‘People are just literally jumping ship’: Homeschooling surges across the nation, local families make switch

SPOKANE, Wash. — The choices vary for every family, but more families are making the decision to leave traditional public school and homeschool instead. The U.S. Census Bureau reports homeschool numbers have nearly doubled since the pandemic started. Local families say it’s the best choice for them.

“This last year, with how everything has shifted and has been so chaotic, I didn’t feel it was right to keep my kids in a place where they were getting jerked around,” said Sarah Beiers, a mom of three.

She had planned to keep her kids in public school but knew that wasn’t viable anymore. She wants more control of the curriculum her kids are learning and more flexibility to use their time differently. She says kids spend way too much time at a desk instead of learning by doing.

“I just feel really strongly that that this is kind of conditioning our kids to be 9-5 workers, little worker bees, instead of being expressive and having their God-given gifts brought to the forefront,” Beiers said.

She said there are so many resources out there for parents to make the switch, and the local homeschool community has been extremely supportive. Her third and sixth graders will also join a local co-op three days out of the week. They’ll meet for in-person instruction and fun activities. She says she isn’t at all worried about her kids interacting with others because they’ll be around other kids so much.

Nicole Puckett has been a homeschool advocate for the past 25 years. She homeschooled all her children and now mentors other families looking to make the switch. She’s having more families reach out than ever before.

“This year, people are just literally jumping ship,” Puckett said.

She’s getting messages every day with questions about how families can start the process which she says is fairly easy because of all the resources and support available. She says any family can succeed at homeschooling.

“With all the support systems that are out there, they just need to reach out and get started,” Puckett said.

She thinks homeschooling is a great option for families because it takes into account that every student learns differently and has different skills to hone in on. Homeschooling allows that flexbility while government-funded schools take it away from families.

“I think the government has decided what our kids are supposed to be learning and churning them out like we’re on a conveyor belt,” Puckett said.

Beier is extremely excited to play such an integral role in her children’s education. She can’t wait to see them flourish in this new environment.

If you’re considering homeschooling or have questions about how to get started, you can reach out to Wildflowers International HERE with questions about navigating the process.

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