Education in America: Homeschooling on the Rise
The homeschooling movement continues to gain momentum as home-educated students and graduates demonstrate success academically and socially.
Boasting an increase of 74% since 1999 and now in its fourth decade, the modern homeschooling movement is gaining followers at an astonishing rate. Homeschool, for the most part an unfamiliar term only thirty years ago when the movement began, has become a household word. U.S. educators from both public and private school arenas are very much aware of the movement and its impact, and today popular media frequently make mention of “homeschoolers,” from characters in CBS’s #1 show, NCIS, to homeschool grads who appear as contestants on shows such as Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Homeschooling has firmly established itself as a mainstream education alternative.
Homeschoolers are here to stay, because homeschooling works:
• Homeschoolers (K–12) score an average 37 points above the national average on standardized achievement tests. (HSLDA, 2009)
• “Homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, grade point averages (GPAs) and graduation rates when compared to traditionally-educated students.” (Journal of College Admission, citing a 2010 survey of homeschoolers)
• Homeschool grads are “more likely to vote, volunteer for political campaigns, participate in boycotts or write letters to the editor. . . . Seventy-one percent of homeschool graduates participate in an ongoing community service activity compared to 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages.” (NHERI) Homeschoolers are definitely impacting the political scene, as evidenced not only by the recent election of Jaime Herrera, formerly a homeschooler, as a U.S. Representative (R-WA) but also by the enthusiastic participation of homeschooled students in grassroots organizations such as HSLDA’s Generation Joshua.
• Research conducted by multiple sources has found “the home educated to be developing as well or better socially, emotionally, and psychologically than institutionally schooled children and youth.” Homeschool graduates are excelling in their occupations, contributions to their communities’ welfare, and their own families.
The U.S. economy is benefiting too. For example, homeschooling families obviously are committed to equip their students to keep abreast of technological advancements, as statistics show that the use of computer technology in their families nearly tripled that of the average U.S. family, based on national norms. As homeschoolers graduate and enter the workforce, U.S. industries who hire these well-prepared, independent thinkers are thriving.
And there are even more winners—taxpayers benefit as well, because home educators receive no government funding, thus reducing the burden on taxpayers. “If there were 2 million homeschool students in the United States in 2009 and the direct per-pupil expenditure was $10,100, then the homeschool community saved American taxpayers $20.4 billion . . . .” (Dr. Brian Ray, NHERI)
More and more parents are realizing it’s their responsibility to educate and mentor their children—it’s not the government’s job, and statistics gathered in numerous research studies have proven that parents are doing a better job.
Paul and Gena Suarez, publishers of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the nation’s premier homeschooling publication, are confident that the momentum of the homeschooling movement will continue to accelerate: “Homeschooling has earned its reputation as ‘education that works.’ We all know that the best advertisement for anything is word-of-mouth promotion, person to person, family to family. Homeschooling families are eager to talk about their success—and parents are listening. In today’s economy, the homeschooling option is also appealing to families who formerly enrolled their children in private schools but can no longer afford to do that, so they’re jumping on the bandwagon too. Homeschooling is here to stay.”
Copyright 2011. Originally released as a press release by The Old Schoolhouse® LLC. Used with permission. Visit them at http://theoldschoolhouse.com.
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