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Homeschooling and Covid Data


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The Census took real, honest to God, actual data on people homeschooling in the pandemic. It's by far the best homeschool large scale data I've ever seen.

https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/03/homeschooling-on-the-rise-during-covid-19-pandemic.html

As of the fall, more than one in ten children in the US were being homeschooled. In some states, a lot more. Like, more than one in five kids in Oklahoma, more than a quarter in Alaska.

It's also broken down by race and by city and state. Some states saw a giant jump, others not so much. I would hypothesize just from looking at it that some of the places that saw the biggest jumps were places where homeschooling was already pretty popular - Michigan, Texas, Alaska - so it seemed normalized enough and like a good standard option to turn to. But also... maybe places where the schools just did that bad a job... Boston? New York?

 

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I’m in Oklahoma — I don’t “know” know — but Epic charter school has had astounding growth here.  I wonder if that is a lot of the growth.  

Edited by Lecka
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Vermont had so much growth in homeschooling this year that all end of year portfolios/assessments/teacher reports were deemed not necessary to reenroll. Typically we have to submit something to "prove" we homeschooled effectively over the past year, but they have too many to process, so I only needed to fill out a very quick form to re-enroll DS for next year. 

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9 minutes ago, AmandaVT said:

Vermont had so much growth in homeschooling this year that all end of year portfolios/assessments/teacher reports were deemed not necessary to reenroll. Typically we have to submit something to "prove" we homeschooled effectively over the past year, but they have too many to process, so I only needed to fill out a very quick form to re-enroll DS for next year. 

See, it's fascinating to me that Vermont and Massachusetts had exponential growth, while New Hampshire had pretty modest growth. Like, I wonder what's up with that.

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It is interesting that California saw very little increase, but home education charter schools that provide significant funding and flexibility are very popular there; I would guess that enrollment in those programs has increased significantly.

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2 hours ago, maize said:

It is interesting that California saw very little increase, but home education charter schools that provide significant funding and flexibility are very popular there; I would guess that enrollment in those programs has increased significantly.

It was capped so it definitely increased, but not by giant leaps and bounds like that Oklahoma charter linked above.

I was surprised by the very modest California bump. I feel like I'm aware of so many new PSA students just through my college counseling. But that may just be a skewed data set.

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Both homeschooling and enrollment in small private schools have gone way up in my community. Parents wanted in-person and consistent and public school here could not provide both, sometimes not either one. 

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34 minutes ago, Farrar said:

 

I was surprised by the very modest California bump. I feel like I'm aware of so many new PSA students just through my college counseling. But that may just be a skewed data set.

I don’t know how many of those contacted by mail would bother to fill up a 50 question 40 page survey even if they are obliged to.

https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/demo/technical-documentation/hhp/Phase 3 Questionnaire_02.25.21_English.pdf

“Q42 At any time during the 2020-2021 school year, will any children in this household be enrolled in a public school, enrolled in a private school, or educated in a homeschool setting in Kindergarten through 12th grade or grade equivalent? Select all that apply.

Yes, enrolled in a public or private school (1)

Yes, homeschooled (2)

No (3)”

ETA:

California dept of education would have the PSA numbers and know approximately how big the bump would be, assuming all homeschoolers remembered to file.

Edited by Arcadia
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47 minutes ago, Farrar said:

It was capped so it definitely increased, but not by giant leaps and bounds like that Oklahoma charter linked above.

I was surprised by the very modest California bump. I feel like I'm aware of so many new PSA students just through my college counseling. But that may just be a skewed data set.

That still means around 60K students for California. 

I'm thinking back @Farrar to what was happening in CA in the second time period. 9/30 to 10/12. A lot of people did not withdraw until October or even later because they were trying to make it work. I think it was still quite up in the air if districts were returning, not returning. or promising to return soon. Remember school districts were filing plans with the gov't to be approved to open. The state was all over the place with requirements and then the whole tier thing rolled out. Since you didn't have to file a PSA until 10/15 and could still even pull out mid-year and file, I kept seeing waves around the October filing period, two months in, around Thanksgiving, then Christmas and then at the end of the semester.



 

Edited by calbear
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1 hour ago, Spy Car said:

How broadly are they defining homeschooling?

Bill

 

If you read the article, they clarified the questions to include true homeschooling, not home based education through the school. Whether that was fully understood, I don't know.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I don’t know how many of those contacted by mail would bother to fill up a 50 question 40 page survey even if they are obliged to.

People do surveys, weirdly enough. There has been a lot written about how polling is broken since the last election, but my understanding is that these types of surveys are still considered pretty reliable overall.

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6 minutes ago, Farrar said:

People do surveys, weirdly enough. There has been a lot written about how polling is broken since the last election, but my understanding is that these types of surveys are still considered pretty reliable overall.

I get an email survey for every trip to the doctor (regardless of family practitioner or specialist), and a survey whenever I visit IKEA or Saks Off 5th Ave. Then there is the end of course surveys for every course I take.  I’m having survey fatigue.

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Locally I saw a second wave around  Christmas and then another at the end of Feb.  I am seeing a lot of posts on Facebook now about re-enrolling in public school next year, but also a few that love it and plan to keep homeschooling next year.  

I’m curious about how this experiment has changed attitudes about educational freedom and about homeschooling in general.  I hope all the Covid homeschoolers remember how much the freedom to choose benefited them and have a positive opinion of it going forward.  

