Homeschooling in the United States constitutes the education of about 3.4% of U.S. students (approximately 2 million students). In the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a fundamental right to direct the education of their children. In Canada there are around 29,000 children are enrolled as homeschoolers.
Many Reasons For Homeschooling
Parents give many different reasons for homeschooling their children. In the 2003 and 2007 NHES, parents were asked whether particular reasons for homeschooling their children applied to them. The three reasons selected by parents of more than two-thirds of students were
1: concern about the school environment,
2: to provide religious or moral instruction,
3: and dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools.
From 2003 to 2007, the percentage of students whose parents reported homeschooling to provide religious or moral instruction increased from 72 percent to 83 percent. In 2007, the most common reason parents gave as the most important was a desire to provide religious or moral instruction (36 percent of students). Typically the religious belief being represented is evangelical Christian. This reason was followed by a concern about the school environment (such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure) (21 percent), dissatisfaction with academic instruction (seventeen percent), and “other reasons” including family time, finances, travel, and distance (14 percent). Other reasons include more flexibility in educational practices and family core stability for children with learning disabilities or prolonged chronic illnesses, or for children of missionaries, military families, or families who move often, as frequently as every two years.
Some parents want more opportunities for their children to socialize with a wide range of ages, to travel more, to do more field trips, to visit museums, to do outdoor education, to attend concerts, to visit workplaces, to tour government buildings, to seek mentorships, and to study nature outside. A homeschooling family can typically do more field trips and visit more places than traditional schools.
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