EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the Household Pulse Survey. It showed home school students have more than doubled in the last two years. For Texas, it has tripled.

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Homeschooling is a legal instructional option in all 50 states and national homeschooling rates grew rapidly from 1999 to 2012 but had since remained steady at around 3.3%.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked new interest in homeschooling and the appeal of alternative school arrangements has suddenly exploded.

The survey showed Texas tripled from 4.5% of students being homeschooled to 12.3% by the fall of 2021.

When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, Edinburg resident, Martha Teran took her daughter, Sophia Trevino out of Eisenhower Elementary School and began their journey of home school.

Treviño has autism and when she was enrolled in public school, Teran said it wasn’t a good fit for what her daughter needed both academically and socially.

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“She had behavioral issues. She didn’t want to go. She would cry. She would call for me,” added Teran.

Two years later and Teran said Treviño is thriving. “She’s doing better than in school. It’s a blessing for us.”

With Treviño being homeschooled, Teran told ValleyCentral she has seen endless benefits.

“For her, she does it on her own time, her own pace. There’s things we focus more on and there’s things she already grasps. We keep going forward,” said Teran.

Just like Treviño, there are thousands of other students who have made the transition from in-person to at home education.

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The President and Founder of Time4Learning, John Edelson said his virtual educational platform currently has about 20,000 students from across the country, this including Treviño.

Edelson said he noticed once families would begin home schooling, they might have left for other reasons, but they “often find out it’s so much better for their children and their family and they stay with real enthusiasm for what they’ve got involved in.”

Teran is happy with her decision to enroll her daughter in home schooling.

Now, mom and daughter will experience a fifth grade graduation ceremony May 17 via YouTube Live at 6 p.m.

Teran said this is something she wasn’t sure she and her daughter could ever experience, but she is happy that the opportunity is here.

First thing they plan to do is eat lots of cake to celebrate.