I recently noticed that homeschooling is all the rage within the Silicon Valley Twitter Elite. Not homeschooling per se, but maybe more the market opportunity for it. And I can’t wrap my head around why they should think that.
I am convinced that there is a hard upper market size limit for homeschooling. A hard one. Like, hard.
Just to be clear: I’m talking about homeschooling in the strict sense. Like, minimum one parent staying at home almost full-time and teaching or caring for their children. Everything else is not called homeschooling but virtual or online schooling. But that’s a completely different demographic and market, and I would need another post to get into that.
Why is there a limit? Well, I think there are only so many parents that either want or can afford to stay at home, and concentrate on their children all day. Definitely, the trend is that more parents are working now compared to the past, not less. I don’t see any reason why that trend should reverse.
Let’s look at some numbers for the US. Unfortunately, there’s not much good data on this topic.
The US Department of Education estimates that there were 1.8M homeschooled students in 2012. Apparently, that’s a big increase from 1999’s number which was 0.85M.
Now, it’s possible that this number will grow. But by how much? There are about 60M K-12 students in the US. Maybe the hard upper limit is that 10% of those students’ parents want or can stay at home and school their kids?
I don’t think that’s a size that should get the Silicon Valley Twitter Elite all pumped up.
I’m also not saying that people should not build companies around homeschooling, on the contrary, I think it’s a great idea. I just don’t think you should build a VC-backed company in this space.
Obviosuly, I believe that the future of K-12 education will be primarily online. But as I mentioned in the beginning, that’s not called homeschooling, that’s just called a virtual or online school.
Go to this Twitter thread to let me know what you think or just to insult random people on Twitter.