Homeschooling tripled during COVID, isn’t going back down


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Homeschooling surged when COVID-19 hit the United States.

Many parents decided they had to do something for their children that would be better than having them, when schools were locked down, watch a laptop screen connected to a remotely lecturing union teacher.

So the percentage of students in America being homeschooled, before the pandemic 3%, suddenly surged to 11%, with 4% being homeschool-only households and another 7% with at least one child homeschooled.

But now that the pandemic is declining, those numbers aren’t falling, according to a new online report from Steven Duvall, the director of research for the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.

He explained data from the U.S. Census Bureau “is showing that the percent of U.S. homeschool households has remained quite stable even though school operations have resumed.”

He cited the Household Pulse Survey, started by the Census bureau “to gauge the impact that the pandemic was having on employment, housing, food availability, and education.”

It’s been taken regularly since it was launched, in all 50 states and in the 15 largest metropolitan areas.

Homeschool is one of the topics.

At 11%, those homeschooled among the 32-33 million U.S. households with school-age children is a significant number, his report said.

“When compared to the number of homeschool households identified by the HPS immediately prior to the onset of the pandemic, the 11-percent estimate indicated that, over the course of the 2020–2021 school year, the percent of homeschool households had doubled or, perhaps, even tripled,” he said.

And he explained the newest data has barely dropped, perhaps down 1%, since the pandemic has been in decline.

Further, he explained, there might not be a decrease at all.

“First, in some states, homeschooling is legally considered a private school option and homeschooled children are actually enrolled in a family’s private school at home,” he explained. “Second, parents who homeschool older children often teach them at home for much of the week but enroll them in, for example, advanced math classes available through a public or private high school. In such cases, parents who take the HPS survey might think that they should not count their child as being homeschooled because their student is also ‘enrolled’ in a public or private school course. The result would be that their home would not be counted as a homeschool and could lead to an undercount.”

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