It’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.
“When you consider that we’ve been pumping lots of money into our public education system with really little to show for it — it’s not that surprising,” she said. “On the other hand, you have home schoolers regularly scoring highly on achievement tests and being recruited by some of the most elite universities.”
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 nation’s school-age children.
Part of the reason for the increase is fact that a large-number of children who were home schooled in 1990′s 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 schooling’s increasing enrollment.
“It seems like we’re seeing more and more headlines about schools giving sexually explicit information to children against parents’ will or without their knowledge,” Cushman explained. “Then you have the same-sex marriage laws being passed in many different states. So that could all affect education. I think we’re going to see more parents wanting the freedom to guide their kids along the moral and spiritual values that they’re teaching at home.”