Data in this story is from Kerry McDonald’s Liberated blog
According to the US Census Bureau, more than 5.5 million US K-12 students were homeschooling this academic year—up from around two million students pre-pandemic. These are independent homeschoolers who officially left another school or never enrolled in a school at all.
The Census reported a five-fold increase in the number of black homeschoolers this academic year, to more than 16 percent of the homeschooling population. This is an over-representation of black homeschoolers compared to the 15 percent of black students enrolled in K-12 public schools.
And while some of the 2020/2021 homeschoolers will return to conventional schooling in the fall, there are indications that many new black homeschooling families will not.
Rasheeda Denning, the founder of Black Homeschoolers of Central Florida, says that her members who are new to homeschooling this year have found it to be rewarding and re-empowering. They don’t plan to send their children back to school.
“One common trend that we’ve noticed during this pandemic is that parents have become empowered,” Denning recently told redefinED.
She continued: “Some new families will return to traditional schools, but we’ve found that most of our families are enjoying this new way of schooling and will stay with homeschooling, seeking out support to help them on their journey.”
It remains to be seen how many new homeschoolers will remain with this educational approach come fall, but with so much uncertainty still looming around what classrooms will look like, it’s not surprising that many families will continue to opt-out.
We may get our first glimpse of fall trends in a couple of weeks. Last summer, one of the early indications that this was going to be a big year for homeschooling was when North Carolina opened its homeschool registration website during the first week of July. So many parents submitted their online intent to homeschool that it crashed the state’s website. It will be interesting to see what happens this time.