unsplash

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