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Changes In Homeschooling: More Families, Better Education

Melissa Taylor

When I grew up, I didn't know anyone who homeschooled. But since 1999 homeschooling has grown 75%. Part of that is because homeschooling only became legal in all 50 states in 1993. Current stats say that 4% of Americans homeschool their children.

I don't. But, I have thought about it. Because it's different now.

It's not just earth-mamas and religious conservatives who are homeschooling. Homeschooling is appealing to families for a variety of other reasons --including the the public school's learning environment and the belief that it's a better education.

While critics of homeschooling, including the NEA, want to see better standards and regulation, it's still growing and becoming accepted. In fact, more school districts are offering homeschoolers options to take part in after school activities or to do one day a week in a classroom environment.

In years past, a homeschool education was considered weak. Not so anymore. Education News reports that, "those who are independently educated typically score between 65th and 89th percentile on such exams, while those attending traditional schools average on the 50th percentile." The article adds that home-schooled children don't have any achievement gaps between gender, income, or ethnicity. 

Not only that, popular blogger of the Brazen Careerist, Penelope Trunk, thinks that the homeschooling graduates will change the work force, being more self-directed than their peers.

Unlike in my childhood, now I know many homeschoolers. You probably do, too. 

Blogger and writer, Patricia Zaballos, homeschools. She writes, "I think my main goal in homeschooling has been to raise kids who know what their talents are, and where their passions lie." But it's more than that. She shares a story about her son who, after studying the Greeks, decided to invent a country and a language near ancient Greece. "I could never have dreamed up such a project for him. But watching him sketching his map, and drawing his new mythological creatures, I was struck with what a rich project it is. Sure it’s a fantastical imagining for T, but he’s also basing his creations on his historical knowledge of the Greeks and their times. He’s researching and applying. He’s drawing on what he knows and making it into something new. . . That’s why we homeschool."

Wow. What she wrote is exactly why I keep home-schooling as an option. If . . . 

What would make you decide to homeschool? Or do you already?

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