Homeschool is Booming, New Study Shows New data compiled by a Boston-based a public policy group reveals that homeschooling has gained in popularity and reach in recent decades. By Kerry McDonald
A report issued this week by The Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based a public policy think tank, sheds light on the rapid growth and diversity of the U.S. homeschooling population.
Co-authored by William Heuer and William Donovan, the comprehensive white paper explains that despite a paucity of support from government officials--and outright opposition by the nation's largest teachers’ union--homeschooling has gained in both popularity and reach over the past several decades.
According to the latest 2012 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data, there are over 1.8 million homeschoolers nationwide, representing 3.4 percent of the overall U.S. K-12 school-age population. More recent data place the number of homeschoolers at well over 2 million children, placing it on par with the number of children currently enrolled in U.S. public charter schools.
The report highlights that "there is no typical homeschooler or homeschooling family," as the "one size fits all" prototype of conventional public schools does not apply to homeschooling families who tailor their educational approach to the needs and values of their family and their children. The report states:
"Homeschooling is a viable alternative for the many students and their families who wish to opt out of traditional public schools. Regardless of a family’s rationale for homeschooling, the universal tenet of homeschoolers is the importance of parental choice and the conviction that parents are best equipped to make the educational decisions that affect their children."