Perhaps you’ve seen or heard headlines in recent months that home schooling is growing in popularity. J. Michael Smith, president of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), wrote an op ed piece featured in the Feb. 2, ’09 “Washington Times” which compiles the data concisely and meaningfully.
Smith notes that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), released a study on home schooling demographics based in information gathered in 2007. About 1.5 million children are home schooled in the U.S., up from 1.1 million in 2003. This is about 2.9% of the school age population. That number seems small, but it’s up 74% over 1999 statistics. I’d say that’s rapid growth.
About 88% of parents say they home school because of concerns over school environment. About 83% of parents are concerned about moral and religious instruction. Some 73% are concerned with academic instruction in schools. Other concerns parents have include family time, finances, travel and distance.
Smith says home schooling will continue to grow as long as there’s no change in the public schools, and favorable change isn’t too likely. It’s well known that academic standards are high with home schoolers performing very well on achievement tests. Home schooling is easier these days with so much material available. Computers, the Internet, and instruction by DVD and satellite has encouraged home schooling, too. Local support groups offer a varying array of extracurricular activities, including drama, band and sports.
The home schooling movement has been around for more than 25 years and has become more diversified. Almost everyone knows at least one home schooling family. In fact, some home schoolers have made names for themselves in recent times. For example, Smith points out that Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow was homeschooled until he entered college.
Smith says responsible parents want their children to succeed, and home schooling shows home schooling families are making the right choice. I certainly agree with that assessment.
If you’re considering home schooling or need extra resources for your family’s home schooling efforts, take a look at HSLDA’s web site at hslda.org. You can read Smith’s “Washington Times” article by clicking here. Also, take a look at a articles previously featured on this blog about the benefits of home schooling and a few tips.
Think survival. Break away from the public school system and teach your children at home.