The COVID Pandemic forced school closing has been a blessing in a way to the Homeschool Movement because as schools are slowly starting to provide in-person services again, parents are rejecting them in favor of alternatives.
In Wake County, North Carolina, a place of explosive population growth and massive school expansions over the past ten years, parents are saying they are not going back to public school after numerous conflicts from over “woke” curriculums and after draconian school closures that left students without educational instruction for close to a year.
Local News WRAL reported on Thursday on a crisis of crashing enrollment:
“The first of many years of expected enrollment decline has hit the Wake County Public School System. It’s the first drop in students in decades.
The more than 3,000-student decline for the state’s largest school district was buoyed by students not enrolling in or attending their traditional schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, district officials expect lower enrollment through 2030 because of lower birth rates.
“We expect birth rates to trend downward for the next 10 years,” Emily Lucas, Wake County’s chief financial officer, told the Wake County Board of Education earlier this week.”
A desire for in-person instruction is what prompted Jessica Arner to take her son Beckett out of Wake County public schools and place him in a homeschooling co-op.
The rules on when schools would be open and how many could be in school left Arner uncertain what would happen for the school year.
“It just seemed very up in the air,” Arner said.
Nicole Cribbs, a Johnston County parent, withdrew her daughter Paisley and enrolled her into the private Kids R Kids kindergarten in Clayton so Paisley could learn inside a physical classroom.
“It is expensive; I will say that,” Cribbs said. “But I’d rather have her have that face-to-face learning. The actual teacher in the room, and her having actual interaction with children because she’s a very social child.”
“How ironic that parents are choosing to homeschool because they want their children to have social interaction…. Maybe it is the end to the “what about socialization” questions we homeschooling families are continually compelled to answer,” William Berkimier wrote in reaction to the news.
Interestingly intent notices for Homeschool have been increasing for some time in North Carolina.
The growth of homeschooling in North Carolina has been explosive, jumping from 43,316 schools and 77,065 students in 2009-10 to 94,863 schools 149,173 students in 2019-20. That’s a 119% increase in the number of homeschools and a 93% increase in the homeschool student population, according to DNPE records.
North Carolina has the largest K-12 homeschool population in the country. If homeschools were their own district, based on student population, it would be the third-largest district in the state behind the Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg school districts. EdChoice.org’s data shows that around 8% of North Carolina K-12 students are homeschooled. This is more than double the next top state, Arkansas.
The boom in homeschooling can partly be attributed as a reaction by parents to school closures and lack of in-person instruction due to the coronavirus pandemic. The overall public approval of homeschooling, and school choice in general, however, has been consistent, and in some cases, has grown.”
PARENTS ARE NOT EVEN STARTING
Wade Martin, assistant superintendent for school choice, planning and assignment, said the drop in enrollment is expected district-wide. The largest drop in enrollment this year was in kindergarten, he said.
Martin presented the enrollment projections to the school board earlier this week. The district will likely have an increase in enrollment next year, with kindergarten and first-grade students increasing in numbers, Martin told the board.
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And with the benefits of Homeschooling, over leftist indoctrination in public schools, perhaps in a way, the pandemic has been a blessing for some.
Kari is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Voter Engagement, Cultural Marxism and Campaigns. She has been a grassroots volunteer with the GOP, on and off for 18 years. She is a Homeschool Mom in North Carolina and loves Photojournalism and Citizen Journalism. @Saorsa1776