During the Covid-19 pandemic, many parents became teachers, whether they wanted to be or not. Virtual learning was challenging for many, especially parents forced to work from home while helping to teach their kids. But on the flip side, many families learned about the values and benefits of flexible, home learning. They decided to embrace homeschooling as an alternative education form that fits their lifestyle and academic goals.
According to data from the Associated Press, the number of homeschooling students increased by 63% in the 2020-2021 school year, then fell by only 17% in the 2021-2022 school year, which was still well above pre-pandemic levels. And the homeschooling rate increased significantly for Black and Latino students, increasing from 2 percent to 9 percent for Hispanic students, according to the Washington Post.
While homeschooling is certainly not for everyone, and it’s not a choice to be taken lightly, it is an interesting and potentially life-changing form of schooling that many learners, educators, and parents could benefit from, especially if they are engaging in bicultural and bilingual learning.
Homeschooling allows children to access personalized learning and focus on what they want to study based on their academic interests, whether psychology, history, finance, English, foreign studies, or STEM. Personalized learning provides intellectual flexibility, and the ability to cater a daily learning schedule to meet your needs also provides flexibility for families, caregivers, and students to learn when they want (not when the school system deems the start/end of the school day).
Culturally Diverse Curriculum
Many families feel that the public education system and school curriculums do not effectively cater to their interests and needs regarding cultural learning, bicultural education, and bilingualism.
Author, freelance education writer/materials creator, and founder of the educational resources site MommyMaestra.com, Monica Olivera, felt this deeply, so she began her homeschooling journey and built her business to support Hispanic homeschoolers, bilingual educators, and parents. She quickly learned that homeschooling “provided the perfect opportunity to teach my kids about their heritage.”
She turned her passion for raising bicultural children into a business. “I wanted to pass on my heritage to my own children, and that passion grew until I one day realized that I didn’t want a great education with an emphasis on heritage just for my kids, but for all Hispanic children,” said Monica.
Students Don’t Have to Deal with Peer Pressure or Bullying
The horrors of school bullying, peer pressure, cyberbullying, competition, and teenage drama are not a concern with homeschooling. Children can learn in a more peaceful, drama-free environment and avoid toxic relationships often associated with school, especially during the teenage years. Experts agree that children who are bullied often suffer from depression and anxiety and have decreased academic achievement, so this benefit is hugely important for many families and kids.
A Focus on Family Bonding
More time learning at home with your children means more time for family bonding and togetherness and less time chauffeuring your kids all over time, to and from school each day. It means more quality time to connect and learn together and fewer distractions from what really matters — and since we all know kids grow up too fast, the ability to cherish and maximize time together and grow as a family is priceless.