How big is homeschooling in America? One figure puts the number at 1.8 million students that were homeschooled in America during 2012. Furthermore, homeschooling is growing at a yearly rate of between 3 to 8%. Despite what you may think, homeschooling is steadily becoming more and more popular.
Homeschooling is estimated to educate around 3.5 million students each year. Charters schools, which get a lot of media and political attention teach roughly 2.5 million students on a yearly basis. To prove the point, Betsy DeVos was asked about charter schools over 60 times during her confirmation hearing as education secretary. Homeschool was mentioned only one time despite having many more students being homeschooled. This is probably because of public teacher unions being afraid of losing union benefits and job security to these new upstart schools.
Yes, it is true that most homeschooled kids are being homeschooled because of religious reasons. It estimated that about 65% of parents say they are homeschooling their children because of their religious beliefs. However, there is an increasing trend to homeschool due to a perceived better educational outcome for their children.
Public and even private and charter schools often impose structure and conformity on their students. For someone who may not thrive in such an environment or have special learning needs, homeschooling is a great alternative. Educational Studies have also shown that students who are homeschooled tend to perform better on standardized exams. They also enroll in and graduate from college at a higher rate. The personal freedom, lack of bullying and other negative things that can arise from schools are another positive.