by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
COVID-19 has brought a wave of new trends, from fashion masks to Tik Tok challenges. One trend that North Carolina is seeing, is an increased interest in homeschooling. As Dr. Terry Stoops writes in his research brief this week:
According to survey results released by EdChoice, homeschooling is riding a wave of approval from families and the public. Both homeschool and non-homeschool families were more likely to be in favor of homeschooling now than they were in February. In fact, the survey found that 15% of families say they are very likely to switch to homeschooling amidst worries about the effects of COVID-19 on the operation of public and private schools.
This increased interest could build off of the already rapidly growing homeschool population in North Carolina. Dr. Stoops writes:
Over the last ten years, homeschool enrollment has increased by 78%. Last year, 8.4% of North Carolina families enrolled their children in homeschools, making it the largest non-district option in the state. As a share of its school-age population, North Carolina has the largest homeschool population in the nation.
We can be certain that many parents are interested in homeschooling their children, but even more could ultimately make the switch mid-year if they believe the education their child is receiving remotely from their neighborhood school does not meet their child’s needs. Dr. Stoops writes:
Of course, we may witness a steady migration of families to homeschooling throughout the 2020-21 school year, particularly if families sour on the delivery and quality of instruction offered by public and private schools. Parents who observe that their children are struggling to adapt to remote learning plans may find homeschooling to be an appealing alternative. Unfortunately, we will not know for sure until DNPE publishes its annual homeschool data reports in July 2021.
Homeschooling is just one of many school choice options available in North Carolina. Learn about more options here, and read Dr. Stoops’ full brief here.