According to the US Census Bureau, homeschooling has exploded in America in the last year. In the fall of 2020, according to estimates, more than 1 in 10 American schoolchildren were being homeschooled.
How is it going? While we have some topline figures about how many people are homeschooling, where they are homeschooling, and some of their demographic characteristics, we don’t have nearly as detailed an understanding of what their experiences have been.
That is why we partnered with Hanover Research to survey homeschooling families and families that considered homeschooling this year. The survey was put in the field in February of 2021 and in total some 1,266 parents responded, including 570 current homeschoolers and 696 non-homeschoolers. The results are fascinating.
The entire report is worth reading and is linked below, but a few key findings are worth highlighting:
1. Why do people homeschool? When asked, the top three responses were the coronavirus pandemic (68 percent of respondents saying that it was important or very important), flexibility to shape their child’s learning experience (68 percent important or very important), and one-on-one attention (also 68%).
2. What obstacles do homeschoolers face in getting started homeschooling? The top three responses were fears about their children’s future prospects (35 percent of respondents saying that this was very or extremely problematic), time (also 35 percent), and a lack of knowledge about homeschooling (33 percent)
3. What are the benefits of homeschooling? The top three responses were improved relationships with children (70 percent of respondents said this was a moderate or major effect of homeschooling, more time for other activities (69 percent), and that their children are learning more than in their previous educational environment (68 percent).
4. What challenges do families face as they homeschool? The top three responses were not as much socialization as parents would like (44 percent said this effected them moderately or a great deal), fewer opportunities for extracurricular activities (35 percent), and difficulty managing homeschooling and other obligations (26 percent).
5. Opinion is divided on how easy it is to start homeschooling. Forty percent of survey respondents said that it was somewhat or very easy to start homeschooling while an almost identical 41 percent said that it was somewhat or very difficult to.
There are more interesting tidbits sprinkled throughout the report. As it turns out, this group’s opinions towards homeschooling and the pandemic (66 percent were more interested in homeschooling as a result of the pandemic) tracks pretty closely to what parents are telling us as part of our monthly opinion tracker. Breakdowns in experiences and opinions by income are fascinating as well.
Check out the report and let us know what you think stands out to you.