According to a recent Washington Post investigation, homeschooling has emerged as the fastest-growing educational option in America and is still becoming more and more popular even after the pandemic-era virtual education has ceased.
Research by the Post that examined data from almost 7,000 school districts nationwide revealed that the sharp increase in homeschooling that started during the epidemic persisted until the conclusion of the academic year this past spring.
The fact that homeschooling is still so popular defies expectations that, after contentious pandemic regulations like mask mandates ceased, the majority of families would return to attending traditional classroom settings. Parents also worry that kids aren’t learning as much in public schools since the pandemic, which could be another reason why some families choose to teach.
“This growing interest in homeschooling goes beyond politics, geography, and demographics,” according to a study in the Washington Post.
Over 60% of school-age children are represented by the 32 states including the District of Columbia whose data were examined in the investigation. The data isn’t full because some states don’t keep accurate records of how many students are homeschooled, and 11 states, like Michigan, Texas, Connecticut, and Illinois, don’t make families tell the state when they choose to homeschool.
Still, the data suggest that homeschooling has emerged as a “mainstay within the American educational system,” according to the Post.
Prior to the global epidemic, the National Center for Education Statistics said that 1.5 million kids were being taught at home in the United States. The Post’s research showed that there currently are between 1.9 million and 2.7 million homeschooling families in the United States.
Georgia and Maryland are the only places where homeschooling is back to the level it was before the epidemic.
Florida has over 154,000 homeschooled kids, which is more than any other state with figures available.
Blue New York, on the other hand, has seen the most rise in homeschooling. Since 2017, the number of kids there has more than doubled, reaching close to 52,000. The trend is going the fastest in deep blue New York City, which may come as a surprise.
The number of students homeschooled in 24 out of the 33 school districts in the city of New York increased by at least 200% in the course of six years. The fastest growth rates were in Brooklyn and the Bronx, where some areas grew by over 300%.
The data also revealed that the popularity of homeschooling is not limited to underperforming public school areas.
Over 60,000 pupils were homeschooled in districts that are among the top five in the nation for academic accomplishment last autumn.
Critics keep calling for more government control, even though homeschooled kids often do better than their public school peers.
“A lot of new homeschooled kids in the US have moved into a world where the government won’t ever check on what they are learning or how well they are learning it,” the Post said.