More families each year are taking their children out of public schools and home schooling them instead because the parents believe that their children can learn better and faster without the many distractions and negative influences that are part of the package with public school environments.
Even though it is often viewed by those in the mainstream as revolutionary or eccentric, the trend toward home schooling is growing and is gaining in popularity and respectability and is winning over an increasing number of supporters.
According to researchers who study such trends, the numbers of home schoolers in the U.S. has swelled considerably, growing from approximately 15,000 back in 1970 to over 500,000 by 1990, and estimated at over 1.1 million as of 2003.
A good indication of the interest and strength of the home schooling movement the number of support organizations that are in a particular country. The United States has long had a good variety of support groups and the increase in such groups from other areas of the world such as Europe, Australia and Asia.
To many, there are persistent questions such as: why are so many parents are choosing to teach their children at home rather than in traditional settings? How effective can home schooling really be?
Will my children be prepared for college? Can they gain the social skills they need without the interactions that are part of traditional schooling?
It is interesting to consider that while some people think about home schooling as radical, rebellious, or even extremist, the reality is that home schooling was the original system of education for centuries all around the globe.
The fact is that it was not until the last century that children started school so young as they do now. Typically, most of the children who did go to school started going at age twelve or later.
Many notable people from American history were educated in their homes and at their hearths, such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, and even Albert Einstein.
The fact of the matter is that school attendance did not become compulsory until in the United States until the later part of the 19th century, and in light of that, home schooling really isn’t just a recent fad, but actually the old educational standard.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, estimates are that anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of homeschooling families choose it for religious reasons, primarily because of the desire to protect their children from atheistic influences in public schools.
And, according to an article in Time magazine, the very backbone of the movement toward home schooling education practices is the Christian Fundamentalist community that strongly believes that religion is either ignored or debased in public classroom settings.
However, some parents have stated that their reasoning for removing their students from public education is in order to limit their exposure to damaging and immoral influences during their early years.
Still, other families decide to go the home schooling route primarily for educational reasons. Many are discontented with the overcrowding of classrooms, the low academic standards, and the many safety concerns rampant in many public schools.
It’s really not so important why parents end up deciding on home schooling for their children because the major benefits, in the eyes of many parents, is that they are able to have much greater involvement in their children’s lives and they remain influential role models during a time when it matters the most.