A recent study about homeschool in the U.S. submitted by Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. for the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) presented explanations on why parent-led home education has grown over the years.
Dr. Ray, who serves as president of the NHERI has been studying the development of home-based education for about 34 years. The fast facts presented by Dr. Ray indicate that homeschooling is now the fastest growing form of education in the U.S. that it now borders on becoming a norm.
Currently, the latest statistics show that there are about 2.5 million K-12 students being homeschooled in the U.S. and the number is expected to rise based on annual growth estimates of 2% to 8% during the past few years.
Dr. Ray attributes the growth to a number of reasons and motivations why parents prefer to homeschool for their children. Moreover, he made note that there is no empirical evidence that indicates any negative outcomes caused by homeschooling, when compared to institution-provided education.
Underlying Reasons Why Parents Decide to Homeschool Their Children
One of the common reasons why parents prefer to homeschool children is safety of environment. That is in light of the growing incidences of school violence, drug and alcohol abuse, racism, bullying, teen promiscuity and other unhealthy behaviors, to which developments are usually associated with institutional schools.
Yet there are other underlying reasons why in the past few years, parents decide to homeschool their for K12 education, such as:
1. Allows customization of the curriculum and learning environment for the child,
Based on research studies, homeschooled girls have unusually strong sense of self since they tend to develop strengths and abilities to resist.
On the other hand, there are those who believe that the energetic nature and inclinations for physical expression among boys, can be best accommodated in a home-based learning environment. Many have become concerned that in public schools, the number of boys diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD are 2.5 times greater than the population of girls attending public school special-education.
2. Enables children to accomplish more academically.
Based on results of several standardized achievement tests, homeschooled students in the U.S., typically score 15 to 30 percentile points higher than public school students. The public school average is 50 percentile point in a score range of 1 to 99.
When applying for college admissions, homeschooled students usually score achieve above average on the ACT and SAT examinations. The research study also found out that colleges are actively recruiting mostly home-educated students.
Such findings are regardless of a parent’s level of formal education, the family’s household income, the pedagogical approach used or the degree of state regulation and control over homeschooling.
3. Enhances relationships between parents and their children and among siblings, as well as allows parents to provide guided social interactions with other youths and with adults.
Parents have become more aware of their homeschooling students’ need to engage in social activities with others outside of their homes. Nowadays, homes education also includes involvement in scouting, field trips, community volunteer work, sports teams and church ministry.
4. Allows parents to teach a particular set of values, beliefs, and world insight to their children. .
Related research studies on adults who received home-based education indicate that most of them have internalized their parent’s values and beliefs. They are the ones who often participate in local community services and attend public meetings, more actively than the other members of the general population. Moreover, many of the homeschooled adults succeeded in their college education at a rate equal, if not higher than the general adult population.