Year In Review: The Top Homeschool Stories of 2016
It is customary to pause and reminisce about a year's worth of events, accomplishments, failures, and pop culture.
The homeschool community, comprising 3-4% of all K-12 age population, had a memorable year. For the homeschool community, every year is arguably more memorable than the last, as homeschooling has grown by 61.8% in the last 10 years.
Let's walk through the biggest and most important homeschooling news stories and events of 2016.
Obama's Education Secretary “Concerned” About Homeschooling
This story ruffled the feathers of many homeschool families and primarily made headlines on conservative media sites. King did not cite any study data, and existing studies show that homeschoolers out-perform their public school peers.
The secretary seemed to also be unaware that homeschoolers also out perform public school students on average SAT scores.
This Black ‘Family of Geniuses’ Show off Benefits of Homeschooling
This article by the Atlanta Black Star was the most shared article of 2016. The incredible academic achievements of the multi-talented family from Boca Raton, Florida, took social media by storm, racking up almost 75,000 Facebook shares.
Homeschooling is the smartest way to teach kids in the 21st century
The second most shared article of 2016, receiving over 61,000 Facebook shares and 500+ tweets, came from Business Insider. The article was published on August 20th and featured a New Jersey mom who argued that homeschooling is a more "sensible" option than attending public school.
"You're not going to be put in a work environment where everybody came from the same school and everybody is the same age," she told Business Insider. "In my opinion, the traditional school atmosphere is not the real world at all."
What changed this teacher's mind about home schooling
In February, the Chicago Tribune received 44,000 Facebook shares when it published a public school teacher's reflections about home education. He thought the most important benefits missed by stay-at-home kids were the socialization aspect and the critical thinking and communication skills learned from group dynamics in a classroom.
However, once he started teaching at a college level, everything changed. Read the rest of the story to find out why.
This Is Why All Those Weird Moms Homeschool
Jessica Smartt's blog, Smartter Each Day, racked up 32,000 Facebook shares and 800+ Pinterest pins of her blog post, This Is Why All Those Weird Moms Homeschool.
"Dear Homeschooling," the blog post begins, "I’ve been dissing you a lot lately, and I’m sorry about that. We had a rocky start, you and I. Honestly, I thought we’d get along easier. You know, with me being a teacher and all. You were shockingly difficult at times."
Her beautiful prose and captivating writing style are well deserving of the attention she received.
Home School Mentioned In Trump's Plan For First 100 Days
This announcement by Homeschool Base was shared almost 26,000 times on Facebook. It was our most shared article and the 6th most-shared story of the year. Because very little was known about Trump's policy on education, this article generated lots of conversation.
More Black Families are Choosing Homeschool Over Traditonal Learning. This is Why.
This contributor article to The Huffington Post garnered around 25,000 Facebook shares. Apparently, there are many factors that explain a shift away from traditional schooling for black families.
“Many Black people are now waking up to the fact that the public school system cannot offer their children a liberating education, where their natural gifts are nurtured in the right cultural context. I have been homeschooling for 20 years and the rewards incredibly outweigh the challenges..." Read the full story.
NPR's All Things Considered covered this topic as well - In African-American Communities, Growing Interest In Home-Schooling.
How Homeschooling Helped Propel Simone Biles to the Olympic Gold
This was one of many viral headlines of the 2016 Rio Games. PJ Media published this headline and it received 21,000+ Facebook shares. The story gives an inside scoop into the life of Olympic Star athlete Simone Biles and her decision to opt-out of a "normal" high school. Biles said that she missed being around her friends at school, but "in the end, it worked out."