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.
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.
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.
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.
Scholars have long divided homeschoolers into groups—closed communion or open communion; believers or inclusives; first choice or second choice.
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.