|U.S. sees surge in home schooling|
Since Spring 2020, when the pandemic began to seriously disrupt life across the U.S., the number of families opting to homeschool their children has continued to increase. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in March that the rate of households homeschooling their children had risen to 11% by September 2020, more than doubling from 5.4% just six months earlier. Black households saw the largest jump; their homeschooling rate rose from 3.3% in the spring of 2020 to 16.1% in the fall. Joyce Burges, co-founder and program director of National Black Home Educators, said the 21-year-old organization had about 5,000 members before the pandemic and now has more than 35,000. Many of the new families experienced difficulties, including lack of internet access, that limited their children’s ability to benefit from virtual learning during the pandemic, Ms. Burges said. “It got so they didn’t trust anything but their own homes, and their children being with them,” she said. “Now they’re seeing the future, seeing what their children can do.” For some families, the switch to homeschooling was influenced by their children’s special needs. That’s the case for Jennifer Osgood of Fairfax, Vermont, whose 7-year-old daughter Lily has Down syndrome. Having observed Lily’s progress with reading and arithmetic while at home during the pandemic, Osgood is convinced homeschooling is the best option for her going forward.