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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.

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