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Gen Z is 74% more likely than other generations to want to homeschool their kids

Their reasons for wanting to homeschool and how they think it should be done departs from previous generations as well.

mom helping her daughter draw an apple
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Homeschooling numbers in the U.S. have more than quadrupled since 1999.

It used to be that if you said the word "homeschooler," people would conjure up images of a Bible-carrying homesteader whose parents kept them out of school so they wouldn't learn about "dangerous" ideas like carbon dating and evolution.

While those kinds of homeschoolers still exist, the homeschooling world has become much larger and more diverse in recent decades. In 1999, there were approximately 850,000 students homeschooled in the United States. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, that number had tripled to an estimated 2.5 million, and in the past year, it's grown by over a million more to 3.62 million. These days, you'll meet homeschool parents from all walks of life who have chosen to educate their own kids for all kinds of reasons, moving the "typical homeschooler" stereotype further and further from reality.

Now we have a new generation of Americans thinking about how they want their kids to be educated. Gen Z is now 12 to 26 years old, with the 20-somethings at a prime age for starting (or at least imagining) their future family lives. Interestingly enough, they are even more keen on homeschooling their kids than their parents or grandparents were.


Education technology company Age of Learning conducted an analysis of Google search trends and commissioned an online survey of 1,064 parents and aspiring parents to explore American interest in homeschooling. The results are telling, if somewhat surprising in some ways.

First, it's clear that Gen Z has pretty positive feelings about homeschooling, since nearly half of them are considering homeschooling their own kids—74% more than other generations of parents.

Of course, it's always easier to imagine homeschooling kids you don't have yet, so their age and stage of life probably accounts for a portion of that interest. But it says something that 59% of aspiring parents are more interested in homeschooling than public or private schools.

Statistics about homeschooling interest from Age of learning survey

Gen Z is more interested in homeschooling than previous generations.

Age of Learning

So why are so many parents and aspiring parents turning to homeschool as an educational option? It seems logical that the vast educational resources that the internet has spawned makes homeschooling seem far more doable than it used to be. However, the motivation for wanting to homeschool is primarily about safety and freedom.

Current parents cited "providing a safer environment" as the most common motivation for homeschooling at 66%, followed by "flexible schedule" at 56%, "preventing toxic socialization" at 55% and "providing individualized instruction" at 42%. "Providing a safer environment" topped Gen Z's list of motivators as well at 68%, which does make one wonder whether the active shooter drills they grew up play a role in how they feel.

And those the religious beliefs that pushed people to homeschool way back when? Those came in at the bottom of the list with only 16% of people citing "religious or philosophical beliefs" as motivation to homeschool.

Motivations varied by region, however, and the breakdown of which regions cited which reasons the most often is a bit surprising.

Motivations for homeschooling by region

Reasons for wanting to homeschool vary by region.

Age of Learning

If someone were to ask which region cited religion as their main motivator for homeschooling, what would you guess? Personally, I would have thought the South, or maybe the Midwest. Nope. The West cited "religious or philosophical beliefs" the most often. In the South, it's the "low ratings of local schools," while the Northeast is looking at the "ineffectiveness of 7-hour daily curriculums" and the Midwest cited "providing individualized instruction" as the main motivation Huh. Who knew?

Surely, these survey respondents must have cited some downsides of homeschooling, though, right? Well, yes. Numbers-wise, however, the challenges don't outweigh the benefits current and aspiring parents see. As one might expect, "limited socialization opportunities" topped the list of challenges that concern parents, but as most homeschoolers will tell you, the socialization "issue" is far less of an issue than people make it out to be (so long as you aren't holing up in a cave somewhere and not having your kid involved in any activities).

benefits and challenges of homeschooling

The upsides and downsides of homeschooling

www.homeschoolplus.com

Going back to our Gen Z friends, another thing to note is their feelings about government involvement in homeschooling. Freedom from excessive standardized testing and flexibility in learning have long been touted benefits of homeschooling, so it's fascinating to see that Gen Z actually favors government involvement in homeschooling more than any other generation. At 77%, they are more likely than any other generation to believe homeschooled students should be required to participate in state testing, and 91% believe the government should mandate homeschooling subjects.

As it stands now, each state has different laws and requirements for homeschooling, and they can vary greatly. New Jersey has the least number of regulations for homeschoolers, while Pennsylvania has the most. Some states simply require you to notify your school district that you are homeschooling and that's it. Some states require you to be under the supervision of a certified teacher and provide portfolios of your child's schoolwork for evaluation. Some states require testing, some don't.

Having been a public school teacher and also having been a homeschooling parent for two decades, I've experienced how valuable freedom to learn in whatever way suits individual kids best can be. It will be interesting to see if Gen Z's desire for government requirements shifts as they actually delve into the reality of educating their own kids.

One thing seems certain: Homeschooling is growing and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, and if Gen Z keeps their current interest level, we may see an exponential explosion in homeschooling numbers in the next decade or two.

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

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The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

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