Concern about the environment in schools and dissatisfaction with academic instruction are the top two reasons why parents choose to homeschool their children in the U.S., according to a newly released Department of Education report.
Breitbart is reporting that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which is the primary federal entity for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data related to education in the United States and other nations, surveyed the number of children currently being homeschooled and the reasons why their parents opted out of public or private schools.
“The study found that approximately 1,770,000 students are now homeschooled in the United States, an increase of nearly 300,000 since the 2007 NCES study, which found that 1.5 million were homeschooled,” reports Dr. Susan Berry for Breitbart.
Currently, 3.4 percent of school-aged children are being homeschooled in the U.S. with the highest rate (3.7%) found in the ninth to 12th grade level. This is followed by children in sixth to eighth grade (3.5%), third to fifth grade (3.4%) and kindergarten through second grade (3.1%).
Key differences from earlier reports on homeschooling were found in the reasons why parents are opting out of public or private school education. In the past, the majority said it was because they wanted to provide religious education to their children, but that reason has dropped into third place. Ninety-one percent of the parents polled in the most recent survey said concern about the school environment, such as safety, drugs and negative peer pressure, is why they choose to home school.
The second largest group (74%) cited dissatisfaction with academic instruction to be the reason they’re educating their children themselves. Almost two thirds, or 64% of parents, said one important reason for homeschooling was a desire to provide religious instruction.
Seventy-seven percent of parents said that “a desire to provide moral instruction” was an important reason for homeschooling.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) says the latest study is exciting because it shows that parents are continuing to choose homeschooling . Even though the methodology for collecting information changed since the last time the survey was taken, the latest numbers show that homeschooling households continue to increase.
“The most significant developments since the last report in 2007 (and again, we must approach this cautiously since the report methodology has changed) is that in five years, homeschooling has grown 17% when looking at the total number of students who are homeschooled, and 0.5% of the total number of K-12 students.”
“Two key differences from the 2007 report are that more parents are concerned about the environment of other schools, and fewer parents stated that their number one reason for homeschooling was because of their desire for religious or moral instruction,” noted HSLDA.
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