Homeschooling has been around ever since formal education was introduced into Western society.
However, with the recent rise of the infamous Covid-19, many pandemic-induced changes have undeniably altered the way in which we view the global education system.
As the number of homeschooled students increases each year, we find ourselves in the midst of a homeschooling boom. But what exactly has caused this form of education to sip into the mainstream? Let’s find out!
What is Homeschooling?
In order to dive deeper into the question, let’s first make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to our understanding of homeschooling.
Simply put, homeschooling can be defined as the education of children at home by their parents or a tutor. But that’s not all. Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling doesn’t have to mean that a child’s education is conducted exclusively at home or by the parents directly.
Today, there are plenty of online tutoring platforms, such as 24houranswers that provide tutoring services for parents looking to homeschool their children.
Similarly, many schools in the U.S. allow children to attend certain classes and school activities as an addition to their homeschooling program.
Education During the Pandemic
In the early year of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted public school systems all across the globe. Governments around the world needed to find new ways to keep the education system running smoothly while circumventing many health dangers posed by the pandemic.
During this period, many schools opted to replace regular, in-person classes with online classrooms via tools like Zoom, Skype, and Discord.
While this teaching strategy isn’t exactly classified as “homeschooling”, it has brought to attention many of the potential benefits families have to gain by educating their children in the comfort of their homes.
How Much Has Homeschooling Grown in Popularity?
In terms of numbers, facts, and statistics, the degree to which homeschooling has gained popularity is not so clear-cut.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, studies show that the percentage of homeschooled students grew from 2.8% in 2019, to 5.4% in 2021.
On the other hand, the Census Bureau tells us that the percentage of households that opt for homeschooling has risen to 11.1% in the same time period.
While statistics do seem to vary based on the demographic, they all have one thing in common. They all observe a rapid increase in the percentage of families opting to homeschool their children.
Why is Homeschooling Becoming so Popular?
There are plenty of reasons why parents might choose to homeschool their children. According to a 2019 study conducted by NCES, some of the most reported reasons for choosing to homeschool over public schools were:
- Concerns about the social environment present in public schools. This includes exposure to bullying and violence, drugs and alcohol, as well as negative peer pressure.
- A desire of parents to be more involved in their children’s education.
- A desire for a family life together.
- Dissatisfaction with the work ethic and education strategy of certain schools.
In addition to these already-present factors, many parents thought that the protective measures against Covid-19 were either too radical or too underwhelming in most schools.
As time passed, and children became more and more accustomed to learning from home, a logical conclusion for most parents was that homeschooling can not only compete with traditional education but can also be better.
Taking all that into consideration, it’s easy to see how homeschooling proves to be a sound alternative to public education, bypassing many of the problems and concerns parents have when it comes to public schools.
But what are the practical benefits of homeschooling that made it stand out and flow into the mainstream?
Benefits of Homeschooling
As already mentioned, one of the most significant benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. It offers a stress-free, friendly learning environment which, in turn, creates a much more positive attitude towards education in children.
Some of the most notable benefits of homeschooling include:
Learning at your own pace
One of the most beneficial aspects of homeschooling is the ability to organize study material and learn at your own pace. This makes it so that you never have to worry about falling behind in class.
On the other hand, if you’re particularly fast at learning a subject, you don’t have to wait for others to catch up. This makes for an overall more efficient learning strategy.
Each homeschooler has different goals and motivations, is accustomed to an individualized teaching method, and tracks his or her progress according to a subjective standard.
Having a classroom full of students makes it hard for the teacher to give appropriate attention to the individual. Homeschooling makes up for this shortcoming.
Homeschooled students benefit from having the full attention of their tutor at all times. This helps the student master the study material a lot faster with a much deeper level of understanding.
For most young people, organizing their time to accommodate both school responsibilities and their private life can be a tricky endeavor.
When it comes to homeschooling, you can plan out your day however you like. Having the flexibility to schedule your classes means that you will never have to sacrifice time with family and friends, or hobbies and special events.
While it’s too early to tell whether homeschooling is just a passing trend, or is on its way to becoming a permanent feature in the global education system, with so many upsides to this DIY form of education, it’s easy to see why it has become such a popular trend in the Western world.
But what are your thoughts on homeschooling? Do you think it is likely to take over the education system any time soon? Only time will tell.