Home-schooling: Rising statistics

In 2008 more than 2 million U.S. students were home-schooled. This most recent poll, provided by the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) proves that since 2003 the number of home-schooled students has more than doubled. The National Household Education Surveys, NHES, says 850,000 students were home-schooled in 2003. In fact, home-schooling is steadily increasing at a rate of 15 percent per year.

This expansion occurred for multiple reasons. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 88 percent of U.S. home-schoolers chose to home-school because of public school environment; 83 percent favored home-schooling to provide religious and moral instruction; and 73 percent wished to provide a better quality of academic instruction.

Although Maggie Nitzberg, the brand manager for Calvert School, agrees with these reasons, she adds, “I think there is less and less trust in the public school system.”

Some colleges search for home-schooled students to admit to their school. Nitzberg says it’s because home-schoolers work extremely well independently. Although Scottsdale Community College does not seek out previous home-schoolers, it receives several. For the fall of 2009, Michael Cornelius, the Director of Advisement at Scottsdale Community College, found that the average freshman GPA was 2.54 while the average GPA for home-schooled students enrolled was 3.46.

Isabel Shaw, in response to a question concerning home-schooling on familyeducation. com, writes, “Consistently, home-schooled kids score higher than their schooled peers on standardized tests.” Generally, home-schooled students score 15-30 percent higher than their public school peers according to Nitzberg.

However, Cornelius says, “My opinion is that parental involvement and high expectations are the big differences between typical student performance and home-schooled student performance.”

As stated in the NCES’s Issue Brief, parental involvement in a child’s education may be due to the parents education. Parents who had less than a high school diploma or GED most commonly enrolled their student in an assigned public school and provided little involvement. Studies show parental involvement in a child’s education improves the child’s grades, test scores, and possibly behavior.

Home-schooling, which provides much parental involvement, according to Nitzberg, “… is the best option.”