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Homeschooling on the rise

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 07-01-2009

More fathers and mothers are aiming to use their parenting skills to provide their children with an education outside the conventional school system, according to new data.

The latest figures from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics indicate that were are at least 1.5 million homeschooled children in the U.S. in 2007.

This represents a 36 percent rise from 2003 and a 74 percent increase from 1999, the first year such data was collected.

Parents were also asked to identify their reasons for educating their kids at home. From a list in which they could select multiple options, concerns about the school environment ranked number one.

Meanwhile, a desire to give children religious or moral instruction was cited nearly as often as worries about safety, drugs and peer pressure.

Further down the list, 73 percent said they were not satisfied with the instruction at conventional schools and 65 percent said they were interested in a non-traditional approach.

The survey also attempted to divide the parents into mainstream home-schoolers, who followed a set curriculum, and "unschoolers," who shy away from parenting advice about education and create their own system.

Each state has its own laws regarding homeschooling, from those which do not require any notice at all to those requiring kids complete evaluations and exams.