By Garrett Haley
Home schooling is the fastest growing form of education in the country, and the movement is now more diverse and more successful than ever, according to a recent infographic.
Last fall, the website Top Masters in Education published a detailed infographic, titled Home Schooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up, that provides a visual synopsis of the home schooling movement. Top Masters in Education reviews different schooling programs and publishes articles on the current state of the education field.
The infographic begins with a history of home schooling, pointing out that most children in the United States were educated at home until public primary schools became popular (and, in many states, mandatory) in the late 1800s. As recently as 1980, home schooling was only legal in 20 states, but that changed in 1993 when home schooling became legal nationwide.
Today, as public schools languish with a meager 1 percent annual growth rate, home schooling grows by a rate of 7 percent each year. In 2010, over 2 million American students were educated at home.
“Homeschooling is the fastest growing form of education in the country,” the infographic proclaims.
Are all home school families huge, with a multitude of children? Not necessarily. According to Top Masters in Education, home school families come in all different sizes: 32 percent of home school families have one or two children; 26 percent have three children; and 42 percent have four or more children.
Families’ reasons for home schooling are just as diverse as the families themselves. About one-third of parents say they home school because of religious reasons, while the rest cite other factors, such as school safety, academic standards, and children with special needs.
Contrary to popular belief, home schooling is significantly more economical per student than public schooling. Though the average public school spends $9,963 per child per year, the average home schooling family only spends $500 per child per year.
Statistically, home schooled students outperform other students academically, ranking in the 87th percentile for national standardized tests on average. Which means, as the infographic emphasizes, “87% of all students scored lower than homeschoolers.”
Home schoolers’ academic success does not end upon graduation: graduates of home schools are far more likely than the general population to continue on to college, and home schoolers are nearly twice as likely to participate in ongoing community service activities.
Furthermore, the infographic suggests that home schooling gives students a measureable advantage later on in life. Ninety-two percent of home school graduates say their home education upbringing was advantageous to their adult lives; 94 percent of graduates say home schooling did not in any way limit their career choices.
And, when home school graduates were asked the question, “Will you homeschool your own children?” 82 percent of respondents gave the same answer: