Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Big Enough to Matter

U.S. Department of Education: Homeschooling Continues to Grow!:

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released an eagerly awaited report on the number of homeschool students in the U.S. The report showed that the number of homeschool students has grown by almost 300,000 since the last report in 2007.

This report was first conducted in 1999, when the NCES found that approximately 850,000 students were homeschooled. In 2003, NCES found that this number had grown to 1.1 million. And in 2007, NCES found that 1.5 million students were homeschooled.

The new report concludes that approximately 1,770,000 students are homeschooled in the United States—3.4% of the school-age population.

At 3.4% of the entire school-age population, the number of kids being home schooled is still relatively small. Yet it's probably bigger than most people realize and it's growing. As it does I would expect the influence of homeschoolers to increase while at the same time efforts to diminish and demean homeschooling will also rise as will efforts to limit and restrict parents' ability to educate their children as they see fit. The more attention that homeschooling receives, the more parents will likely consider it as a viable option. And the more that members of the education establishment will perceive it as a threat to their vested interests and seek to curtail its growth. It will be an interesting and bumpy ride in the years ahead.