Homeschooling: A ‘blessing in disguise’ for some amidst a health care crisis
I have written quite a bit lately about the coronavirus and distance learning, from tips to help parents with kids at home stay sane to ideas on how to spend education emergency relief aid so that all students benefit.
But there is another perspective that I want to make sure doesn’t get missed, and that is the positive side of home learning. I recognize that distance learning isn’t exactly homeschooling, as the school district uses its own curriculum and oversees students’ performance, but Cal Thomas reminds us that for at least some parents, this time together is giving them a chance to enjoy “new relationships with their children that full-time work and day care did not allow.”
This new bonding experience could lead some to continue the practice of educating their children at home once this crisis has passed and public schools reopen.
Some parents might find learning at home to be beneficial beyond additional bonding with their children. Concerns about what is taught in public schools—from sex education, to incomplete or even biased views of American history, as well as their failure to uphold moral and spiritual principles (and in some cases undermining them) have made homeschooling attractive to growing numbers of parents.
According to the National Home Education Research Institute, there are about 2.5 million homeschool students in grades K-12 across the United States and “it appears that the homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum over the past few years).”
It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. Home-based education has also been growing around the world in many other nations (e.g., Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom).
Homeschool families include a demographically wide variety of people, NHERI continues.
…[A]theists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas. One study shows that 32 percent of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and others (i.e., not White/non-Hispanic) (Noel, Stark, & Redford, 2013).
Not all families are finding homeschooling to be the right fit, and most students will likely return to traditional classrooms when the coronavirus crisis passes.
But home learning for some families has given them a new appreciation for what this type of education can offer.