FAMILIES OF THE WORLD UNITE! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS. The revolution is here, and it is now: The Surprising Covid Legacy for America’s Home Schoolers


It was mid-morning, midweek and midwinter in the remote Badlands National Park of South Dakota — about as far as one could get from a schoolhouse. Yet throughout this surreal Midwestern moonscape of rainbow rock formations, I repeatedly ran into families with school-aged children. Why weren’t they in class? The reply was always the same: This is our classroom. We are homeschooled.


While many of the world’s children are back to the old routine — and many parents are horrified at the idea of ever having to teach them at home again — an estimated 3.7mn US households are homeschooling children. The proportion of homeschooled children in the US nearly doubled from 2.8 per cent before the pandemic to 5.4 per cent in 2020-21, according to the US Department of Education.


These do not represent the traditional cliché of homeschoolers: white families in conservative states, who sometimes avoid mainstream education for religious reasons. Some 41 per cent of homeschooled children were non-white even before the pandemic, according to a 2019 DoE report. Then, after the pandemic began, homeschooling increased more among African-Americans than among whites.