I know homeschooling is becoming more and more popular, but I don't know the actual numbers. Does anyone know of good resources that show the trends?
The percent of homeschooled children is higher for college-educated parents and for high income families, and it grows faster compared to different population segments. Data from this article http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-05-28-homeschooling_N.htm
"Home schooling has grown most sharply for higher-income families. In 1999, 63.6% of home-schooling families earned less than $50,000. Now 60.0% earn more than $50,000.
6.8% of college-educated parents home-school, up from 4.9% in 1999."
Another way to read the first factoid is that homeschoolers grow rich in time. This is probably a stretch, though ;-)
USA Today published an article on homeschooling in January of 2009:
The number of home-schooled kids hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from when the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics started keeping track in 1999, and up 36% since 2003. The percentage of the school-age population that was home-schooled increased from 2.2% in 2003 to 2.9% in 2007.
This data is from the National Center for Education Statistics which last reported the data for number of homeschoolers in 2007 and conducts National Household Education Surveys Program.The Homeschool Legal Defense Association also has articles citing numbers of homeschooled students, including a "Homeschool Progress Report." (pdf)
The numbers are actually hard to determine. Not all states require any sort of registration of homeschoolers, so their numbers are going to be estimates.
This is actually one of the classic homeschool "jokes" with the punch line being "nobody really knows". You'll find that punch line throughout HS websites/forums/etc.
Here's the reason: Only some states require you to register your children as being homeschooled. Some states further confuse the issue because they count HS'ing as private schooling, so it's impossible to get accurate data, because how does one determine who is in a private school and who is homeschooling? (CA is on of those states btw... guesstimates vary between 15,000 and over 1,000,000). To make things even more interesting... some states that require registration have different age limits (some states as early as 5... my own doesn't req it until they're 8). And here's more fun: many many HS kids are in college part time in their early teens. So in summary we've got:
So it's all a big mish-mash. Many people are continuing to try and find the answer (via statistical modeling/ corollary data -like attendees at conventions, and numbers of curricula bought/ etc.-, but in general "no one really knows". I can tell you that in my registering state, in my city alone, there are slightly over 20,0000 registered HS'ers. And that's not even accurate, because we don't have to register until our kids are 8. I know several hundred HS families, personally, whose kids are all under 8 and are unregistered. Our city has a population of approximately 300,000. 20,000 is larger than many of the school districts in our area.
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