Years ago, homeschooling seemed rare and foreign to most people; it even had a negative stigma around its curriculum and the socialization of students whose primary interactions were limited to their parents and siblings. Today, in the wake of an increasingly violent country and dangerous school system, many parents are choosing to take full control of their children’s’ education.
Homeschooling in the United States emerged in the 1960s as a counterculture movement, but it didn’t have a large following. In the 1970s, after the Supreme Court approved removing school prayer from public schools, Christian communities began to withdraw their children and raise them at home in accordance with their closely married moral and religious values. It wasn’t until 1993 that homeschooling became legal in all 50 states. Today, there are nearly two million homeschooled students in the United States, and that number is rising.
Reasons to Homeschool
Parents today homeschool for a variety of reasons, and the decision is far less concerned about religion than it was in the past. A 2007 special report in the Washington Times revealed that 29 percent of families homeschooled for religious reasons while 31 percent of parents stated that they chose to homeschool due to concerns about the environment in public schools.
More recently, the homeschool population has risen 51 percent in the last three years. Most parents have made the decision today for medical, behavioral and special needs reasons. The lack of personalized instruction and in-depth care in the public school system, along with bullying and school violence, has many parents taking education into their own hands.
A Lack of Support in Schools
From a lack of bullying intervention to limited services, the American public school system is not meeting its students’ needs. Parents of today are far less accepting of public systems that fail to provide adequately, and they are not content to simply accept things as they are and hope they improve.
Taking an active role in home education has a large impact on the family system; one parent may quit their job in order to become a full-time teacher to their child, which will impact the finances in the home as well as the child’s socio-emotional development.
Today, homeschooling is highly regulated through the Department of Education, and it’s vital that parents collaborate with officials to provide the best for their children. Parenting and teaching are both tough jobs, and combining the two is not an easy feat. Parents who decide to homeschool have to take full advantage of the resources available to them, which includes exploring accredited online options for their children.