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The National Center for Education Statistics, which is part of the Department of Education estimates that homeschooling grew 36 percent between 2003 and 2007. “Homeschoolers can now be found in all walks of life,” said Michael Smith, HSLDA President.
The NCES estimates 1.5 million homeschooled children, or 2.9 percent of the school age population in 2007. This is a significant increase from 1.1 million in 2003, or 2.2 percent of the school aged population.
The NCES survey also considered the reasons parents are turning to homeschooling. Parents continued to cite the negative peer influences of public school, the desire to provide religious or moral instruction as well as concern about the academic quality of public school as their reasons for homeschooling.
The greatest change from 2003 was an 11 point increase in the desire to provide religious and moral instruction which went from 72% in 2003 to 83 percent in 2007. Concerns about the school environment, however, remained the top reason with 88 percent.
“Homeschooling is a mainstream educational alternative. It will continue to flourish as parents and children continue to experience the social and academic benefits of a home based education,” said Smith.
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 25 year old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent national association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.