Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rural homeschooling increasing, for varied reasons

Homeschooling in the U.S. is on the rise in rural areas, and parents' reasons for the shift are varied, including educational excellence, practical training and religion, author Pamela Price reports for the Daily Yonder. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 1.5 million children were estimated to have been homeschooled in 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, and at least one researcher estimated that number to have grown to 2 million in 2010.

The primary reason for homeschooling most commonly cited by NCES in 2007 was "a desire by parents to provide religious or moral instruction in tandem with traditional subjects." Other prevalent reasons included safety concerns, dissatisfaction with academic achievement in public schools, and special health concerns.

Homeschool Legal Defense Association senior counsel Scott Woodruff told Price that homeschooling is a popular option because of an increasing awareness that public schools are underperforming. "Many parents are saying, 'I'm going to take this, the education of my children, on myself," he said, adding that technology now gives parents more options for homeschooling. (Read more)

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