Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The 2007 NCES Report on Homeschooling is Out

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)has been hosting a National Household Education Survey every four years since 1999 keeping track of home education trends in America. It is valuable not only to those who teach their children at home but also to those who minister to and market products to home school families.

The statistics are amazing. According to the four-page NCES brief:
  • An estimated 1.5 million children were being educated at home in the spring of 2007. That's up by .4 million from the previous 2003 survey.
  • The increase from 1999 to 2003 was 2.2 percent, while the increase from 2003 to 2007 was 2.9 percent.
  • The increase in the homeschooling rate (from 1.7 percent in 1999 to
    2.2 percent in 2003 to 2.9 percent in 2007) represents a 74 percent relative increase over the 8-year period and a 36 percent relative increase since 2003.
  • Home schooling for religious reasons (the #1 reason) increased from 72 percent in 2003 to 83 percent in 2008.
  • When asked why they chose to home school their children, 36 percent of parents sited religious instruction as their main reason, while 21 percent sited school environment and 17 percent were dissatisfaction with the academic instruction (other smaller percentages included reasons such as children with physical or mental health problems, special needs, interest in nontraditional approaches to education, family time, finances, travel, and distance)
I am just sure there are a lot more home schoolers in America than 1.5 million. In fact, I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. You see, the thing about most home school families is that they really don't like revealing too much information to the government, especially the Department of Education, if you know what I mean.

Take a look at it for yourself here: