Homeschooling has been gradually and notably growing for decades, but new evidence points to big growth in homeschooling being indicated for this “school year.” What is a “school year”? For tens of thousands of homeschoolers, learning is year-round. Dates and weather do not stop teaching and learning in the real world. Nor in the world of many homeschool families. But most people in the United States think of the institutional or conventional school year, September through May, as the school year because they themselves were institutionalized while growing up. It is all that they know.
Whether learning is 365 days per year, or only 180, homeschooling grew to engage around 2.5 million K-12 students and their just-over 1 million families during the past year. What might the homeschool population be one month from now?
Government officials’ responses to health concerns (e.g., Covid-19, Coronavirus), including restrictive lockdowns, forced about 50 million more U.S. schoolchildren into school at home during the spring of 2020. Some of it was public school at home (e.g., virtual, online), some private school at home, and for some it became private parent-led home-based education (i.e., homeschooling). For various parents and children, it was a stressful and unhappy time. However, through the experiences of spring 2020, millions more parents came to realize that they do not need (a) government-controlled teacher certification, (b) $12,000 per child per year of their neighbors’ taxes, (c) professors of schools of education teaching, training, and indoctrination of school teachers, and (d) “expert”-created institutional school curriculum, and their children do not need to be with 25 peers of about the same age all day long, five days per week to be successful learners, happy, and sociable.