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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Homeschooling Advocacy Group Reports Significant Increase in Parents Pickup from School

For Sandra Kim and many other parents, March 2020 seems like a decade ago.

Since then, the structure of children’s education has changed after the pandemic sent everyone home.

Online training included mastering its central platform: Zoom video conferencing software. Teachers specially trained to work in the classroom are now trying to synchronize virtual teaching.

By 2021, school board meetings across the United States had become controversial, with ever-evolving COVID-19 medical policies and school curricula being challenged, possibly contributing to the so-called “spike” in home schooling.

Dr. Stephen Duvall, director of research for the Home Schools Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), told The Epoch Times that in 2017 it was reported that 3.3% of homes nationwide were homeschooling.

In 2019, the National Center for Education Statistics released a report that said the number of homeschooling families almost doubled from 850,000 to 1.7 million students between 1999 and 2016.

In the spring of 2020, the US Census Bureau conducted a weekly survey of pulses that showed that the number rose to 5.4 percent, Duvall said.

Then came the period between spring and fall 2020, when the number of households with school-age children increased from 5 percent to 11 percent.

In the spring of 2021, that number reached 18-19 percent before the US Census Bureau eventually adjusted home schooling levels back to 11-12 percent from 32-33 million households with school-age children, Duvall said.

While homeschooling was primarily a white middle class trend, Duvall said the number has now expanded to include more income categories and more communities.

“The numbers are obviously still going up,” Duvall said. “Our membership continues to grow and there are more and more homeschooling questions.”

Kim, HSLDA’s media relations manager and homeschooling parent, told The Epoch Times that HSLDA has grown by 23,500 people in the past two years, a 28.35% increase.

“Pushing the education ball forward”

Kim said that she and her husband began homeschooling their three children in 2020 due to technical difficulties with Zoom calls, amount of screen time and curriculum that “didn’t push the ball forward.”

“Trying to get three kids involved in three different Zoom calls was downright nightmare because my husband and I also had Zoom calls, and the two toddlers were too young to navigate by clicking, mute, and turn. the camera turns on and off, ”Kim said. “Then there was a lot of work that involved printing out exercises that we already knew how to do, or were repeated so that it didn’t move the ball forward in education.”

HSLDA

HSLDA is a Virginia-based nonprofit advocacy organization that assists parents in the United States and abroad with homeschooling.

It employs lawyers and educational consultants to help parents deal with the state’s varying homeschooling requirements.

HSLDA was founded in 1983 when homeschooling was illegal, Kim said, and has worked to legalize homeschooling in all 50 states for over 40 years.

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According to Kim, HSLDA lawyers are helping parents, school officials and legislators understand the complexities of the state’s home schooling laws, and his education consultants are customizing parenting guidance on issues from special needs to creating high school certificates for college.

Public schools have been overwhelmed with homeschooling over the past two years because many school administrators do not understand homeschooling law well enough to respond to parents, Kim said.

Since public schools receive funding based on the number of students enrolled, they lose money with every child they take out. As a result, some administrations are known to make it difficult for parents to expel children. This is one of the areas where HSLDA provides legal advice.

After one family began homeschooling their four children, they were put on trial on charges that their children needed government intervention for not attending school.

HSLDA’s lawyer was able to prove the family followed the law and dropped the charges.

However, according to the HSDLA, the prosecutor initially did not want to dismiss the case until the family presented evidence of their children’s educational process, although the attorney eventually agreed.

“Learning under the guidance of parents”

“Homeschooling is, by definition, parent-led education,” Kim said.

This includes many opportunities and resources such as an online academy, working at home with the family, work trips, co-op and learning modules, all parent-led.

“One of the myths about homeschooling is that parents do it themselves, which sounds pretty overwhelming,” Kim said.

However, homeschooling is often associated with non-traditional classroom environments such as teamwork and a study module.

Cooperatives can include eight weeks of one-to-one lessons such as Anatomy or Greek Mythology, taught by volunteer parents in church classrooms.

“It really looks more like a traditional school,” Kim said. “There is an oath of allegiance, and then the children scatter to the classrooms with different subjects. There is a physical education lesson, and after they have lunch together, they are fired. “

For Kim’s Virginia office, this happens from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

“It gives them the opportunity to go outside and meet other homeschooling children,” Kim said.

Another option, she said, is a learning capsule.

“Pod is a new term that emerged from the pandemic,” she said. “In the vicinity, parents gather their children and form groups and pay a teacher to come and teach. Some of them are formal, some are informal. “

Overall, working parents like her and her husband found that what they once thought was impossible was actually made possible when they ventured into homeschooling, Kim said.

“We loved it when our kids learn and re-learn everything,” said Kim. “We love to have the opportunity to teach our children our love and passion for geography, history and language learning.”

To follow

Matt McGregor covers North and South Carolina for The Epoch Times.

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