Is the Homeschooling Trend Growing?Apr 30th, 2011 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Featured Articles, General Homeschool Posts, New to Homeschooling, News
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:
New to Homeschooling-Ten Steps to Success
This is step one in a ten part series on the ten steps to starting homeschooling.