Fuel the fire

From Covid lockdowns and mandates to increased concern about progressive curricula being taught in public schools, many families have chosen to homeschool their children even after the reopening of public schools.

The pandemic saw what may be the biggest rise in homeschooling ever across the country. After schools were closed in spring 2020 and began virtual learning, some parents were unimpressed with the way their children’s education was handled and began to believe homeschooling was a better alternative. 

During the 2020-2021 school year, the number of homeschooled students increased by 63% as reported by 18 states. According to the Census Bureau, only 3% of students were homeschooled before the pandemic. 

The 2021-2022 school year numbers have dropped slightly (17%), but the percentage still remains much higher than the pre-pandemic level. “Families that may have turned to homeschooling as an alternative to hastily assembled remote learning plans have stuck with it — reasons include health concerns, disagreement with school policies and a desire to keep what has worked for their children,” Carolyn Thompson, writer for the AP reports.

Due to the decreased enrollment in public schools the past two years, their future funding has been affected and debates over how strict homeschooling should be regulated have resumed. There are no federal guidelines, and each state is able to set up their own requirements. Debates have been going on for years on whether to ease or impose new regulations.

With parental rights being trampled and ignored, school choice is becoming increasingly popular. From dissatisfaction with the school district, religious reasons, or concern with the quality of education, to the desire to customize their child’s education to their specific needs, parents want the ability to choose a school that will fit their children best.

Education is not a one-size-fits-all and yet today’s public school system gives parents very few options to tailor their experience. 

Preserving Indiana’s reputation as a great state to homeschool in is paramount. Our children deserve the best, and parents have the right to control what their kids are being taught.

It’s time to return to our foundational roots and teach subjects that truly matter. Grassroot movements have already begun, and we must continue to fuel the fire. The next generation needs to be fought for.