Today we’re reviewing homeschool predictions from 2021 made by David Bass in his post, Homeschooling is growing like crazy: 4 predictions of what that means for the future of education, published August 18, 2021.
David’s predictions were as follows: Parents will continue to demand more options in education, Homeschooling is growing more diverse, The First Amendment matters, and Tech is paving the way.
We’ll examine his predictions one by one and see if he was able to see accurately into the future.
Parents will continue to demand more options in education
Here we are in 2024 and the options in education have definitely exploded for public schools and homeschools alike due to parent demand. An article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on April 18, 2023 tells the story of the first hybrid public school in Texas, Dallas Hybrid Preparatory, which allows students in grades 3 to 8 attend virtual learning at home three times a week, and learn from school twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This hybrid came about due to parents requesting a more creative and flexible learning environment.
On the homeschooling front, there has been an explosion of nature schools, microschools, of which MicroSchool Revolution says, “Often described as “outsourced homeschooling,” they are free from the bureaucracy, standardized tests, and mandatory curriculum that defines today’s public school system. Microschools tend to be efficiently run, and student engagement is remarkably high,” and virtual learning platforms such as Outschool. Many families that started homeschooling during the pandemic were two income families. These families needed some options for outside classes to take some of the teaching off of their plates and have a place for the kids to go while they worked and the variety of online and in-person classes meet their need perfectly. Enrichment academies are also exploding all across the homeschooling community in every state.
I have to say that this prediction was spot on!
Homeschooling is growing more diverse
The pandemic was a catalyst for families of all races, religions, and ethnicities to try homeschooling, and having had a taste of the wonders and freedoms of homeschooling, many continued to homeschool.
The Washington Post, in their series, Homeschool Nation, cited their findings in a poll they conducted in August 2023. This Washington Post-Schar School home schooling poll shows that White families now make up around 50% of homeschoolers, with the number of Hispanic families homeschooling on the rise.
And this news story from WFAA in Dallas, Texas, Why are more and more African American families turning to homeschooling for their children? explores homeschooling growth among Black families. “Homeschooling used to be largely dominated by white families, or based on religious education. But Census Bureau data shows that African Americans account for the biggest surge in the past few years,” states author Chris Lawrence.
Kudos again to David on an accurate prediction!
The First Amendment matters
In his article David predicts that homeschooling will increase due to concerns that people have about censorship in social media, and the feeling that their rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and association are under threat. The previously cited Washington Post-Schar School poll showed that these concerns had actually gone down from 60% of people in 2021 saying these were reasons they chose homeschooling to only 34% of homeschooling families in 2023. Some of the top reasons for homeschooling in a Reddit homeschooling thread were to keep kids safe from bullying, to make sure their kids kept a love of learning, and to spend more time with their children.
Although there are parents who homeschool for religious reasons, it’s no longer the primary reason for homeschooling in 2024, so I’m going to say that this prediction wasn’t as accurate.
Tech is paving the way
In 2020 and 2021 many public schools were offering virtual instruction and it was hit or miss as to how well that worked. Homeschoolers also pivoted to using virtual platforms such as Skype and Zoom to continue holding co-op classes and providing social opportunities. In 2024, the options for learning virtually are almost limitless for public, private, and homeschool students. There are virtual public schools in nearly every state that allow students to learn from home and there are many homeschool virtual schools as well, such as Time for Learning, AIM Academy Online, and Power Homeschool (https://www.powerhomeschool.org/) to name just a few.
David’s prediction that, “ . . .parents who are frustrated with public school pandemic policies can easily take their children’s education into their own hands and create alternative, virtual learning communities that connect like-minded families in just a few quick clicks online,” has proven to be absolutely true.
It’s early in 2024 as I write this review of the predictions that David made in 2021. At this time I see a bright future for homeschooling. I predict that many public schools will move to a virtual option instead of students being in a brick and mortar building. I also predict that more students will be homeschooling or in various types of alternative schools instead of attending any type of public school.
What do you think will happen with education in the future?