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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Homeschoolers are more diverse, less conservative

Many families that tried homeschooling during the pandemic are still at it. As a result, post-pandemic homeschoolers are "more racially and ideologically diverse," according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.

More black and Hispanic families are homeschooling than before the pandemic.

Just under half are white, the Post estimates, with a surge in homeschooling among Hispanic families. In 2019, a federal survey, which used a different methodology, estimated 7 in 10 homeschoolers were white.


New homeschoolers are split between Democrats and Republicans, while pre-pandemic homeschoolers were much more conservative. Overall, nearly half of homeschooling parents say public schools are too liberal, while a quarter say they're too conservative.


They're less likely to cite religious instruction as the reason they homeschool, though "nearly 7 in 10 parents say a desire to provide 'moral instruction' is among their reasons for home-schooling," reports the Post. (About half of those parents say this instruction is based on religious values.)


"Rather than religion, home-schoolers today are likely to be motivated by fear of school shootings, anxiety over bullying and anger with the perceived encroachment of politics into public schools," the Post's poll finds. Parents are most likely to cite the "school environment" as their reason to homeschool.


Yet the new homeschoolers are much less hostile to public education. Compared to pre-pandemic homeschoolers, they are "more likely to mix and match home schooling with public school, depending on their children’s needs."


Homeschooling isn't just Mom sitting at the kitchen table with her kids, the story notes. "About half of home-school parents said their children would receive at least some instruction from a teacher or tutor this year, much higher than the 21 percent who said the same in 2019. About one in five participate in a homeschool co-op, and one in 10 use microschools or pods. Some take classes online, at public or private schools or at community colleges.


Many of the comments say: No! You're wrong! Ninety-five percent of homeschoolers are white, racist, right-wing Christian nuts who will turn their children into mindless drones! Not like us free-thinkers.


Homeschooling has nearly doubled, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey (HPS), report Aaron Garth Smith and Jordan Campbell on Reason. In 2019, the survey found 2.8 percent of students learning at home. In May 2023, that was up to 5.4 percent. Another 85 percent are enrolled in public schools and 9.6 percent in private schools, the Census says.


Blacks are slightly more likely (6.3 percent) to homeschool than whites (6.1 percent), according to the Census. That's a big change. Hispanics are at 4 percent and Asians, the group that does best in school, is at 1.9 percent.

4 Comments


Guest
Sep 29, 2023

The increased involvement of homeschoolers in public school activities may be less a function of changing hostility levels and more because many states now require that homeschoolers be given access to the public schools (whether classes or activities). In our state, 10 years ago it was required that if any students were cut during a sports try-out, homeschoolers must be cut before any student attending the school was cut. Now the law requires that homeschooled kids be given the same opportunities as the students at their zoned school. We know homeschooled kids on teams for baseball, soccer, and track at several area schools. For sports that have homeschool teams, they play against the public and private schools. At lea…

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Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Sep 28, 2023

Aloha, Joanne,

Thanks for this article.

A couple of other recent _Post_ articles indicate a growing skepticism of the State-monopoly school system within the stable of _Post_ Education writers. This change of opinion has not reached _Post_ readers, who continue to calumnate K-12 system critics as racist bigoted cretins.

Thanks for the demographic statistics.

I wonder how long the system will survive when homeschoolers start earning their EE degrees by age 18 or their MD credentials by age 22.

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Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
Sep 28, 2023
Replying to

I get the feeling that Post ed writers like homeschoolers much more if they're not Christian.

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Guest
Sep 27, 2023

The previous post about schools going to 4-days so basically abandoning the benefit for working parents of having children looked after made me think more parents would just find homeschooling alternatives that covered the whole week. If schools are going to frequently disrupt the parents' work responsibilities, then families will need to find more reliable and predictable ways to handle their children.

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