Is the Homeschooling Trend Growing?

Apr 30th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Articles, General Homeschool Posts, New to Homeschooling, News

Whether or not you believe the public school system is broken – or whether you feel it just isn’t for everyone – homeschooling has proven to be a successful education model for families around the globe. I can tell you that homeschooling isn’t a new fad. There was a time when it was virtually the only way to get an education, and up until the 1850′s nearly all Americans were homeschooled. But is there a current trend toward homeschooling in the 21st century?

Numbers on how many children are homeschooled in the U.S. each year can be difficult to nail down precisely, due to inconsistent reporting by individual states. Experts agree that between 1.5 and 2.5 million kids are homeschooled. This represents about 3% of the overall U.S. student population, and the number of homeschooled children is growing by about 10% each year. So, yes, there is a growing trend toward homeschooling. And it isn’t just an American phenomenon: Canada, the UK, Japan, Australia and many other countries report increases in homeschooling among their populations.

One reason the trend toward homeschooling is picking up steam is the rapidly fading stigma attached to it. What was once seen as a curious way to educate your child is now widely accepted, especially by other kids. Most of us in the homeschooling field agree that the growth trend will continue – at least for the foreseeable future – largely due to technology. The internet provides parents like us with significant resources- giving us access to support groups and invaluable information. Technology also makes homeschooling a more realistic option for families in the military or ex-pats working abroad.

So why do parents opt to homeschool their children? Well, there is a variety of reasons. For some, the decision is faith-based. Others choose to homeschool because of intense frustration with the local schools. It could be a feeling that a child wasn’t being challenged enough or the need to care for a special-needs child. Safety concerns, scheduling flexibility, and the opportunities for more family time are also strong reasons to choose homeschooling.

And if all of that wasn’t enough – we’re finding that adults who have been homeschooled are more likely to vote, get involved in community service, attend and graduate college, and share their parents’ values and belief systems.

Here are a couple of interesting facts about homeschool trends:

  • Ten years ago, minorities accounted for fewer than 10% of all homeschooled students, but minorities now make up about 15% of homeschooling families.
  • Homeschooled kids tend to score 15-30 % higher than public school students on standardized tests, and a study conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute found that the average homeschooled student generally performed 30-37% better than public school students across all subjects.

There’s no doubt that homeschooling is growing in popularity and in fact, may be the fastest growing trend in education these days. With recent state cutbacks in education, the ranks of homeschooling families may soon swell even further.

If you’ve never considered homeschooling your children, why not?

Additional homeschooling posts:

When Moms Have to Work: Why Homeschooling Can Work for Working Parents
In Tight Financial Times, More Homeschool Moms than Ever Have to Work Part-Time Our finances are just too tight to get by on one income anymore, how in the world can I work AND homeschool my children? It’s a question plaguing many families today, as the economy continues to flounder and the cost of homeschooling is not always cheap.

Homeschooling on the Road-Vision
Day Three-Catching the Vision Today we returned to Focus on the Family to take a tour of the administrative buildings (which we were unable to do yesterday) and we were inspired by their vision and by how God has blessed their ministry.

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