Itâ€™s a fact: an increasing number of parents are choosing to either home school their children, or to enroll them in home-schooling programs.
The number of home-schooled children in the country has increased by 75 percent since 1999, according to a report in Education News. The report also says that achievement gaps related to the income levels, ethnicities and sex of home-school students are not apparent in homeschooling environments.
One of the reasons for the increase in home-school enrollment is due to academic achievement, said CitizenLink Education Analyst Candi Cushman.
â€œWhen you consider that weâ€™ve been pumping lots of money into our public education system with really little to show for it â€” itâ€™s not that surprising,â€ she said. â€œOn the other hand, you have home schoolers regularly scoring highly on achievement tests and being recruited by some of the most elite universities.â€
There are more than 2 million home schooled children in the United States, according to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI). This represents about 4 percent of the nationâ€™s school-age children.
Part of the reason for the increase is fact that a large-number of children who were home schooled in 1990â€²s are now home schooling their own kids, according Dr. Brian Bay of the NHERI.
Among the most common reason for homeschooling, according to NHERI are:
- the customized, individualized curriculum
- the opportunity for enhanced relationships among children, parents and siblings
- a safer environment
- the opportunity to impart a particular set of values, beliefs and worldview
Religious freedom also plays into home schoolingâ€™s increasing enrollment.
â€œIt seems like weâ€™re seeing more and more headlines about schools giving sexually explicit information to children against parentsâ€™ will or without their knowledge,â€ Cushman explained. â€œThen you have the same-sex marriage laws being passed in many different states. So that could all affect education. I think weâ€™re going to see more parents wanting the freedom to guide their kids along the moral and spiritual values that theyâ€™re teaching at home.â€