Last week the Associated Press reported that home schooling’s surge has continued nationwide despite COVID-19 generally subsiding in many areas and schools reopening.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, home schooling has seen an uptick across the country.
Last year the U.S. Census Bureau reported the percentage of households home schooling in Arkansas jumped from 6.8% in spring of 2020 to 10.3% by the following fall.
All told, as many as one in ten families in Arkansas home schooled their children during the 2020-2021 school year.
Private schools in Arkansas also saw an increase in enrollment following the pandemic.
Two years later, even after schools reopened and vaccines became widely available, many parents have chosen to continue directing their children’s educations themselves.
Homeschooling numbers this year dipped from last year’s all-time high, but are still significantly above pre-pandemic levels, according to data obtained and analyzed by The Associated Press.
Families that may have turned to homeschooling as an alternative to hastily assembled remote learning plans have stuck with it — reasons include health concerns, disagreement with school policies and a desire to keep what has worked for their children.
These numbers seem to underscore that parents are taking a strong interest in their children’s education — and that’s a good thing.
Research shows parental involvement generally is tied to better educational outcomes for children. That’s true no matter how families choose to educate their children.
However, home schooling is particularly good for many families, because it lets them choose the education that’s best for them.
For 24 years Family Council’s home school division, the Education Alliance, has supported home schooling in Arkansas, because it gives families the flexibility to provide the education that’s right for their children.
It’s good to see more families taking advantage of this excellent opportunity.
Many churches have shut their doors in the face of Covid, but one large church in Denver hasn’t just shut their doors; they’ve sold them. According to Christianity Today, “The Potter’s House Denver will sell its property in Arapahoe County and continue to worship exclusively online.”
We often hear that because the Church isn’t a building, it doesn’t matter whether it meets in one. But trading in-person worship for an online experience misses what the Church actually is. It isn’t just a place for individual contemplation on “spiritual things.” That’s not the Christianity of the Bible but the pietism of Gnosticism. Embodied worship is an essential part of a Christian worldview.
If our faith is the sort of thing we can live out alone, never needing the presence of others, then are we truly still the Church? The Church is the ecclesia, the called ones, the gathered ones, the community of the saints of God. If we aren’t a “we,” we are not the Church.