Everyone is Breaking Free of Conventional Schools. Why That’s Good For You.

Homeschooling has been legal in all 50 states for a couple of decades, but year-over-year, only a small fraction of the population has taken advantage of the laws.  The rate of homeschooling climbed rapidly from 1997-2012, but since 2012, had leveled off at about 3.3%. 

However, when Covid-19 struck and schools around the country closed or went virtual, the homeschoooling rate tripled within a year.  Some demographics, especially the African-American community, shot up even faster – growing 5-fold in that time frame. 

These statistics indicate that the number of homeschoolers is between 4-5 million (out of approximately 50 million students overall.)  At this level of involvement, there are more homeschoolers than kids in charter schools (3.4 million in 2019) and approximately the same number as the kids enrolled in private schools (4.7 million in 2019) across the country.

So, what does this surge in homeschooling mean to you?  Homeschooling is not a competitive sport.  Homeschoolers enjoy the most success in a cooperative environment.  So, having more families actively homeschooling makes everyone more successful.  Why?  Because homeschoolers often rely on one another.  From co-operative learning to group activities to organized sports, homeschoolers often work together for the sake of their children.  Having a group of like-minded people provides a sounding board for creative ideas, a team to take on bigger projects and a larger population for organized events.  In our experience, one of the strongest indicators of homeschooling success is whether or not a homeschooling family finds a community to support them. 

It also means that some of the stereotypes of homeschooling may begin to dissipate.  Since more people will have first-hand familiarity with a homeschooling family, the common population should start seeing through the myths that are constantly circulated about homeschooling.  They’ll realize that homeschoolers are just normal people who want to give their kids a great education in a safe environment. 

Finally, as the number of homeschoolers increase, there will also be an increase in the resources available.  A larger market will incent curriculum producers to expand their product line.  Consequently, there will be more materials to choose from.  This can be good and bad for new homeschoolers since it is hard to determine which curricula would be best for your family.

At Homeschool Awakening, we want to help you in each of these areas.  We are launching a private Facebook group to promote community among homeschoolers and to provide curated tips and advice to get you started and keep you going.  We have also published a guide, Your Homeschool Questions – Answered! that addresses 25 of the most common questions and concerns about home schooling.  And last, but not least, we developed the HEART diagnostic to help you quickly identify curriculum that fits your family without taking any wrong (and expensive) steps.

Mike is a co-founder of Homeschool Awakening where he devised the HEART diagnostic and writes a lot.  A father of 5 and homeschooling for more than 15 years, he has been in the trenches and understands the thrills and challenges.  When he is not writing, he is typically on an adventure with his family.

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