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Special to The Post Dispatch
As the school year in Texas kicks off, early data indicates that many families are expressing renewed interest in homeschooling.
The Texas Home School Coalition’s (THSC) call and email volume doubled in the last full week of July, rising from 536 the week before to 1016 as families clamored to prepare for school. The following week, the call and email volume rose again to 1232.
This latest number represents an all-time high that even exceeds the enormous call and email volume for THSC from the fall of 2020, when COVID-19 school restrictions dominated the news and the number of homeschooling families in Texas had nearly tripled from 4.5 to 12.3% by October of that year according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Survey data recently released by Time4Learning showed that 72.2% of families who began homeschooling during COVID-19 will continue to do so and will not return to public school. As reported by the Associated Press, many families made this decision because they felt that homeschooling was working well for their family, even if they had never planned to homeschool before COVID-19.
Renewed concern about COVID-19 appears to be driving yet another spike of interest in homeschooling.
During 2020, U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that the largest surge in homeschooling was driven by minority families leaving the public school system. Nationwide, the rate of black families homeschooling rose from 3.3 to 16.1%. Another COVID-19 related surge in homeschooling would likely produce a similar trend.
Tim Lambert, President of THSC, stated, “In 2020 we saw the largest surge in homeschooling in history. It appears that renewed concern about COVID-19 may be about to replicate a similar trend for 2021. We are also seeing thousands of families decide to continue homeschooling because of how well it has worked for their family. Our team is here to welcome these new families into homeschooling and help them with everything they need to be successful.”