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
|Month||New Schools||Month||New Schools|
|July 2018||149||July 2019||180|
|August 2018||273||August 2019||330|
|September 2018||103||September 2019||149|
|October 2018||102||October 2019||109|
|November 2018||72||November 2019||102|
|December 2018||76||December 2019||86|
|January 2019||138||January 2020||136|
|February 2019||113||February 2020||126|
|March 2019||104||March 2020||103|
|April 2019||92||April 2020||63|
|May 2019||62||May 2020||91|
|June 2019||57||Through June 22, 2020||93|
|2018-19 totals||1,341||2019-20 totals||1,568|
|Monthly average||111.8||Monthly average||130.7|
"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.