Pandemic exposes need for choice, brings surge in homeschooling

Thursday, May 27, 2021
 | 
Bob Kellogg, Jody Brown (OneNewsNow.com)

black homeschooling mom and child"Virtual learning" in America over the past year likely exposed many parents to what their children were actually being taught in the public school system – and apparently it resulted in a surge among minority families to seek alternatives such as homeschooling.

The pandemic shutdown has led to a big jump in the number of minority families choosing to homeschool. Census Bureau data indicate a surge of homeschooling in black communities during that period – jumping from 3.3% early in 2020 to 16.1% last fall, to the delight of black pastors.

Breitbart News quotes pastors with the Kentucky Pastors in Action Coalition (KPAC), for example, who see better education as the key to helping black children escape generational poverty. Perhaps that's why the group last year spearheaded passage of school-choice legislation in the Bluegrass State.

Mike Donnelly, an attorney with Home School Legal Defense Association, says families of all ilk are discovering the clear advantages of homeschooling.

Donnelly

"I think black families, Hispanic families – lots of families – are seeing that homeschooling is an effective way for children to learn," he tells One News Now. "It's much more efficient; it allows families to be more involved in the education of children. It's just a great way for kids to learn."

Donnelly does foresee a drop off in homeschooling as things return to pre-pandemic conditions, but not to the level it was before.

"But I think the floor is going to be much higher than it was before," he contends. "And I also think that a lot of people are going to see this as a choice that's much more available, much more acceptable to them than previously."

HSLDA research director Steven Duvall made the following observation after analyzing the Census Bureau's findings:

"It seems reasonable that when the virus led millions of parents across the country to invest in the education of their children to a greater degree than ever before, many of them likely observed their teens experiencing better mental health … making more and quicker academic gains at home than they experienced in traditional schools … feeling safer and more relaxed, [and] enjoying tailor-made curricula, learning environments, and flexible time schedules.”

Will the popularity of homeschooling continue? HSLDA says whatever path educational trends take, millions of families – at least during the pandemic – "found a haven" in home education.

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