Based on independent research conducted by organizations ranging from the National Home Education Research Institute (www.nheri.org), a nonprofit research and educational organization, to the federally funded National Center for Education Statistics (www.nces.ed.gov), it appears that in the U.S., homeschooling is the fastest-growing form of education.
Let’s take a look at some of the evidence:
- “Homeschooling grew from 1.7% of the school age population in 1999 to 2.9% in 2007, a 74% relative increase over 8 years,”1 states Dr. Brian D. Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI).
- A 2008 study found that “an estimated 2.0 to 2.5 million K-12 children were home educated in the U.S. during mid-2008,”2 statistics that were also confirmed by the National Center for Education’s researcher, Stacy Bielick.3
- This week, in their local news coverage, Chattanooga’s News Channel 9 reported: “In the last decade, the number of homeschoolers has far more than doubled, according to the Department of Education” (WTVC-TV, August 13, 2010).4
- “Homeschooling is growing worldwide.”5
The increasing popularity of homeschooling should not come as a surprise. Homeschooling, a term referring to “parent-led home-based education . . . is now bordering on ‘mainstream’ in the United States.6 In an article published in 2008, SaveMoneyHomeschooling.com stated: “If homeschooling continues to grow at 7-12% per year for the next 5 years, we could see the percent of homeschooling students increase to 5 million, which is about 10% of the total children in K-12 education.”7 It seems to be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States, and it’s becoming increasingly popular around the world too, in countries such as Hungary, Japan, Canada, and Kenya.8
So, with more than 2 million students busy doing schoolwork at home this fall, perhaps we should ask this question: How are those homeschool graduates faring? Does homeschooling work? Are graduates thriving in excellent colleges, universities, the military, and the labor force? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”
“Homeschooling high school is no longer uncharted territory . . . . There are a multitude of homeschooled graduates who are bearing fruit in the workplace, in the military, in their families, and in colleges across the country,”9 states the Home-School Legal Defense Association, an organization whose purpose is to “defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children . . . .”10 Drawing conclusions based on his extensive research, Dr. Brian Ray of NHERI summarized the status of homeschool grads with these words: “Homeschool graduates are just as or more likely to go on to college as the general population, more satisfied in their work, happier with their lives overall, and more involved in civic affairs.”11 Homeschool graduates are proving that schooling at home works, and more and more families are opting to make the sacrifices required to educate their children at home-an investment of time, energy, and resources that is earning huge dividends.
Homeschoolers typically score above average on SAT and ACT tests, and colleges, who appear to be waking up to the fact that homeschool grads make outstanding candidates for admission, consequently are recruiting them with zeal.12 The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, widely known in the homeschooling community as a leader in providing information, support and encouragement for homeschooling families worldwide, featured an article in their Fall 2009 issue titled “We Love Homeschoolers! Prominent Colleges Jump on the Bandwagon,” which discussed the current trend among colleges nationwide to actively recruit homeschool graduates. Author Claire Novak cited “the desirability of students schooled in an untraditional learning environment” as one of the factors that’s gotten the attention of schools like the Savannah College of Art and Design, who hired Rita Gagliano to fulfill the recently developed role of “Homeschool Liaison and recruitment specialist.”13
Apparently some of the $26.7 billion that homeschooling is saving working taxpayers14 can benefit homeschool graduates in the form of financial aid. According to Christine Field of Homeschool Legal Advantage, “The Department of Education has made it clear that homeschooled graduates are to be treated equally for purposes of admission or financial aid” and have backed up that stand with the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998.15
Zan Tyler, who began homeschooling back in 1984, when it wasn’t such a popular choice, has observed that parents are successfully preparing their sons and daughters-academically, spiritually, and socially-to take the world by storm, and many institutions of higher education are taking notice, courting their registration in dual-enrollment programs and offering scholarships and other incentives to lure homeschoolers in their direction.16 Let’s face it: Homeschooling is one big success story; it’s no wonder that more and more families are joining their ranks.
Soon to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is recognized as the premier magazine for homeschoolers. Reflecting the accelerated momentum of the home education movement, their Fall 2010 issue will accordingly focus on higher education, featuring articles that discuss dual-credit programs offered by colleges, transcripts, and preparing your teen for today’s job market, with contributions by a wide variety of experts, many of whom are homeschooling parents themselves.
