Home education has constantly grown over the last two decades. The growth rate is 7% to 15% per year, according to Dr. Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling).
Despite what you might read in the media, home education is growing rapidly in the United States and is becoming more and more popular in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Why? There are many reasons why homeschooling is on the rise.
Homeschool statistics reveal the following as the most popular reasons parents decide to homeschool their children:
- Can give child better education at home
- Religious reason
- Poor learning environment at school
- Family reasons
- To develop character/morality
- Object to what school teaches
- School does not challenge child
- Other problems with available schools
- Child has special needs/disability
- Child not old enough to enter school
- Parent’s career
- Could not get into desired school
- Other reasons
There are as many different styles of homeschooling as there are reasons to homeschool. Some of the more popular are:
- Classical Education, including the Trivium
- Montessori Method
- Radical Unscholing
- Waldorf Education
- Charlotte Mason
- A Thomas Jefferson Education
- Theory of Multiple Intelligences
- School at Home
- Accidental Homeschoolers
- Eclectic Homeschoolers
Which style do you currently subscribe to, or are still in the “hunting” phase? It is not uncommon for parents to spend a few years trying on different styles of schooling and different resources before they zero in on the ones that work for them. I say “ones” because many times homeschoolers use multiple resources even if they subscribe to one particular style of homeschooling. In my personal experience we tried many different types of home education until we finally landed on what I call semi-eclectic unschoolers. I say semi because we are not totally unschoolers (definitely not radical unschoolers), and we are not totally traditional school at home folks either. Many subscribe to a healthy, eclectic blend of student led and parent required. It is important to test drive theories, styles, and resources before settling on a style.
But what about socialization? This question comes up far too often as far as homeschoolers are concerned. How many times have you had non-homeschooling families ask you about your children being isolated? Data on homeschool students’ activities and community involvement reveal that, on average, homeschool children are engaged in 5.2 activities outside the home, with 98% involved in two or more. Still concerned?