Homeschooling Is 'America's Fastest Growing Form of Education,' Experts Say

News Image By Sarah Holliday/Washington Stand November 04, 2023
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Since the 2017-2018 school year, the number of parents homeschooling has increased dramatically. With the rise has come pushback from state educators like Hillsborough County School Board member Lynn Gray who said parents don't have "any understanding of education." 

As far as Gray is concerned, this increase in homeschooling is going to hurt society. In my view, homeschooling is not an easy choice, but it is often far more rewarding. This isn't coming from the perspective of a biased parent, but from a biased child who has experienced both homeschool and public school.

I was homeschooled until 8th grade. Even then, my middle school was very small on an American army base in Germany. Life up to this point was vibrant and full of enriching experiences, since my parents involved me and my siblings in activities in church, sports, choir, theater, and co-ops. I learned a lot from my mom's teaching. 

My experiences contradict the stigma that homeschooling hurts a child's social skills or hinders their learning. For me, it wasn't until I started was enrolled in a much larger high school in the U.S. that it became harder to be as involved in the community.

The public school routine felt hectic compared to my homeschool routine, and not many of my teachers seemed to have my best interest in mind. From my freshman year of high school to my senior year of college, I experienced liberal teachers imposing their beliefs, experienced bomb and active shooter threats to the school, and saw a lot of students (and teachers) who didn't seem to care at all.

I know not every public school experience is like mine, but a lot are, and all I can say is the spike in homeschooling is both good and necessary-- especially as woke ideology continues to infiltrate the educational system.

According to The Washington Post, "Home schooling has become -- by a wide margin -- America's fastest-growing form of education." The Post collected data from 32 states (which represents 60% of the country's school-aged population) and found "the number of home-schooled students increased 51% over the past six school years," with a 4% drop in public school enrollment. Another poll also found that school choice has bipartisan support from 88% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans, making it a rare form of consensus in a very divided country.

Since the 2017-2018 school year, even liberal states have seen dramatic increases in homeschooling -- California increased 78%, NYC 103%, and D.C. 108%. These statistics defied the predictions that homeschooling would decrease after the pandemic.

With this spike, the Post noted concerns from critics who claim there is no governmental supervision over homeschooled students. Elizabeth Bartholet, a professor at Harvard Law School, said, "We should worry about whether they're learning anything." This professor also claimed homeschooling "poses real dangers to children and to society." 

However, while there were many parental concerns that led to this boom, including school shootings and bullying, about half of the parents taking their kids out of public school are due to concerns with radical leftist ideology. I can say firsthand that this is taking place, but it doesn't take much searching to see it. It stands to reason the only "danger" increased homeschooling poses is to the Left's agenda.

On Wednesday's episode of "Washington Watch," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and FRC Senior Fellow for Education Studies Meg Kilgannon unpacked the trend further. Aside from the fact that increased homeschooling saves taxpayers' money, Kilgannon emphasized how the Post presents "a picture to a particular audience about home schooling that is not a positive one."

She continued, they're doing this because "the Left doesn't have children. They have our children. So, they can't indoctrinate our kids if we're keeping them home." Perkins agreed, emphasizing the importance of parents practicing vigilance, "knowing that there's a policy around the corner coming in to try to limit your ability to teach your children or influence them." In fact, we are seeing this in public school transgender policies, where lawmakers openly argue parents don't know what's best for their kids.

For Kilgannon, this rise in homeschooling will likely result in more state attempts to "regulate it more and more." She added, "In the end, it's generally about the money, but it's also about the access to children's minds." Perkins and Kilgannon both agreed that homeschooling is worth the effort. "You know," she pointed out, "you can control the quality of the education, you can control the content of the education, and you get to spend time with your favorite people, your kids. ... So, there's not a lot of downside."

Perkins shared how he and his family have "no regrets" for homeschooling their five children. He concluded it's about "sharing your values with them and preparing them to not just compete in the workforce, but to be able to survive and thrive in a culture that's growing increasingly hostile to faith and values."

Originally published at The Washington Stand - reposted with permission.

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