New Report Reveals Homeschooling Rates Skyrocketed Amid 2020 School Shutdowns


The rate of households homeschooling their children doubled from the start of the pandemic last spring to the start of the new school year last September, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report released last week.

Last spring, about 5.4 percent of all U.S. households with school-aged children were homeschooling them, but that figure rose to 11 percent by last fall, according to the bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

The survey purposefully asked the question in a way to clarify that it was inquiring about genuine homeschooling and not virtual learning through a public or private school, the Census Bureau said.

Before the pandemic, household homeschooling rates had remained steady at around 3.3 percent through the past several years.

“It’s clear that in an unprecedented environment, families are seeking solutions that will reliably meet their health and safety needs, their childcare needs and the learning and socio-emotional needs of their children,” the report said.

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Less than half of the nation’s elementary schools were open for full-time classroom learning as of last month.

Some states saw bigger jumps than others. Alaska went from 9.6 percent of households to 27.5 percent. In Florida, the rate jumped from 5 percent to 18.1 percent, and it grew in Vermont from 4.1 percent to 16.9 percent.

Even Massachusetts, which has some of the nation’s best public schools, went from 1.5 percent of households to 12.1 percent.

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Among the nation’s largest metro areas, Detroit, Phoenix and Boston had the largest increases.

The Household Pulse Survey was created by the Census Bureau last year to provide real-time data on the effect of the coronavirus on U.S. households.

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