Texas leads the nation in the number of homeschooling families, and those numbers continue to grow as more parents seek alternatives to the state’s increasingly politicized public education system.
This past weekend, hundreds of current and prospective homeschool families converged at the Texas Home School Coalition’s “Called to Teach” convention in Allen to learn more about homeschooling options.
“We’re really happy with the turnout,” THSC President Tim Lambert told Texas Scorecard. “It’s bigger than last year, and we hope it continues to grow.”
THSC estimates more than 750,000 Texas students are being educated at home.
In 2020, the number of Texas families who chose to homeschool their kids nearly tripled, from 4.5 percent to 12.3 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
At the same time, the National Center for Education Statistics reported public school enrollment in Texas dropped 2.2 percent.
When public schools shut their doors due to concerns about COVID and sent students home to learn, many parents decided not to send their kids back.
“2020 set records for the number of families interested in homeschooling. 2021 is now crushing those records,” Lambert said last August.
Interest in homeschooling continues to rise due to backlash from COVID policies and what parents see happening in public schools, Lambert said Saturday.
Parents at the convention told Texas Scorecard the same thing: seeing their local schools push social indoctrination and infuse academics with leftist ideology turned them to homeschooling.
“After I got a look at the curriculum they sent home, I said no more,” said one North Texas mom who started homeschooling two years ago, when public schools shut down during COVID.
Another homeschool mother said she recently pulled her daughter out of a “conservative” school district after sexually explicit books were discovered in the students’ library.
“They’re clueless,” she said of local school officials who were unwilling to acknowledge the problem.
Homeschooling has always been a popular choice for Texas families seeking to provide a personalized learning experience for their students. Many want their kids educated in a way that embraces biblical values.
As public schools become increasingly hostile to family values and fail to educate students—well over half of Texas students in grades 3-8 are failing to read or do math at grade level—more and more families are exercising their parental right to direct their children’s education.
“There’s a newfound respect for homeschooling,” said Allie Beth Stuckey, a Christian conservative political commentator who spoke at the convention.
She said parents are discovering that “nothing is really neutral or apolitical. Disney World is not apolitical.”
“Children are always the unconsenting subjects of society’s progressive social experiments,” she said. “We are still called to be their defenders.”
Stuckey said parents have two options: complain about it or face the facts and realize there’s no going back.
“The only way is forward,” she said, urging parents to have courage and confidence to reject the ideology and indoctrination within the public education system and to teach their kids about truth, morality, hard work, and critical thinking.
She said families can encourage each other by building up a community of homeschoolers.
“The people here show you are not alone in this,” she said.
THSC is holding another homeschool convention June 2-4 in The Woodlands.