Homeschoolers are often stereotyped as socially-deprived and weird; nevertheless, homeschooling is booming. The homeschooled population has taken off in the last couple of years as parents seek to preserve traditional values and get better academic results.
“This past school year, homeschooling grew in Florida at its biggest rate in a decade: We see all the emails from parents: ‘I just don’t want my kids exposed to Common Core,’ Karen Harmon, chairwoman of a Florida homeschool support group, told The Florida Times-Union. ‘Their thought process is that it’s dumbing down the school systems and making all students average, but a lot of parents want their child to excel.’
“That trend is playing out across the country. Local newspapers and homeschool leaders from West Virginia to Alabama and North Carolina to Texas report a surge in homeschooling interest and enrollment in just the past year or two.”
Homeschoolers are still required to meet certain academic standards defined by each state, but aren’t guaranteed the same benefits as public-schooled children.
Unfortunately, not all states are as “homeschool-friendly” as others. Stephen Howsley reported for the Texas Home School Coalition, “In the State of Texas, paying your state property taxes does not necessarily guarantee you any rights. This is especially true for Texas home school families in regards to the University Interscholastic League’s (UIL) current policy for home school student access. The UIL currently does not allow home school students any access to their sanctioned extracurricular activities, even if the parents are paying their property taxes and are home schooling in a legal manner.”
The Huffington Post recently published an article intended to encourage the newly decided homeschooler. School psychologist Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley writes: “The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that it is flexible. You can school early in the morning or school in the afternoon. You can have a four-day week, or work through the weekend. You can homeschool year round or take vacations. If the holidays are crazy, you can take the entire month of December off and then school extra in July. Your kids can learn about Shakespeare or explore chemistry in elementary school if that is what they are interested in.”
Another benefit is the academic success that homeschooled students traditionally have achieved. According to Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., “The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.”
Also, the ability to pass on Judeo-Christian values has made homeschooling a more appealing choice for many families. Homeschooling statistics will likely continue to rise in direct correlation to the increase in legislation that oppresses traditional values.