Amid the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 50 million children in the United States have been sent home to finish their school year. As the New Year starts, some are returning to sports schools, but many also choose to stay home. In fact, Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), estimates homeschooling will increase 10% this year alone.
“It appears that the restrictive bans of governors in response to a perceived health crisis, the reactions of institutional schools, and the experiences of parents and children with institutional schooling in crises at home in the spring of 2020 led to accelerated and remarkable growth in the Homeschooling will lead the school year, ”Ray continued NHERI’s website. “If 10 percent occurs, it could mean approximately 2.75 million K-12 homeschool students in 2020-2021.”
While Ray admits that springtime homeschooling was a “stressful and unhappy time” for some parents and students doing homeschooling at home, others were able to discover the benefits of homeschooling firsthand without prior commitment.
“The experiences of these parents and children have confirmed what over 35 years of research has shown regarding parent-led homeschooling,” wrote Ray. “The scientific research base has shown that the academic performance, social and emotional development, and success of adult students compared to those of their institutionally trained peers are by and large above average.”
Regardless of the final numbers, Ray’s positive twist on the pandemic is that it has resulted in better education for many children.
“You will experience a learning environment and educational process that includes more flexibility, parental involvement, adjustment, social capital, mentoring, value consistency, one-to-one tuition, tutoring, mastery learning, individualization, teachable moments, family time, rest. Safety, academic progress, healthy social interactions, and local community engagement as if they were involved in institutional schooling, ”wrote Ray.
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