By Garrett Haley
The home school movement is flourishing.
Earlier this month, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the latest Digest of Education Statistics—a comprehensive 940-page report detailing recent educational data and trends. NCES is a federal agency that seeks “to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education.”
The report clearly shows that the popularity of home schooling has risen significantly in the past decade. Table 206.10 reveals that in 2012, 1.77 million students between the ages of 5 and 17 years old were home schooled. That’s an increase of 677,000 students since 2003! In other words, the number of children home schooled in the United States increased by 61.8 percent between 2003 and 2012.
The recent upsurge in home schooling’s popularity has been nothing short of dramatic. In 1999, NCES estimated the number of home schoolers to be around 850,000, or 1.7 percent of U.S. students. According to this month’s NCES report, 3.4 percent of all students are now home schooled. That’s equivalent to a 108.6 percent increase in the number of home schooled students between 1999 and 2012.
This latest NCES report also provides interesting statistics about home school families.
For one, it confirms that home schooled children often come from large families. Over half (54 percent) of home schooled students are raised in households with three or more children, compared to 40 percent of non-home schooled students.
Furthermore, the report indicates that home schooling is popular across a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds:
- About 35 percent of home schooled students come from families with household incomes of less than $50,000.
- About 26 percent come from families with household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000.
- About 39 percent come from families with household incomes above $75,000.
In the midst of all these findings, one thing is clear: home schooling is more popular now than it ever has been. Not only should Texas home school families recognize that they are part of a dramatic trend sweeping across the country, but they should also realize that home schooling will remain an increasingly popular and profitable educational method in the years ahead.
Since 1986, Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) has been serving and informing parents as the state organization for home schooling. THSC is dedicated to serving the home school community of Texas and promoting a greater knowledge, understanding, and acceptance of home education in our state. More than ever, the home school movement needs Texas families to remain leaders for the nation’s families. The children in the homes of home school families are the future and hope for our American freedoms.