Rose Wilson confirms one of her multiplication answers with her mother, Lavonda Pritchett, holding newborn Shelley-Rain Pritchett, on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 during a math lesson at their home in Carrick. Rose’s brother Adonis Pritchett sits behind her. (Photo by Lindsay Dill/PublicSource)
The latest Census Bureau data show a surge in homeschooling rates — especially among Black families — since the pandemic.
by Lajja Mistry, PublicSource
On a typical school day, you might find Wilkinsburg resident Simone Boone baking bread with her sons, Joshua and Noah.
But what seems like a fun activity is a math lesson in progress.
“Three one-thirds make a full cup,” she said, pouring flour while teaching her kids fractions.
Boone is one of the many parents who have decided to homeschool their children since the pandemic started. Her older son, Joshua, had just started kindergarten when COVID-19 hit. Boone decided to homeschool because she felt the online lessons were not helping him.
“At the age of 5, he wants to play. I should not have to have him sitting down, focus at a screen, just so I can take a picture to send to the teacher,” she said. “So when it was time to resend back to the school, I was like, yeah, this is not going to work.”
Homeschooling rates doubled during the pandemic, according to the latest Census Bureau data from the experimental Household Pulse survey. But the jump was much higher among Black families, among whom the proportion of households homeschooling increased by five times — larger than any other racial group. Standing at 3% during spring 2020, the homeschooling rate for Black households jumped to 16% by fall 2020.
Brian Ray, founder and president of the National Home Education Research Institute, said diversity and its visibility in homeschooling have increased dramatically in the last 20 years. More Black families started showing up at homeschooling meetings and conferences about 10 to 12 years ago, according to Ray’s research. And the pandemic further boosted their presence in 2020-21 as virtual schooling allowed parents to take a close look at their children’s education.
The overall homeschooling rates declined when schools reopened but still remained much higher than two years prior. Ray expects rates to rise gradually.
Read entire story here