NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WKBW) — Latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau are showing an explosion of homeschooling across the country.
Homeschooling has doubled since last spring when the pandemic hit.
“That the pendulum is swinging — people want to take ownership of education at home,” remarked Elijah Moses, homeschool parent.
- Nationally home schooling jumped from 5.4% to a little more than 11.1%
- New York State homeschooling climbed from 1.2% to 10.1%
- Increase among black families is five-fold — from 3.3% to 16.1%
“I think a lot of parents from the African American community are taking more ownership of how they educate their child,” Moses explained.
Moses of Buffalo decided to homeschool his two children.
His oldest now 20, is no longer home schooled, but his 15-year-old daughter remains in homeschooling.
Moses says he's not surprised to see home schooling numbers skyrocket.
“I’m not really surprised that more parents have turned to homeschooling,” Moses reacted. “
Mose has added an extra layer to home schooling. About ten years ago he founded a program called ‘Wise Young Builders'.
The program is for children ages 8 to 15.
At the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, Moses partners with the center to teach carpentry to strengthen math skills and train students for future careers.
He says he created the program for other home school families when they learned he was teaching his own son the skills.
“The customer came to me and said we want all 15 of our kids to learn the same thing that your son is learning,” recalled Moses.
Moses also has a Buffalo site at The Foundry and sites in the D.C. area.
But you don't have to be home schooled to attend.
CEO of the Falls Boys and Girls Club, Rebecca Vincheski of Cheektowaga tells us her son Shaun, 10, is in the program.
"He likes the hands on nature of it — he likes the fact that they dive right in. There's a little bit of talking — a little bit of instruction, but they work with them in such a small group that they can get their hands on the wood, on the tools. on everything — right away,” Vincheski explained.
But for home school children this program provides an additional opportunity for students to socialize, while also learning a skill.
“You have to be intentional about creating opportunities for students to socialize,” declared Moses.
Families who home school are required to follow New York State guidelines.
New York State Home School Curriculum:
- NYS requires certain subjects be taught in grades 1-6, 7-8 and 9-12
- Courses must include English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Art and Music, Health, and Physical Education
- There are also particular topics that are required to be covered in grades K-12.
Moses says his daughter has been taking college credit courses and will be graduating from high school in December.
His advice if you want to home school your children.
“Look at cooperative groups in your area — look at what you can do— do not compare yourself to a traditional school system,” replied Moses.