Although public, private, and charter school enrollments still make up the vast majority of educational options for American parents, there’s another alternative — homeschooling — that’s slowly gaining a foothold.
But why are so many parents suddenly interested in teaching their own children? The evidence points to a few factors.
- Health: After the pandemic forced many parents to take on the role of ad hoc educator, a number of them decided to stick it out in part to protect their kids from the spread of COVID or other illnesses.
- Culture: Whether it’s conservatives worried about political indoctrination or minority families concerned about racism, there are many different reasons that parents might choose to keep their kids out of traditional schools.
- Safety: With the troubling rise in school shooting incidents and the ever present danger of bullying, some parents believe that homeschooling is a safer option than sending their children to a classroom.
- Special needs: From developmental issues to learning disabilities, a number of parents believe that schools don’t have the resources to meet their children’s individual needs.
There are other reasons that parents opt for homeschooling, and the proof that it’s a growing trend can be found in the numbers. While it became more popular in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, the pandemic-era increase remained obvious throughout the most recent school year.
Homeschooling is the fastest-growing educational alternative in the U.S. and estimates indicate as many as 2.7 million American kids are currently being taught at home.
A common thread runs through all of the parents who endorse this method, according to homeschooling advocate Jen Garrison Stuber.
“Being able to tailor the education to the individual child is one of the things that is extremely personally persuasive for people to come to homeschooling and then decide to stay,” she said.