Friday, May 29, 2009

New statistics on homeschooling families

A report in USA Today, Profound shift in kind of families who are home schooling their children, highlights a number of the subtle but important changes to the homeschooling population. What is interesting in the report is the way that the face of homeschooling is changing. The most significant things the report found that homeschool families are more affluent and better educated than they were previously.

Home schooling has grown most sharply for higher-income families. In 1999, 63.6% of home-schooling families earned less than $50,000. Now 60.0% earn more than $50,000.

I think that is reflective of a couple of things, one that the social stigma of homeschooling is diminishing and two that more affluent couples have been hit hard by the recession, and they are not pulling kids out of public schools but instead expensive private schools. Kind of puts the uninformed stereotype of homeschool families being backwoods kooks and religious zealots to rest. One statistic that they pointed out was the gender swing in homeschooling families:

Perhaps most significant: The ratio of home-schooled boys to girls has shifted significantly. In 1999, it was 49% boys, 51% girls. Now boys account for only 42%; 58% are girls.

That may well be a result of parents who are fed up with mean-girl behavior in schools, says Henry Cate, who along with his wife home-schools their three daughters in Santa Clara, Calif. "It's just pushing some parents over the edge," says Cate, who writes the blog Why Homeschool.

I know this all too well. My older girls experienced that in school and like I have said before, since harassment and emotional abuse are the kind of socialization kids get in public schools, I will gladly opt to have my kids be “unsocialized”. I am far more worried about my kids being fed socialism and secularism than I am about socialization.

1 comment:

Dana said...

The recession was my first thought, too, but the data came from a 2007 survey so I'm not so sure. Private schools have been suffering for awhile, however, and I get occasional updates about private schools closing.

It really isn't that surprising. Homeschooling is gaining respect and is considered more mainstreamed. Is it really surprising that those with the most options would be adopting it the quickest?