Boots & Sabers

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0853, 26 Jul 21

Homeschooling Surges

Perhaps a long-term positive effect of the pandemic will be more parents taking a more active role in their kids’ education whether they homeschool or not.

Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They’re now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes.


The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis and found it beneficial to their children.


“That’s one of the silver linings of the pandemic — I don’t think we would have chosen to homeschool otherwise,” said Danielle King of Randolph, Vermont, whose 7-year-old daughter Zoë thrived with the flexible, one-on-one instruction. Her curriculum has included literature, anatomy, even archaeology, enlivened by outdoor excursions to search for fossils.


The surge has been confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported in March that the rate of households homeschooling their children rose to 11% by September 2020, more than doubling from 5.4% just six months earlier.



0853, 26 July 2021


  1. dad29

    Not only homeschools; the escape from public schools to private/parochial schools is notable, too. Unfortunately, the last national stat is from 2019. However, the anecdotal ‘noise’ is loud–there are lots more kids in private/parochials than were during the 19/20 year.

  2. Mar

    From the article: “Black households saw the largest jump; their homeschooling rate rose from 3.3% in the spring of 2020 to 16.1% in the fall.”
    That’s very good news. Get those kids out of the public schools, where many Black kids get crappy education because of liberal systemic racism.

  3. Owen

    I know several parochial school people and the universal feedback is that enrollment is through the roof. There’s a lot of expansion and scramble for staff going on.

  4. Mark Hoefert

    Can’t find a chart that is linkable, but Real Clear Opinion Research has been tracking numbers that support School Choice.

    April 2020/June 2021/(Change)

    Total: 64/74 (+10)

    GOP: 75/83 (+8)

    DEM: 59/70 (+11)

    K-12 Public Parents: 67/80 (+13)

    Millennials: 67/75 (+8)

    Black: 68/73 (+5)

    Latino: 63/69 (+6)

    Rural: 68/73 (+5)

    Suburban: 63/73 (+10)

    Now, this poll does not reflect what choices would be made. I have seen some that indicate that a majority of parents would opt for a public school, but the key takeaway is that people want choices of where students are educated, and not mandates determined by where they reside.

    The tide is turning, and it’s becoming a wave.

  5. dad29

    it’s becoming a wave.

    In Wisconsin this hinges on two items. 1) Replacing Evers with a properly-oriented Republican; and 2) making certain that Vos & LaMahieu understand what’s right.

    BOTH of those are very “iffy.”

  6. Mark Hoefert

    I think any candidate who ignores it as a campaign issue will put their chances of election at risk. If I recall correctly, about 30 states this year have put forward choice initiatives.

    Been kind of waiting for Owen’s take on this:

    Gallagher Unveils “Wisconsin 2030: The Education Path to Prosperity”

    There is a link to a PDF of the entire plan.

  7. Owen

    I heard him reviewing it on the radio last week. My first reaction was, “Gallagher wants to run for governor.” There are some decent idea in there. I’ll give it a more thorough read when I ever have some time.

  8. Owen

    I do agree with the point that any Republican running for office who ignores this issue is missing the boat. This is a big issue for traditional Republican groups, but also for several communities that traditionally vote Democratic.

  9. dad29

    Gallagher’s been pushing himself into radio interviews heavily in the last 90 days or so. He’s been very careful to pick his topics, thus avoiding his not-conservative positions.

    Remember that it was a black lady who helped Thompson begin the Choice program. Support in that demo AND in the Hispanic demo never wavered. But with Republican majorities in the Legislature and a Republican governor, the program grew only slightly.

    Tells me the problem is in the (R) legislature.

  10. Mar

    There will be a ceiling about how popular home schooling will become.
    On paper,it sounds great.
    But in reality, home schooling needs a total commitment by both the parent(s) and student.
    Home schooling is incredibly difficult and requires a commitment that is difficult to achieve.
    For those who make it work, great.
    But for those who think it is easy, the child may suffer.

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