A recent survey of over 1,000 parents of children aged 5 to 20 has revealed a significant increase in fathers taking on the role of homeschooling their children. The survey, conducted by the Washington Post, shows that in just four years, the proportion of dads who are responsible for educating their homeschooled kids has jumped from 5 percent to 40 percent.
The pandemic has undoubtedly played a part in this shift, as more and more parents were forced to work from home and take on additional family responsibilities. According to previous studies, men have been increasingly taking on unpaid work, such as household chores and childcare, in recent years. This trend, along with the flexibility of remote work, may have contributed to the rise in fathers becoming at-home teachers.
However, it is not just the pandemic that has sparked this change. The survey also indicates that factors such as dissatisfaction with the formal education system, concerns about bullying and safety at school, and the need for flexibility for children with special needs or busy extracurricular schedules, have all contributed to the decision to homeschool. And now, more and more fathers are taking on this role alongside mothers, challenging traditional gender and family roles.
This trend can also be seen in the rise of homeschooling across the country. In New York City, for example, there has been an 88 percent increase in homeschooling since the pandemic hit, with around 7,000 more children being homeschooled. On a national level, there are now approximately 3.7 million homeschooled students, according to the National Home Education Research Institute.
While the majority of homeschooling is still carried out by mothers, the increase in fathers taking on this role is a significant shift. And it seems that the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend. The survey found that local school policies around COVID-19 were a significant factor in parents’ decisions to homeschool, with 31 percent saying that the policies were too strict and 27 percent saying they were not strict enough.
With the rise in remote work and the flexibility it offers, it is possible that more fathers will continue to take on the role of homeschooling their children in the future. Research has shown that men who work from home also spend more time on housework and with their families, suggesting that a shift towards a more family-oriented lifestyle may contribute to this trend.
In conclusion, while homeschooling has traditionally been seen as a role for mothers, the pandemic and changing gender roles are leading to more fathers taking on this responsibility. As more and more families opt for homeschooling, it will be interesting to see how this trend continues in the years to come.