WASHINGTON – According to researchers, disgust, dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the U.S. public school system is on the rise, so much so that the number of homeschoolers is on the rise.
“Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%,” Julia Lawrence  reports in Education News. “Although currently only 4% of all school children nationwide are educated at home, the number of primary school kids whose parents choose to forgo traditional education is growing seven times faster than the number of kids enrolling in K-12 every year.”
It does not look like this trend will dissipate anytime soon and could threaten the existence of public schools in the next decades. Think that homeschooled children underperform in standardized assessment exams? Think again.
“Data shows that those who are independently educated typically score between 65th and 89th percentile on such exams, while those attending traditional schools average on the 50th percentile,” Lawrence relates. “Furthermore, the achievement gaps, long plaguing school systems around the country, aren’t present in homeschooling environment.”
“There’s no difference in achievement between sexes, income levels or race/ethnicity.”
Homeschoolers typically score higher on the ACT than their public school counterparts and have higher grade point averages (GPA) than other students once they are in college. Nevertheless, homeschoolers are schooled by their parents at a cost around $500-$600 per year. In public schools, the cost per student averages $10,000 per year.
Recruiters from colleges are noticing the trend, since the majority of homeschoolers graduate and obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree at a much higher rate than public school and some private school competitors. Colleges such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Duke have begun recruiting homeschooled students.
Another knock on homeschoolers is that they miss the socializing aspect of student life. According to a
National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) survey, homeschoolers have “healthy social, psychological, and emotional development, and success into adulthood.” Homeschoolers typically have core groups of students and do not operate completely alone, contrary to popular perception.
Dr. Brian Ray, researcher at NHERI, said we can “expect to observe a notable surge in the number of children being homeschooled in the next 5 to 10 years.”
Spencer Irvine is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.
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