With many school districts announcing the shift to virtual and online classes, America’s parents are asking themselves whether homeschooling is a more viable option for the 2020-2021 school year.
Several school districts bungled their response to the coronavirus pandemic after shutting down in-person classroom instruction, and did so without having the capacity to immediately shift to online learning. Parents, students, and teachers were unprepared for a rapid shift to online-only learning and some school districts chose not to count grades once schools were closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.
The ongoing uncertainty and chaos surrounding education could force parents to do a one-semester test run or yearlong test run in homeschooling until the situation stabilizes. Overall, three-percent of the U.S. school-age population was homeschooled, or approximately 2.5 million students. The National home Education Research Institute (NHERI) suggested that the homeschool population was expected to grow anywhere between 2-8% annually. Due in part to the pandemic, the number of homeschooled students could increase more than previously predicted.
NHERI pointed out that not only does homeschooling education save taxpayer dollars, but it is also the fastest-growing education system in the United States. Homeschooling could save up to $27 billion in taxpayer dollars since it does not require bus transportation, does not pay unionized teachers, administrators, or other staffers, and does not require costs associated with operating a school building. Homeschooling is a growing trend among minorities, according to NHERI.
Since that the government has not resolved the education inequality gap for decades, and given ongoing conflicts in education among teachers, teachers’ unions, school administrators, and politicians, homeschooling may be the best option for many parents. It does come with trade-offs, such as a parent potentially sacrificing work hours or even a job to stay home and teach their child. But, with teachers threatening a strike over reopening school facilities for fall classes, homeschooling provides certainty for parents and their children.
Also, the increasing politicization of school districts due to pressure from the LGBTQIA activist community, Black Lives Matter proponents, and other liberal and left-wing indoctrination efforts could convince concerned parents to consider homeschooling free of politics and indoctrination from the Left.
It is unclear whether all children are meant to learn through online classes. But homeschooling provides in-person and one-on-one attention between teacher and student, which is a ratio that public schools cannot reach.