TROUP, Texas — Homeschooling numbers are increasing again as East Texas closes in on the new school year.
Home school coalitions are breaking records for the number of students they’re enrolling with renewed concern about COVID-19.
Brooke Ranshaw’s home has doubled as a school for four years. There are pros and cons to the process but keeping her family safe as a pandemic rages through the country has been especially rewarding.
"My kids didn't have to worry about wearing a mask in the classroom or anything like that. We're at home," she said.
According to the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC), their call and email volume doubled in the last full week of July, rising from 536 the week before to 1,016 as families clamored to prepare for school. The following week, the call and email volume rose again to 1,232.
“In 2020 we saw the largest surge in homeschooling in history," Tim Lambert, President of THSC, said. "It appears that renewed concern about COVID-19 may be about to replicate a similar trend for 2021. We are also seeing thousands of families decide to continue homeschooling because of how well it has worked for their family. Our team is here to welcome these new families into homeschooling and help them with everything they need to be successful."
Last school year, families started fleeing to home learning. This year, more than 70% of them have decided to stay the course.
"I'm not surprised at all," Ranshaw said. "I think parents, once they get in the routine of homeschooling and seeing all the advantages over what comes across, maybe at first as a disadvantage, then they love it."
Gabe Adams will be heading into his junior year at Troup High School. He says COVID has changed the way he goes to school, but not enough for him to want to take it home.
"It’s a bit different. The masks are still a thing but only whenever there’s a big flare-up so that won’t be too bad," he said.
Adams will be starting school next week but as a homeschool teacher, Ranshaw can start whenever she wants.