What Is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling allows parents to teach their children at home instead of sending them to school. Parents make use of a wide range of resources; children’s experiences vary.
Homeschooling by the Numbers
After a long period of growth, the number of children being homeschooled has stopped increasing. Roughly 3.3% of students, nearly two million children, are being homeschooled.
Homeschooled children today are less likely to be white, more likely to have a parent who has not completed high school, and more likely to live below the poverty line than in the past.
Motivations for Homeschooling
Parents homeschool for many reasons: to provide religious instruction, creative learning, or a better education; to meet a child’s special needs; or to escape bullying.
Homeschooling appears to depress students’ math performance, but may increase reading scores for some children. Few studies using random samples have been conducted.
What about Socialization?
The socialization a homeschooled child receives depends on their parents. Some students have active social calendars; others may not receive the interaction they need.
Homeschool graduates who attend college tend to do well; however, there are indications that homeschooling depresses both college attendance and achievement in STEM fields.
What Scholars Say
Scholars have long divided homeschoolers into groups—closed communion or open communion; believers or inclusives; first choice or second choice.
A History of Homeschooling
The movement began in the 1970s when educator John Holt began urging parents to foster their children’s learning at home. In the 1980s, evangelicals entered the scene.