Families Opting For Homeschool In NYC Has Doubled Since Pandemic

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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The New York Post recently analyzed state education data and found that the number of children being homeschooled in New York City has more than doubled since the pandemic. Interest in homeschool exploded during lockdowns when public schools forced children to learn at home. Many families realized just how easy it is to educate their own children and decided to make up for the many gaps left behind by virtual learning, school boards, and the Department of Education. 

It was theorized that parents would homeschool until the pandemic was over and mandates dropped. The general media perception was that homeschooling was a temporary fad. Yet, once schools reopened and even dropped their mask mandates, enrollment levels continued to decline and attendance plummeted for the students who were enrolled. In addition, interest in teaching has dropped so low that the nation is experiencing a severe teacher shortage that isn’t likely to end any time soon. 

New York City schools alone have lost tens of thousands of students. Parents grew tired of witnessing teachers’ unions’ influence political and medical policy for the benefit of those powerful organizations. It displayed a side of the education system that concerns many families and the well-being of their children. Much of this led to the new homeschool trend.

Homeschooling also offered more flexibility than parents expected. Even single parents found that they could homeschool their children at home on their own schedule. Instead of rushing to get children from here to there and ensure that they finished their homework and behaved in school, lessons could be done in the afternoons or evenings. Weekends were no longer off-limits for learning. 

Many homeschool parents understand the responsibility that comes with home education, but they have also found much more freedom. Instead of watching children struggle with standard factorized lessons, they are now able to customize each subject to their child’s individual needs. This especially benefited New Yorkers who were placed under some of the strictest pandemic mandates in the country.  

Instead of allowing the public school system to isolate and terrify children, parents who decided to homeschool found that it’s a successful teaching model. While stereotypes in the past led some Americans to believe that only religious extremists homeschooled in order to isolate their children, as soon as the education system began isolating them, this myth was debunked.  Various families found a sense of normalcy, community, and purpose in teaching their children. 

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Some teachers have even quit the profession to educate their own children at home. Instead of leaving their kids every day, to have someone else educate them so they can educate someone else’s kids, these teachers have simplified the learning process by choosing to homeschool and impart what they’ve learned within their own family. This may still be considered unconventional, but children were educated at home for generations before the current system was developed.

New York City’s homeschooling boom reflects a national trend to bring education back home. Instead of outsourcing teaching to state and federal oversight, parents are witnessing the benefits of individualized lessons and building stronger familial connections through homeschool. Ensuring that children receive the best education possible is a main goal of most homeschoolers. As public schools continue to struggle, teaching children at home is an option that many parents are finding successful.