Curt Flewelling, FISM News
A new study by the Urban Institute has found that homeschooling rose an astounding 30% in 2021-2022 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also found that private school enrollment jumped significantly during the same time frame.
At first blush, this would seem to be attributed to many parents simply being pushed into the decision by default as COVID lockdowns left families with few options. But the research indicates that the increase in homeschool enrollment persisted even after many schools returned to in-person instruction.
Steven F. Duvall, Director of Research for the Home School Legal Defense Association, told the Christian Post, “We believe that homeschooling is a wonderful way to educate a child and that many hundreds of thousands of families made this same discovery during the pandemic.”
Nat Malkus, Deputy Director of Education Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Christian Post, “The question on the long term is, really, what pushed people out and whether homeschooling was a direct response to remote schooling or whether it was something that’s going to be sustainable for a number of families.”
To Jill Simonian, Director of Outreach for Prager U Kids, the question has been answered.
She told Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) CEO Rebecca Weber, “Part of the reason homeschooling is on the rise is the Leftist political motivations of teachers and school officials.”
She continued, “Our education system is being overtaken by Marxism and social movements. It was during COVID lockdowns that my eyes were opened and I saw that my children were being indoctrinated to hate America, to question themselves, to hate themselves, to think that America is a horrible place.”
Homeschooling may also be on the rise due to the fact that the movement has effectively shaken many of the societal misconceptions that have been attached to it. Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Bartholet has promulgated such negative stereotypes over the years, going so far as calling for a “presumptive ban” on homeschooling in 2020.
In a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, Harvard researchers Brendan Case and Ying Chen had this to say about the misperception of homeschooled students: “The picture of the homeschooled student that emerges from our data doesn’t resemble the socially awkward and ignorant stereotype to which Ms. Bartholet and others appeal.”
They continued, “ Rather, homeschooled children generally develop into well-adjusted, responsible, and socially engaged young adults.”
The one-two punch of COVID lockdowns forcing an end to in-person instruction and parents having a front-row seat to what their children were actually being taught seems to have led to a precipitous drop in public school enrollment nationally.