Conservative Estimate Predicts 10% Homeschool Growth This Year
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 50 million children in the United States were sent home to finish their school year. With the new year beginning, some are returning to physical schools, but many are also choosing to stay at home. In fact, Brian D. Ray, the president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), estimates that homeschooling will jump 10% this year alone.
“It appears that state governors’ restrictive lockdowns in response to a perceived health crisis, institutional schools’ responses, and parents’ and children’s experiences with crisis institutional schooling at home during the spring of 2020 will drive an accelerated and notable growth in homeschooling this coming school year,” Ray wrote on NHERI’s website. “If 10 percent materializes, that could mean roughly 2.75 million K-12 homeschool students during 2020-2021.”
While Ray admits that completing schoolwork at home during the spring was a “stressful and unhappy time” for some parents and students, others were able to discover the benefits of homeschooling first-hand without needing to make an up-front commitment.
“These parents’ and children’s experiences have confirmed what over 35 years of research has shown regarding parent-led homeschooling,” wrote Ray. “The scholarly research base has shown that homeschool students’ academic performance, social and emotional development, and success in adulthood are, by and large, above average compared to that of their institutionally schooled peers.”
No matter what the final numbers are, Ray’s positive twist on the pandemic is that it has led to a better education for a lot of children.
“They will experience a learning environment and educational process that includes more flexibility, parental involvement, customization, social capital, mentoring, value consistency, one-on-one instruction, tutoring, mastery learning, individualization, teachable moments, family time, calmness, safety, academic progress, healthy social interactions, and local community involvement than if they were involved in institutional schooling,” Ray wrote.