Why Homeschooling Is Growing Across America

Formal schools and homeschooling may both be good education systems, however more parents are recognizing the advantages for their children attending non-government run schools.

🔹In the spring of 2019 there were about 2.5 million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States.

🔹The homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum over the past few years).

🔹By March 2022, there were an estimated 5.1 million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States. This represented about 9% of school-age children.

Linda C., a 28 year-old mother of two elementary age children in central Texas, recently decided after the 2021-22 school year to make changes. Her husband, Javier and she have elected to join a growing group of families in their area to homeschool “beginning immediately.”

“With so much politics, indoctrination and questions about curriculum–like critical race theory and teaching sex education to 6 year olds–we are happy with our decision to homeschool,” Linda said.

“We waited for the school term to be over to make this move,” Javier explained. “We believe in prayer. These schools may teach basics like math, reading, writing and stuff, but the soft skills of manners, getting along and figuring out things for yourself is important.”

In their research, the couple found “the homeschool opportunities are endless,” Linda continued. “We have a wonderful library, the internet is rich with information and curriculum. There are opportunities to learn from field trips. The local farmers, ranchers, the emergency management services, are some that came to mind.

Other parents they have talked with point out that for them, “homeschooling is more flexible in educating, especially soft skills,” Linda continued. “Because there are so many kinds of soft skills it takes time to learn them then teach them gradually. We’re talking about things like time management, team work, communication, leadership, critical thinking, decision making.”

“Homeschooling, by its very nature, teaches soft skills,” says Laura Young, a Christian homeschool teacher who has former students now homeschooling children. “Students learn time management when they aren’t restricted to certain class periods, but still need to finish their work by the deadline.”

They learn “teamwork when they finish a household project together (such as making dinner), communication through being part of the family and learning to get along, leadership when they are placed in charge of a project, critical thinking through everyday life that isn’t planned in advance, same with decision making,” she expressed.

“All these things are an important part of why homeschooling is superior to any other method. And the beauty of it is that these skills are taught organically through doing life together instead of artificially using workbooks.”

Research on homeschooling show that the home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development.

According to National Home Education Research Institute, measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.

The most common reasons given for homeschooling is to provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools.

Other reasons given for homeschooling include:

  • customize or individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child,
  • accomplish more academically than in schools,
  • use pedagogical approaches other than those typical in institutional schools,
  • enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings,
  • provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults,
  • provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools, and
  • as an alternative education approach when public or private institutional schools are closed due to acute health situations such as related to disease (e.g., Covid-19, Coronavirus)
  • protect minority children from racism in public schools or lower expectations of children of color (e.g., black) (e.g., Fields-Smith, 2020; Mazama & Lundy, 2012).
  • teach and impart a particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview to children and youth.

The home-educated typically score higher on SATs and ACT than their public-school counterparts. Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.

  • Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
  • Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.
  • Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.
  • Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.
  • Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

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