Homeschooling has caught the attention of some parents for their kids during the pandemic.
Kerri Hernandez said because of COVID, her son Harry was sent home in pre-school spring of 2020. She told us the students never went back, and she didn’t want her son to fall behind like other kids, so she made the decision to home-school him.
“During that time, I said I don’t want him to stagnate. So, let’s get some workbooks, let’s do some projects, let’s do something,” said Hernandez.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau the percentage of Texas families that home-school their children went up from 4.5% at the end of the 2019 – 2020 school year to 12% at the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year.
The Texas homeschool coalition reports about 30,000 students across the state withdrew from a public or charter school and switched to homeschooling during spring of 2021. An increase of 40% compared to the previous year.
“When you’re the one doing the schooling with them 24/7, you know what they are and aren’t catching on to,” said Hernandez.
A new report from The Texas Tribune showed an increase in homeschooling could be attributed to a number of factors, such as the spread of COVID-19 in schools, the way some students were being taught through remote learning, the teacher shortage, the Uvalde school shooting, or the type of curriculum being taught such as critical race theory.
Hernandez said, “I always like to tell people this, hey, are you teaching your child how to tie their shoes? Guess what you’re homeschooling. Did you teach your child their A, B, C’s? Guess what you’re homeschooling you know you’re already doing it.”
Ingleside Independent School District said it had 38 students leave for homeschooling and 38 returning back to classroom structured learning.
“It’s the style of what’s being taught; you know it’s a different style than what the parents were taught when they went through school,” said Troy Mircovich, Ingleside ISD Superintendent.
Although homeschooling is an option for parents and may seem convenient, officials said students that come back to traditional school from homeschooling can either fall behind or risk being held back a grade level. It all depends on how rigorous the family was teaching at home.
“A younger student, we have the opportunity to catch them up quicker, very resilient. Your older students, if they’ve been out for a few years, especially for the junior high. Middle school age, as they are prepping for high school, there’s a lot that is taught there,” said Mircovich.
Superintendent Mircovich told us if a student leaves a public school for a charter school or home school, the district stops receiving about $6,000 for that student.