The popularity of homeschooling continues to trend upward in the post-pandemic era of education, encouraging new homeschool programs like Covenant Journey Academy that have risen to meet the demand.
A 2023 Washington Post analysis showed that homeschooling is the fastest growing form of education in the U.S., with some areas experiencing over a 100% increase in homeschool enrollment compared to the 2017-2018 school year.
“It’s amazing how a curse can become a blessing,” Shawn Akers, Covenant Journey Academy president and CEO, told The Lion. “I think what Covid did was pull back the curtain and force the American parent to confront the realities that already existed in the American education system.”
“What parents found is that the system is in crisis. It alerted parents to both the quality and the content that their children were receiving and repositioned the American parent to begin looking for options,” Akers added.
Launched in May of 2022, Covenant Journey Academy represents the vast expansions that traditional homeschooling has undergone in recent years.
Covenant Journey Academy advertises itself as a “full-service K-12 online Christian academy that is available to families and private schools around the world 24/7/365, with more than 150 courses all taught by certified teachers, along with more than 30 college courses taught by qualified university faculty.”
The program offers specialized education options that are typically unavailable in public or some private school settings, including an array of language classes such as Spanish, French, Latin, German, Chinese and American Sign Language. Akers told The Lion that some students graduate with an Associate’s Degree through completing dual enrollment courses in high school.
“I think homeschool isn’t facing the same environment that it was in decades past, when parents really had to bear the full brunt of the educational process, go it alone, and just figure it out,” Akers shared. “Homeschool has never been easier or more affordable than it is now that you have substantial resources available to homeschool parents and substantial community available to homeschool families.”
As stakeholders process the impact of restrictive Covid lockdown policies on enrollment numbers, some public education activists are critiquing the lack of government oversight in the increasingly-popular homeschool process – a factor that, ironically, is the reason why many parents have made the switch.
“I think the real intrigue is that once the schools opened back up, experts expected parents to rush their kids back into public schools – but they didn’t,” Akers explained. “Parents are very concerned about politics in public schools – in other words, they don’t want their children to be indoctrinated. They don’t want radical political activists telling their children what to believe, they want education according to their values.”