Homeschooling is often seen as a way for parents to remove their child from a public education they don’t agree with. But homeschooling is about more than just avoiding public schools. Homeschooling allows students to create an innovative, personalized education. Homeschoolers are an example of how Missouri students, including those in a traditional public school, could take advantage of different education opportunities if students had education savings accounts (ESAs).
A recent study on homeschooling found that homeschooling methods are changing to adopt new approaches to education. The study found homeschool students often combine options like online resources, co-ops, extracurricular options, and homeschool assistance programs for their education. According to the study “. . . homeschooling families are finding new ways to organize and are blurring the line between traditional school and homeschool.”
Even though homeschoolers are still a small portion of students (3 percent nationally), many more students struggle with public schools because of issues like bullying or feeling lost in a large class. However, not every student who wants a personalized education can afford the time and resources for homeschooling.
If Missouri offered ESAs, then more students could access a personalized education. Parents use an ESA to direct education funding into the resources and services that would best support their child. Parents can choose from different learning methods or environments, using a combination of different services to create a complete education. An ESA program wouldn’t just benefit homeschoolers, as ESAs can serve many different groups of students.
There are many creative ways to shape an education, but many Missouri students are still lacking options. An ESA program would allow families to direct their child’s education and open up opportunities for students across the state.