Homeschooling grows in NYC suburbs

by Grace

Concerned about peer pressure, testing and the Common Core, more parents explore home-schooling.

A Journal News analysis of state data found that Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties had a 31 percent increase of home-schooled students from 2005 (the earliest the state could provide data for) to 2013. Statewide, more than 20,000 students receive their primary instruction at home.

Westchester County, the one closest to New York City, experienced a 25% growth in homeschoolers.

Concern about Common Core Standards

Sylvia Diaz, coordinator of Tri-State Homeschoolers Association, which caters to home-schoolers in the New York metropolitan area, said she had seen an uptick in inquiries this year from parents concerned about the implementation of the Common Core education standards.

“It has wreaked havoc with a lot of parents, and they say their children are confused and anxious,” said the LaGrangeville resident.

Westchester County homeschoolers
Westchester County, one of the wealthiest and most highly taxed in the country,  is home to many highly regarded public schools.  Most Westchester homeschooling families live in those districts that report lower academic achievement levels.  Many older homeschooled students participate in the abundant selection of classes and activities offered in neighboring New York City.  Yonkers, which borders NYC, is particularly convenient for this purpose.

 

WESTCHESTER COUNTY HOMESCHOOLED STUDENTS, 2012-2013 SCHOOL YEAR

(Click graph to enlarge.)

201411.WestchesterHomeschooled3

 

Numbers for homeschooled students in more New York counties are available at this link.

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Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, “Opting out of the classroom: Parents explore home-schooling”, lohud.com, November 10, 2014.

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3 Comments to “Homeschooling grows in NYC suburbs”

  1. I am not surprised by the numbers in Yonkers and Mount Vernon. Parents there are being hit by the double whammy of disastrous, underfunded schools, and all the closures of Catholic schools which were the traditional alternative in those districts. In fact, looking closely at this, you will notice that the strong districts have very low homeschooling rates. I suspect bad school districts are more likely the cause than Common Core.

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  2. I agree that low-performing districts are probably the main driver in Westchester County. Not sure if that holds in the other counties mentioned.

    Families typically don’t move to Scarsdale, with its astronomical COL, with the intent of homeschooling. OTOH, I’m aware of families that have moved to Yonkers fully intending to homeschool.

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  3. It isn’t just low performing per se, but low performing with an income mix. There are a quite a few middle class people living in Yonkers, Mt Vernon, and Greenburgh despite the schools. Port Chester, on the other hand, has very few middle class people because of the way they split the area between Port Chester and Rye Brook. The families in Port Chester are simply too poor and pressed to make a living to be home schooling.
    Traditionally, the middle class families in Yonkers sent their kids to Catholic schools. That is less and less of an option, so they have to either move or homeschool.

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