LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 25: James Laurie, aged 8, is assisted in his online work by his mother Laurette as he continues home schooling, on January 25, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. Under current government policy, schools in England wouldn't open before the February half-term break at the earliest, but the prime minister has declined to commit to reopening them before Easter. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

It’s been a tough year and a half for students, teachers, and families across the country. Distance learning, social distancing policies, mask mandates, vaccine requirements, and critical race theory are all creating polarizing opinions around public schools. And as a result, the number of North Carolina Families opting to switch to homeschool is at an all-time high in the state. Officials noticed the trend of increased homeschool registration at the beginning of the pandemic.

Many parents saw the benefits of homeschooling and have no plans to send their children back to in-person schools. Parents say it is “easier” than they would have previously thought. Others were worried over the inconsistencies throughout the pandemic and saw homeschooling as a better quality option. One parent told WCTI-12 that they liked being able to “choose curriculum that matches their child’s personality”.  The North Carolina Department of Administration  saw an increase of over 100% in the number of families filing to homeschool their children. 9,000 new families opted for homeschooling in the 2019-20 school year compared to 19,000 last year.

Many parents say the benefits of homeschooling outweigh the issues, and even post-pandemic they plan to continue the programs for their children. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in the coming years. I think most everyone can agree that online school was less than ideal for the majority of students and has led to many students falling behind. Kudos to parents who are doing what they believe is best for the future success of their children. All kids should have the opportunity to succeed and parents who are willing and able to fight for that opportunity. Hopefully, public schools will be able to return to normal this year.