Homeschooling Becomes Fastest Growing Form of Education in America
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Homeschooling is rivaling public and private education as America's fastest-growing form of education, a Washington Post survey reveals.
The paper collected data for thousands of school districts across the country and found there are now between 1.9 million and 2.7 million home-schooled children in the United States.
That is nearly a 51 percent increase over the past six school years.
"This is a fundamental change of life, and it's astonishing that it's so persistent," Nat Malkus, a senior fellow and deputy director of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, told the outlet.
"The personal costs to homeschooling are more than just tuition," Malkus said. "They are a restructuring of the way your family works."
Former teacher Krystle Lynch, like many other parents, was forced to change the ways things worked for her family during the COVID-19 lockdowns. She had to help her kids with their lessons but soon discovered that it was easier to teach them at home while also protecting them during the pandemic.
"I pulled them out," Lynch explained. "I could have put them in public school, virtual school. And I was like, 'No I'm not doing this. I'm not going to wait on anyone. I'm going to take it into our own hands.'"
Lynch's sentiments echo thousands of parents across the United States.
Just recently, new data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) revealed almost 29,765 students switched to homeschooling after withdrawing from public or private schools during the 2021-22 school year.
THSC Vice President of Policy and Engagement Jeremy Newman told The Federalist homeschooling is attractive to parents in the Lone Star State partly because the transition process is easy.
"In Texas, it's easy to homeschool because there is a lot of flexibility and little regulation," he said. "In Texas, you have to teach reading, spelling, grammar, math, and good citizenship. So other than a few other paperwork things, this gives parents an enormous amount of flexibility, and a lot of other states are more onerous than the homeschooling community in Texas. It's more developed than in other states so it's comparatively easier."
Actor and family advocate Kirk Cameron told CBN News last year he believes more parents are looking to homeschool their children because they want to take a closer look at what their children are being taught.
"And if you look at the public education system, removing prayer from schools, removing God and the Bible from school and replacing those things with progressive ideas, like the Critical Race Theory, Gender Theory, and teaching children to decide whether or not they prefer to be a boy or a girl, to choose their own pronouns, and separating parents from their children's understanding of sexuality and when, and how they're exposed to explicit material, these are the kinds of things that parents are saying we're not down for this anymore," he said.
Cameron's six children were all homeschooled at one point and he used that experience to help him produce "The Homeschool Awakening," a documentary released in theaters in 2022.
Cameron interviewed 17 different families from all kinds of backgrounds and many of them realized homeschooling not only provides them with freedom but more opportunities.
"They're just looking for a better educational opportunity for their children. And when you think about it, the difference between one-on-one education or one-on-two or three or four or five, is a completely different situation than one teacher and 30 kids in a classroom. And we're finding out that colleges are actually preferring kids who are homeschooled well because they're out-of-the-box thinkers, they're initiative-takers, they're kids who are strong and well-rounded socially. It's really fantastic," Cameron shared.
He adds that perhaps the best part of homeschooling is God gets to stay in the classroom.
"We want our children to understand who they are, who God is, their place in the world, why they're here," he said.
Cameron added, "These are questions that can only be answered when you are free to pass your faith to your children and to teach your children, to see the world through the lens that God's given us."
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