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  1. #1

    Default Do you think homeschooling is on the rise, or declining, in your area?

    I noticed that there were something like 3 homeschool groups in my town, a few years ago, and realizing that my younger boys were going to need some friends, I was going to try to come to some meetings and meet whoever is homeschooling now.

    But the groups I used to know are defunct, and when I ran into some familiar faces from homeschooling groups, by chance at the park, they told me that they no longer homeschooled, and were even sending the young ones to school.

    It seems so far, that homeschooling has sort of dried up in my area, and now I have no idea where to look to start that whole process over again of attempting to find new homeschool friends.

    Wondering what others' mileage is on this.
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

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  3. #2


    In my area it certainly is going strong, but I would imagine that for a lot of people it doesn't turn out to be what they think. In this social media/blog world, homeschooling looks so glamorous and the best thing to do for your children and don't your children deserve the best. But in reality, it is a lot of work and takes dedication and the ability to not compare yourself with others so you don't lose your mind. This can be really hard to do in the internet-age. So I guess I can totally understand why someone would go whole-hog into homeschooling and then burn-out and send them all to school. I have been seeing more blogs discussing the much less glamorous world of homeschooling and hopefully that will help Moms and Dads better understand what they are getting themselves into.
    DS14 with ASD, DD11 and DS8

  4. #3


    It's really hard for me to say since we moved so much when I was homeschooling my older kids. I can't even remember the name of the first homeschool group that we joined 15 years ago, much less who was in it. We haven't even lived in that state in over 10 years...

    I have seen that a lot of the online groups I used to frequent when I homeschooled before have dried up. Some of my favorite curriculum has not really updated much, if at all, since I bought it 10 - 15 years ago. I can't imagine new homeschoolers finding it as attractive as some of the shiny, new curriculum out now. Many of the people I knew through those boards have "aged out" and even though they still homeschool, they no longer hang around the forums for the curriculum they used to use when their kids were little.

  5. #4


    It's the same in my area, Crunchy. Are your boys into gaming? My kid plays on Minetest, Hedge Wars, and Open Clonk instead of the monkey bars and the swing set. His closest friends don't live anywhere near us and don't even have the same native language he does.

    I tried to start a forum for our kids awhile back but it kind of dried up so I consolidated it with another forum for homeschooled kids I moderate that was more active but not exclusively secular. The old one isn't closed, just abandoned, so we could always try to revive it.

    My answer to your question is yes and no: it has become more mainstream. That is good and bad. Normals don't look at little ds as if he has three heads or threaten to "report (me) to the authorities" but there aren't any more Park Days, chess clubs, information nights at the library and all that 20th century stuff.

    People talk about homeschooling the same way they exchange recipes and talk about the last movie they saw. You might have better luck encouraging your kids to socialize with other free software users or other Shetland Sheepdog owners or other guitar players.

    Just a thought.

  6. #5


    It's on the rise here. And when I read the numbers nationwide, they seem to be saying it's growing, though it's not like we have a clear picture because no one is tracking it clearly in a nationwide way. I know that the numbers for my not-a-state have grown though.

    I think within the overall trend of homeschooling growing, I'm sure that lots of things cause groups to fold or areas to see a decline. Schools get better, new private or charter schools open, states open K12 or Connections online schools, etc - all of that can greatly influence the population but is very localized. And IME, when groups start, they encourage people to homeschool. I think a lot of our homeschool friends stuck with it because we all had each other. And I'm sure that there being a newish high school centered co-op around here is helping people choose homeschooling. But homeschool groups don't tend to last forever. Kids grow up, people move on, etc. And when there's not a community to step into, it can be a little harder to choose homeschooling so the numbers go down until someone starts something else.
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  7. #6


    I could tell you some horror stories about when the charters moved into my local area, but I won't because I can't do it without saying some potentially hurtful things that might be misinterpreted as personal.

    I am not a fan of charter schools.

    A better way of turning frustration and sadness into something positive is to be available for anyone who is ready to shed their charter like so much dead skin and find common ground with those of you who like your charters.

    I'm trying, really I am.

    ETA: Farrar, I have technical difficulties with this site so mentally add a like from me to your last post.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Enlightened Artmama's Avatar
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    Jan 2015


    It seems to me that it is on the rise here in NYC but it might just be that I am more connected to the broader community...

  9. #8


    Yep, charters.... Our 130+ families inclusive HS group has practically dissolved during this past year because quite a few charters moved in and started up. Now, we will have to wait a bit for the first charter drop-outs....
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD8, DD6

  10. #9


    I share some ill-feeling about charters, if not for the reputation they have depending on where they exist and whether they operate with any meaningful regulations and conscience, then at least for the unavoidable fact that they essentially take public funds (taxpayer money meant to support public schools) and siphon it into private (corporate) pockets. It's wrong, morally and philosophically. However, not all charters are alike, and some people find relief from a charter school that happens to be very child-centered and flexible, that can operate outside the rigidity of the local public schools and make school a happy and growth-promoting experience for kids who otherwise were shriveling on the vine due to conditions and/or policies at the local public school.

    The charter my daughter is considering for high school is a way to make an 80-year-old campus of New England Music Camp, always before just a summer program, into a year-round facility, by using it as a school the rest of the year, but a school that emphasizes dance, music, and theater, which take up the students' morning, and the core academics are "blended learning" online, but the local public schools also use blended online learning, and in fact only have one textbook any more..the rest is done on the school-issued laptops or ipads or chromebooks or whatever they decide on next.

    So there's no getting around schools using Pearson (Compass) or K-12 Inc. and this charter happens to use K-12 Inc whereas the public schools use the Pearson product: whether my daughter goes to the public high school or the charter arts-based school, she'll be using "Blended learning" anyway. To its credit, the local high school has a very good science olympiad team, and a fantastic drama department...let's see if that drama department survives the current administration.

    We just can't know yet, whether the charter or the regular public high school is a better choice for DD, or even whether she might get a taste of public school and decide to come back to homeschooling for high school, or if DH and I might pull rank if we saw overwhelming evidence that public high school was doing more harm than good, and made her come back to homeschooling.

    The future is wide open, and we'll see more when we get there.
    But it sure does seem like homeschooling went through a bubble, kind of like home births: when I had my first home birth, it wasn't "catching on" so much yet, but by the time I was planning my third, my midwife had seen a huge change in the clientele: it had surged in popularity, but that wasn't necessarily good, because people who would otherwise never have considered it, were starting to come to her, but then getting cold feet and quitting midway through. They weren't the same people who would have chosen home birth anyway, even if it hadn't become something all their friends were doing.

    I think similarly, homeschooling got kind of in the limelight, such that parents who otherwise would never have considered it, decided to dabble their feet because it was the hot trend to try it, and predictably, it being no bed of roses, that created a lot of attrition in the ranks.

    Heck, even our decision to send DD to public school was influenced by her friends doing it..there is just no base left.

    However, that leaves me in a bind with DS9...he's not public-school material, frankly. I say that with love...but he is emotionally intense, prone to physical sensitivities, and his mind is just too different from what he would be expected to conform to.
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

  11. #10
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    My state says there are more new home schools every year; homeschooling enrollment has now apparently eclipsed private school enrollment. That lines up with what I see locally in person and online.
    Mama of one DS, rising fourth-grader;
    recovering schoolteacher;
    lifelong bookworm

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Do you think homeschooling is on the rise, or declining, in your area?