There are over 2.3 million homeschool students in the United States. Over the last two decades, the percentages of homeschool families has more than doubled.
One study states, “While the overall school-age population in the United States grew by about 2.0 percent from spring 2012 to spring 2016, data from 16 states from all four major regions of the nation showed that homeschooling grew by an average of about 25 percent in those states,”
Who, what, why and how?
First it is a misnomer that all homeschool families are right leaning Christian fanatics. What largely started in the 1980s and ’90s as a way for Catholic parents to infuse religion into their kids’ education now has more mainstream appeal.
Rather, they’re parents who don’t believe that the current school model is best, or enough, for their children,” reports the Pacific Standard.
Only 16 percent of survey respondents now say they started homeschooling to provide religious instruction, says the National Home Education Research Institute. 34 percent report “concern about the school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure,” and others cited “dissatisfaction with academic instruction.”
Families choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons.These include the desire to have more control over curriculum. Parents want to avoid school bullying, and to work around the career of a professional child.
Parents are also looking for better success than the public system.
Research suggests home-schooled children tend to do better on standardized tests. They stick around longer in college, and do better once they’re enrolled. A 2009 study showed that the proportion of home-schoolers who graduated from college was about 67%. Among public school students it was 59%.
In fact, many colleges are now seeking out home-schoolers themselves, as home-school students tend to be excellent college students.
Why? Most homeschooling curriculum more advanced than what is used in public schools. Home-school children also get one-on-one help whenever they need it. They can go at a faster pace, and have a much more productive day.
Top 5 reasons why parents decide to homeschool their kids:
Make A Change From A Negative School Environment
Get A Higher Quality Education
Improve Social Interactions
Support A Learning Disabled Child
Educate Children During A Family Relocation To Another State Or Country
Often an argument is made that parents are amateur at teaching. The home-school students whose parents did not have college degrees still performed at the 83rd percentile.” According to this study, home-schoolers have significantly higher test scores than the national average.
“Today’s homeschoolers are more demographically, geographically, and ideologically diverse,” agrees the City Journal.
From the responses to NCES’s survey: Families take on educational responsibilities for their children for a variety of reasons. These include safety, educational approach and achievement, and philosophy. All are good reasons for stepping away from a one-size-fits-some government institution.
Let’s look at traditional measures of academic achievement.
In 2014, SAT “test scores of college-bound homeschool students were higher than the national average of all college-bound seniors that same year,” according to NHERI.
“Mean ACT Composite scores for home-school students were consistently higher than those for public school students” from 2001 through 2014, according (PDF) to that testing organization, although private school students scored higher still.
By contrast public school kids “bombed the SAT” reports Bloomberg. Mixed, but generally disappointing results since then have education experts worry that many public school graduates are unprepared for either higher education or the workforce.