There's No Place Like Home -- to Learn

July 27, 2021

If someone told me 18 months ago that homeschooling American households would triple in a year, I would hardly have thought it possible. Nor would I have believed the Associated Press and the Washington Post could report positively on something as beneficial as homeschooling. As it turns out, nearly anything can change in a pandemic. By the fall of 2020, 11 percent of U.S. households were homeschooling their children, up from 5.4 percent in the spring of 2020, and 3.3 percent in the years before that, according to the Household Pulse Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. "A lot of parents and guardians are going to keep on with home schooling, or at the very least, give it another semester or two," said education researcher Ellen Dundas.

"Even more remarkable are where those gains came from," reported the Washington Post. "Even though home schooling has often been considered the domain of religious White families, the most significant increases were seen among Black, Latino and Asian households." The Post reported that while white families homeschooling doubled from 4 to 8 percent between 2019 and May 2021, black families homeschooling increased from about one percent to eight percent, and Hispanic families homeschooling increased from two percent to nine percent. Asian families homeschooling have increased from one percent in 2016 to five percent in 2021.

I've said before, the silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic is that parents were forced to spend more time at home with their children and saw firsthand the radical indoctrination being pushed on them. Despite Leftist mockery, the pushback against critical race theory, explicit LGBT curriculum, social justice activism, and other offensive material is coming from parents across the political spectrum. In fact, some of the most vocal parents are those in Left-leaning suburbs of Washington, D.C., Palm Beach County in Florida, Westchester County in New York, Maricopa County in Arizona, and suburbs of Detroit.

Study after study reveals that massive majorities of parents of every background, particularly poor and minority households, want choice and accountability in education so they can give their children the best possible education. Homeschooling can provide parents exactly that flexibility, said Joyce Burges, co-founder and program director of the National Black Home Educators. Homeschooling "gives parents an opportunity to own their children's education." Schools aren't delivering what black parents want, she said, "a wholesome education" to develop "the whole child." So even before the pandemic, black families were beginning to explore other options, particularly resources that teach African-American history the way they want their children to learn it. For instance, you'll never hear about the godly faith of black Americans that built this country in a public school.

The pandemic forced many parents to homeschool reluctantly, but that doesn't mean they will send their child back to public school. "Parents want stability," explained Burges. The hybrid models, weeks at home, and teachers' strikes that featured so heavily during the pandemic are anything but stable. Many parents simply had to overcome their fears. "Parents are forgetting about whatever kind of inadequacies that they feel educationally or academically." During the pandemic, they experienced how easy it was to teach their children. They also recognized the benefit to their child, when they could tailor the education to their child's needs and interests, away from the negative peer pressure, wasted time, indoctrination, and other disadvantages of the public-school model. America will recover from the pandemic, but many families who are determined to educate their children at home will never send them back.

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