The Census Bureau released a report on Monday showing that homeschooling, separate from virtual learning, has doubled during the coronavirus pandemic.
When the pandemic first began and schools shut down, homeschooling in the U.S. was reported among 5.4 percent of households with school-aged children. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year in September, 11.1 percent of such households were homeschooling their children, the Household Pulse Survey showed.
The report clarified that the survey asked about homeschooling as a choice of school and not online or virtual learning that was through a public or private school.
“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 Census researchers concluded in the report.
There was a significant increase among the Black community, with those choosing homeschooling going from 3.3 percent to 16.1 percent of households.
There were varying increases across states, as well, with Massachusetts and Florida seeing an increase of over 10 percentage points in families choosing homeschooling.
The increase in homeschooling among certain groups and states could be due to how hard they were hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Black community being disproportionately affected by the virus.
The increase in homeschooling comes at a time where parents are concerned that the pandemic has set their children back academically and socially.
A study showed that students are falling behind in subject areas like math amid online learning.