Although academic achievement is a high priority among homeschoolers, the influence of homeschooling parents reaches beyond academic topics. Kelly Bagdanov, veteran home educator of 24 years, described it this way: “We need a vision for what education can be. We need to move beyond meeting minimum requirements or keeping up with relatives’ expectations. We need to throw off the mediocre . . . to pursue the excellent. Our goal should be far beyond reaching graduation; it must be to inspire our children to be men and women of integrity, curiosity, strength, and courage.”17
Apparently many parents in the United States share that vision and are enthusiastically embracing the goals for education that were established by our Founding Fathers, that of educating our children so that they can become men and women of integrity, skill, and vision. Daniel Webster, one of the United States’ finest orators and statesmen, said: “The attainment of knowledge does not comprise all which is contained in the larger term of education. . . . [A] profound religious feeling is to be instilled and pure morality inculcated under all circumstances. All this is comprised in education.”18 Homeschoolers around the world, many of whom have chosen this route in order to honor Biblical truths, are affirming “the larger term of education.”
As the homeschooling movement continues to expand, and as the graduates from among their ranks assume positions of leadership and responsibility in the United States, our nation will be watching. Most citizens would agree that our nation desperately needs leaders: men and women of integrity, curiosity, strength, and courage. The fact that homeschooling is the fastest-growing form of education in our country may just offer our nation that hope we’re looking for.
This full-color, professional publication of almost ten years offers approximately 200 pages of news, inspiration, and encouragement to homeschooling families around the world in each quarterly issue. The print magazine is sold in 500 Borders Bookstores, several Barnes & Noble stores, Christian bookstores, and goes out to thousands of paid subscribers with each issue.
Visit the home page to view a free sample (click the page-flipping graphic on the left).
Michelle Eichhorn, Director of Marketing
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC
1. “U.S. Homeschool Population Size and Growth: Comments,” Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., December 23, 2008, www.nheri.org/Latest/Homeschool-Population-Size-and-Growth.html, accessed August 16, 2010.
2. www.nheri.org/Research-Facts/Numbers-Ray.html, Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., 2008, accessed August 18, 2010.
3. “U.S. Homeschool Population Size and Growth: Comments,” Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., December 23, 2008, www.nheri.org/Latest/Homeschool-Population-Size-and-Growth.html, accessed August 16, 2010.
4. “Homeschool Numbers On The Rise” by John Madewell, News Channel 9, August 13, 2010, www.newschannel9.com/news/homeschool-993811-numbers-rise.html, accessed August 14, 2010.
5. “Welcome to the National Home Education Research Institute,” www.nheri.org, accessed August 14, 2010.
6. “Research Facts on Homeschooling,” Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., August 10, 2009, www.nheri.org/Research-Facts-on-Homeschooling.html, accessed August 14, 2010.
7. “How Much Money Does Homeschool Save Taxpayers?” by Curtis Ophoven, SaveMoneyHomeschooling.com, September 23, 2008, accessed August 18, 2010.
8. “Research Facts on Homeschooling,” Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., August 10, 2009, www.nheri.org/Research-Facts-on-Homeschooling.html, accessed August 14, 2010.
9. “Will my teen be prepared for his post-high school goals?” www.hslda.org/highschool/faq.asp, accessed August 16, 2010.
10. “About HSLDA,” www.hslda.org/about, accessed August 18, 2010.
11. “How do homeschool graduates far as adults?” www.hslda.org/highschool/faq.asp, accessed August 16, 2010.
12. “Research Facts on Homeschooling,” Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., August 10, 2009, www.nheri.org/Research-Facts-on-Homeschooling.html, accessed August 14, 2010.
13. “We Love Homeschoolers! Prominent Colleges Jump on the Recruiting Bandwagon,” Claire Novak, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Fall 2009, pages 134-140.
14. “How Much Money Does Homeschool Save Taxpayers?” by Curtis Ophoven, SaveMoneyHomeschooling.com, September 23, 2008, accessed August 18, 2010.
15. “High School: Begin with the End in Mind,” Christine Field, www.crosswalk.com/homeschool/11635429, accessed August 16, 2010.
16. “Can I Homeschool Effectively in High School? Zan Tyler, www.lifeway.com/article/151819, accessed August 16, 2010.
17. “Keeping the Doors Open,” Kelly Bagdanov, April 22, 2010, /www.homeschool-articles.com/keeping-the-doors-open, accessed August 16, 2010.
18. Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown and Company 1853), Vol. II, pp. 107-108, remarks to the ladies of Richmond, October 5, 1840, www.generationjoshua.org/dnn/Default.aspx?tabid=103, accessed August 18, 2010.
Gena Suarez, Publisher
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine