the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Until the coronavirus pandemic closed schools, only a minority of children were taught at home. In the United States, an estimated 1.7 million children were homeschooled out of a national school population of 56.6 million.
School closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak mean millions of parents and guardians who have grown accustomed to sending their children to traditional schools are now faced with the task of educating them at home.
All the girls and boys
Makin’ all that noise
‘Cause they found new toys
Well we can’t salute ya can’t find a flag
If that don’t suit ya that’s a drag
School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces
No more teacher’s dirty looks yeah
Well we got no class
And we got no principals
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes
School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
My school’s been blown to…
The coronavirus has turned caregivers around the world into homeschoolers. This transition is daunting. It’s unfamiliar. And it’s also critically important to ameliorate the disruptions the virus has caused in education for the year.
Homeschooling children during the COVID-19 crisis is changing our approach to education. Experts believe the innovations teachers use during the outbreak may lead to lasting change, with technology playing a bigger role in schools in the future.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic there was little doubt that homeschooling was becoming an increasingly popular option. “From 1999 to 2012, the percentage of students who were homeschooled doubled, from an estimated 1.7 percent to 3.4 percent,” reports the National Center for Education Statistics. While the government agency suggests that growth has leveled off since then, other researchers say data is hard to come by, since many states simply don’t count people who homeschool.
As the numbers of homeschooled kids grow, their ranks expand beyond the niche populations—religious families, in particular—that originally rejected public schools. Only 16 percent of survey respondents now say they started homeschooling to provide religious instruction, says the NCES, while 34 percent report “concern about the school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure,” and others cited “dissatisfaction with academic instruction.”
In 2014, SAT “test scores of college-bound homeschool students were higher than the national average of all college-bound seniors that same year,” according to NHERI.
“Mean ACT Composite scores for homeschooled students were consistently higher than those for public school students” from 2001 through 2014, according to that testing organization, although private school students scored higher still.
By contrast public school kids “bombed the SAT” reports Bloomberg. Mixed, but generally disappointing results since then have education experts worry that many public school graduates are unprepared for either higher education or the workforce.
Home School seems to be creating “parallel societies” and “Students with greater exposure to homeschooling tend to be more politically tolerant—a finding contrary to the claims of many political theorists,” reports research published in the Journal of School Choice. Defined as “the willingness to extend civil liberties to people who hold views with which one disagrees,” this finding of greater political tolerance among the homeschooled has important ramifications in this factionalized and illiberal era.
Most of the 300 million schoolchildren currently quarantined in their homes will return to school once the epidemic fades. But some parents may discover that learning outside of schooling benefited their children and strengthened their family. They may start to wonder if homeschooling or other schooling alternatives could be a longer-term option. They may realize that education without schooling is not a crisis but an opportunity.
One of unintended consequences of the coronavirus lock down is a more customized approach to education and the development of educational content on line through video, virtual meetings as well as the development of educational content for immersive platforms like Virtual reality (VR) , Mixed Reality (MR) , and Extended reality (XR) a term referring to all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology and wearable .