For most families, like mine, it’s really a combination of reasons.
And alongside traditional home-schooling models, micro-schools, hybrids and co-ops have also exploded, providing families with a parent-led learning environment that also provides social outlets as well as needed structure and support.
Indeed, home-schooling’s newfound social status should be seen as a challenge to the long-held notion that a quality education can only occur inside a traditional school environment.
It’s not exactly news that home-schooling ballooned during the pandemic. The Washington Post data shows, however, that while the number of children being home-schooled has declined slightly since its COVID-peak, the growth of home-schooling remains stable and significant.
Before the pandemic, estimates suggested that about 1.5 million children in the U.S. were home-schooled. The latest data suggests that number is now somewhere between 1.9 million and 2.7 million.
Home-school critics argue that the loose or nonexistent regulation will result in substandard or parochial education.
But one only need look at standardized testing results in a district like Fort Worth, where minority students in particular consistently cannot read or perform math at grade level, to recognize that attending school in no way guarantees that a student receives a quality education.
Then there are the detractors who deride home-schoolers for the same reasons they criticize private school participation — that it takes resources away from public schools.
Public schools do serve an important role in our communities, but they have never been a panacea. And with more and more families finding that public schools do not meet the needs of their individual students, it behooves state governments to support alternative forms of education.
Parents deserve choices. To give them the most possible, any legislation should include support for home-schoolers.