Pandemic fuels increased interest in homeschooling for Kansas families

Home schooling
Posted at 9:57 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 23:49:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More Kansas families are signing up for homeschooling this summer than had at this time last year, continuing a recent trend in the state.

According to data from the Kansas Department of Education, the number of new non-accredited private school registrations increased more than 54% in May and so far in June 2020 compared to May and June last year.

Homeschool numbers have increased in nine of the last 12 months.

The state requires parents planning to homeschool their children to sign up as a non-accredited private school or as a satellite of a private school.

Non-Accredited private school registration in Kansas

MonthNew SchoolsMonthNew Schools
July 2018149July 2019180
August 2018273August 2019330
September 2018103September 2019149
October 2018102October 2019109
November 201872November 2019102
December 201876December 201986
January 2019138January 2020136
February 2019113February 2020126
March 2019104March 2020103
April 201992April 202063
May 201962May 202091
June 201957Through June 22, 202093
2018-19 totals1,3412019-20 totals1,568
Monthly average111.8Monthly average130.7

"I have heard a variety of different people, friends of friends, looking into it, relatives inquiring what their options are," Jacklynn Walters, a mother of four, said.

She has been homeschooling her children their whole lives, first in Missouri and now in Kansas.

Walters believes an increased interest in homeschooling may be tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of what schools will look like in the fall.

"They're a little apprehensive to the unknown," Walters said. "They don't know what it's going to look like for their children to send them back to school, so having an option and looking into that option (is important). Knowledge is power."

Missouri and Kansas have different requirements for homeschooling.

Missouri requires a child's parents or guardians to maintain records for all children under the age of 16, including samples of the student's work, a plan book or a record outlining subjects taught and educational activities used as well as academic evaluations.

The state requires `1,000 hours of instruction every school term.

Kansas requires parents or guardians to register as a homeschool. Children are required to be taught for the same period of time as public schools, which equates to 186 days.

For more information about homeschooling in the metro, visit Midwest Parent Educators.