North Dakota saw a 42.2% increase in home educated students last year

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:05 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A growing number of North Dakota students are staying home for school.

The National Center for Education Statistics says there were more than one and a half million home schooled children in 2016.

In North Dakota more than 5,300 students were home schooled last year, which was a 42.2% increase from the year before.

This year’s numbers won’t be available until next month, but we spoke with one family, to find out why they made the switch to home education last year.

Eden McLeod’s children are enrolled in evening classes at their ranch in McClusky. Josie and Wyatt do homework during the day and are taught at night.

“We’ve been thinking about it for a while. It fits well with hour ranching schedule, and I wanted to base it on Christian education,” said mom Eden McLeod.

Eden’s students combine chores and studies while their mom works.

“Sometimes I like literature, and we have these cards that we have to read words I like too, and I like handwriting,” said third-grader Josie McLeod.

The coronavirus pandemic prompted the McLeod’s to home school last year, and the experience was positive.

“I like to do science at home, learn about insects and I like to do math sometimes,” said seventh-grader Wyatt McLeod.

The ability to incorporate Christianity into the curriculum was another reason this family decided to make the switch.

“Being able to offer the Christian education, I feel I have that I have the tools to equipped them now when they’re struggling and also to help them grow when they are excelling,” said Eden.

Eden says the online learning many schools adopted help her get access to curriculum, which helped her obtain the tools to become a better teacher.

Families in North Dakota that home school can get support from the North Dakota Home School Association.

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