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Whenever I get dubious about surveys, I remember that we got randomly selected for a CDC health survey to do with infants when my kids were born. It took three hours to complete on the phone and was broken up into like two different things. I think there was some minor compensation - like a Babies R Us gift card or something? I just remember I was like, okay, it's not like I'm able to do much else these days so I guess I'm game. And then I just had the survey on speaker phone while walking in circles bouncing babies and changing diapers.

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2 hours ago, Ditto said:

I never filled out anything about homeschooling and Covid so info for my state isn't correct.   It is interesting to read though.

It was a random survey using pretty basic sampling techniques. So it should be as correct as any good sample survey. That's what makes it so great though - there has almost never been a random sample taken of families around home education in America. This is only the second such survey I'm aware of and the previous one had a miniscule sample size. This one is much more statistically significant.

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22 minutes ago, Farrar said:

It was a random survey using pretty basic sampling techniques. So it should be as correct as any good sample survey. That's what makes it so great though - there has almost never been a random sample taken of families around home education in America. This is only the second such survey I'm aware of and the previous one had a miniscule sample size. This one is much more statistically significant.

I see!  Thank you for explaining.  Somehow I interpreted it as the homeschool questions were tied in with the census.  I'm sorry I misunderstood.

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23 hours ago, maize said:

It is interesting that California saw very little increase, but home education charter schools that provide significant funding and flexibility are very popular there; I would guess that enrollment in those programs has increased significantly.

We homeschool this way. All of the home-based charters in my area were capped out with waiting lists. At least two of them hadn’t capped out before the pandemic. But also CA passed a law that says that for new students going into the charters, the money that would usually go with them has to stay in their home district. So now the charters also can’t afford to take as many as they used to. 
 

And yeah, many of the PSA homeschoolers in my area would for sure not fill out a survey. At least in my area, a lot of them are PSA because they’re hard-core anti-vax and anti-government. 

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For Epic in Oklahoma, for an example, while local schools were either 3 days a week or virtual, they approved my daughter’s riding instructor as a vendor, and she offered a homeschool class, and she never required masks (to be fair — it’s very open).

So they appeal to people both unhappy with schools being virtual AND people unhappy with the mask requirement at schools, who are often opposite people in other ways.  Both can be happy with Epic.  
 

They have really good word-of-mouth here.  
 

They are also getting sued or something for some kind of fraud.  https://www.google.com/amp/s/tulsaworld.com/news/local/education/epic-owes-oklahoma-8-9-million-improper-transfers-chronic-misreporting-found-by-state-auditors-investigation/article_f8a41072-01e2-11eb-9691-976475d9051b.amp.html
 

But people using the service aren’t being effected by this.

Epic also hired a lot of teachers, at a good salary, and attracted a lot who weren’t happy with how their schools were doing in-person instruction (aka making teachers go in person).  Word-of-mouth is it’s a desirable place to work right now.  
 

My understanding is that this is widely considered to be homeschooling even though it is through a charter.  

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11 hours ago, Cnew02 said:

Locally I saw a second wave around  Christmas and then another at the end of Feb.  I am seeing a lot of posts on Facebook now about re-enrolling in public school next year, but also a few that love it and plan to keep homeschooling next year.  

I’m curious about how this experiment has changed attitudes about educational freedom and about homeschooling in general.  I hope all the Covid homeschoolers remember how much the freedom to choose benefited them and have a positive opinion of it going forward.  

I am seeing a variety. Of 11 public school families who chose other paths this year: 2 enjoying homeschooling and sticking with it, 1 looking for hybrid options, 2 very happy in small private schools and staying despite the expectations of public schools being mostly normal next yr, 6 happily returning to public school. 
 

All are quite aware of the difference between long-haul, philosophical homeschoolers and crisis schoolers. They have new understanding of what homeschooling actually entails and have immense respect for that choice.

I see parents of my tutoring students more involved, more aware of their child’s needs, more willing to demand better from their schools or to go elsewhere to find what works. Definitely more thinking outside the box, which is encouraging! 

Edited by ScoutTN
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4 hours ago, Forget-Me-Not said:

We homeschool this way. All of the home-based charters in my area were capped out with waiting lists. At least two of them hadn’t capped out before the pandemic. But also CA passed a law that says that for new students going into the charters, the money that would usually go with them has to stay in their home district. So now the charters also can’t afford to take as many as they used to. 
 

And yeah, many of the PSA homeschoolers in my area would for sure not fill out a survey. At least in my area, a lot of them are PSA because they’re hard-core anti-vax and anti-government. 

Back in 95 to 99. we were stationed in CA fir the third time, but thr first w school aged children.  Ww went PSA but ww certainly werent anti vacc or anti govt.  Nor were many if the people then.  But what was funny was that at  the time we moved, thr neighborhood public schiool was telling people to homeschool their kids until there was room for thrm in the school.  Also, almost all the parenrs in the base housing area we lived in who did have kids in public school were spending an hour or two most afternoons after schooling their kids because the education in thr school was do lacking.  I was a new himeschooler ( had started that school year w my oldest in 2nd grade) and I was amazed about how much more he was learning than the other kids even w both educations anc while I certainly did more than an hour or two of school, it was less than six hours at his age 

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