By Bonnie Davis Guy
Overall the way people live their lives and conduct their business has changed drastically over the past quarter century. One area that is rapidly changing is how many American families choose to educate their children. Upwards of two million school age children in the US are currently home schooled. That is approximately 3.5% of this countrys school age population. In fact, home schooling has grown some 17% over the past five years.
What was once obscure and rarely heard of now is now commonplace. Home schooling has become a booming billion dollar industry. Quality curriculums that fit the many different learning styles as well as budgets are widely available. Support groups and co-ops are not only on-line and in larger cities but are common even in rural areas. Colleges not only readily accept home school transcripts, most provide bridge programs for home school seniors to graduate with college credit much like their A/P counterparts in public school. Numerous state public school programs have gotten on board and now offer an at home online school known as K12. Home schooling has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings.
Why are so many families choosing to home school? Ask a dozen families and you will get a dozen different stories. Each with a different twist or turn to how they arrived at the decision to educate at home, but overall there do seem to be common themes. Christian home school families would like Bible studies included in the daily course work. Both Christian and secular families say they want to provide moral instruction to their children. Many other families express some level of dissatisfaction with public school. The statistical facts according to a survey taken by the U.S. Department of Education show that the overwhelming response to the question of why families are choosing to home school was the parents concern about the environment of schools, both public and private. The fear of influences that go against the familys belief system and fear of increasing danger from bullying and school violence are also cited. Finally, families reported dissatisfaction with curriculum and standards as a major issue.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.
By Bonnie Davis Guy