In this April 2014 file photo, Aimee Gerbi holds up a business plan that her 11-year-old daughter Erin, right, put together as part of her homeschooling.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Many of the students who began homeschooling in Maine during the pandemic have returned to the classroom, but about 8,000 kids remain at home, according to new data from the education department.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reports that the number of students homeschooled in Maine increased by 78 percent from October of 2019 to 2020, to 12,082 students. According to the Maine Department of Education, 8,044 students are still homeschooled in Maine as of this month.

The U.S. Census Bureau found a substantial increase in homeschooling nationwide during the pandemic, with 11.1 percent of households with school-age children homeschooling. That change represents a doubling of U.S. households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2020-21 school year compared to the prior year.