Thursday, January 08, 2009

Home schooling popular with more and more Americans

Pete Chagnon - OneNewsNow - 1/7/2009

The president of the National Home Education Research Institute says the state of home schooling in the U.S. remains strong.

According to a recent U.S. government report, approximately 1.5 million home schoolers are found in the country today. But Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. estimates that the current figure is something in the range of 2-to-2.5 million. He says there are two key points in his study of the home-school movement -- its rate of growth, and the reasons behind families' decisions to educate children at home.

According to Ray, the home-school movement has enjoyed an eight-percent growth rate over the last several years, and he sees that growth rate increasing over the coming years. Another reason he gives for the future growth of the home-school movement is that the first "major wave" of home-school graduates are now parents, and a good percentage of them are opting to home school their children.

"And a second key point [in my study] would be that the reasons for home schooling are very fundamental; they have not changed for a long time," he shares. "And the growth in home schooling shows that parents are very concerned about the education of their children -- and the Christian community in particular is realizing the 'biblical-ness' of home-based education."

But Ray adds that home schooling is not just a Christian institution. Although 70 to 75 percent of home schoolers are Christian, he points out that Muslims, agnostics, New Agers, and others choose to educate their children at home as well.

In addition to being the president of the National Home Education Research Institute, Ray is also the author of The World-Wide Guide to Home Schooling.

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