Thanks to the Chinese Communist Party virus, there’s been a surge in homeschooling in the United States.
The U.S. Census Bureau conducted what it calls its “experimental Household Pulse Survey,” described on the bureau’s website as “the first data source to offer both a national and state-level look at the impact of COVID-19 on homeschooling rates.”
The survey shows “a substantial increase” of homeschooling from spring of 2020 to the start of the school year the following fall. These dates coincide with the start of the pandemic.
But the surge didn’t end there. This March, the bureau reported that the number of households with at least one homeschooled child more than doubled from 5.4 percent to 11.1 percent.
Why the dramatic increase?
According to Steve Duvall, the director of research at the Home School Legal Defense Association in Virginia: “COVID last year was the number-one reason people started to homeschool. That made a lot of people try this for the first time.”
Sandra Kim, the media relations manager at the association, added that the health risks the CCP virus poses to children in a school setting prompted parents to take on homeschooling.
“A lot of parents are unsure about the vaccine for their child,” Kim said. “So that might be another factor going forward, as we’re seeing things like mandates, starting from California.”
Duvall said for the past 20 years or so, the leading reason for homeschooling was poor school safety. That has dropped to reason number four, with more flexibility and more one-on-one attention as numbers two and three, respectively. He cited these statistics from a Hanover Research survey.
Brian Ray, who has a doctorate in philosophy, is a co-founder of the National Home Education Research Institute in Oregon. While he agrees there’s been a “significant” growth in homeschooling, he feels the bureau’s statistics are flawed for several reasons. He also believes its numbers are misinterpreted.
“The census bureau did not say the number of homeschooled children doubled. They said the number of adults living with a homeschooled child about doubled,” he said.
Ray accumulated data from several sources and came up with his own estimated number of U.S. homeschooled students. He “mixed it up in the mathematical pot,” and concluded there are roughly 3.721 million students being homeschooled in the current school year.
The previous school year had an estimated 2.2 to 2.5 million homeschooled students.
Ray believes U.S. public schools did not have the infrastructure, or even the know-how, to produce effective, remote learning during the lockdowns. This, in turn, caused part of the surge.
He also believes critical race theory and the LGBTQIA+ push are additional factors.
He said parents perceive, or believe, “that critical race theory is being forcefully introduced throughout the schools,” and “they think it’s way-over-the-top, a form of indoctrination.”
“There’s been an accelerated push for sexuality philosophy and theory into every field of what’s being taught in public schools,” he said. “Parents, whether they’re Progressive, Conservative, Libertarian, they’re tired of that.”
“Right now, it doesn’t seem like the growth of homeschooling is slowing down any,” said Duvall. “It doesn’t look like the end is in sight.”