Vermont Homeschool Enrollment Already Up 75%
I'm confident numbers are doubling nationwide this year. Probably more than that.
Amid Pandemic, Vermont Homeschool Enrollments Surge
When Vermont schools went remote in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19, Bridget Butler of St. Albans suddenly found herself having to facilitate at-home learning for her three children, ages 7, 8 and 9.
By April break, her family had abandoned online learning in favor of a more relaxed routine.
Butler started seeing some of the positive aspects of having her kids at home. The stress of hustling to get three kids up and on the bus by 7 a.m. every morning disappeared. The “witching hour” — that time at the end of the day when everyone is tired and cranky — also vanished. Her kids began learning at their own pace and had time to explore their personal interests.
Those factors, as well as the uncertainty of what school will look and feel like in the fall, spurred Butler to make the decision to withdraw her children from St. Albans City School and homeschool them this coming school year. This week, she submitted the necessary paperwork to the Agency of Education.
“I’d rather create my own hoops to jump through than jump through other people’s hoops,” she explained, adding that she’s hopeful her kids will be able to go back to in-person school when there’s a coronavirus vaccine.
Butler is not alone. According to data from the Agency of Education, homeschooling enrollments are up 75 percent from last year. As of July 15, the state had received 1,634 homeschooling enrollments, according to Ted Fisher, the Agency of Education's director of communications and legislative affairs. On the same date last year, just 932 homeschooling enrollments had been submitted.