Skip to comments.Who Homeschools Their Kids?
Posted on 08/22/2002 10:39:37 AM PDT by asneditor
Like the politically active Christians described by a Washington Post writer as "poor, uneducated and easy to command," parents who teach their kids at home instead of sending them to school are often characterized in the media as snaggle-toothed Deliverance types who are suspicious of education and want their children to read only the Bible.
Like a lot of media-driven impressions, this one is wildly out of whack with reality. The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics has published the numbers based on the Parent Survey of the National Household Education Survey Program conducted in 1999. The reality is quite different from what the education establishment -- teacher unions and educrats -- would like us to think.
Do homeschooling parents distrust education? You wouldn't know it from their own educational levels. The researchers discovered that among homeschooling parents, 22.3 percent hold graduate degrees or finished a professional school. Among parents who send their kids to school, the corresponding percentage is 16.7 percent. Also, 25.1 percent of homeschooling parents have a bachelor's degree compared to 16.3 percent for non-homeschoolers and 33.7 percent held a vo-tech degree or had some college compared to only 30.2 percent of parents who send their children to school.
In only one educational category did the homeschoolers show a lower percentage than non-homeschoolers. While 36.8 percent of non-homeschoolers had a high school diploma or less, a mere 18.9 percent of homeschoolers were so educationally deficient.
Income wise, homeschoolers are not exactly standing by the roadside with a "Will Work for Schoolbooks" sign. In the $25,000 to $50,000 range of household income the survey located 32.7 percent of homeschoolers and 30.3 percent of non-homeschooling families. They found that 19.1 percent of homeschooling families earn between $50,000 and $75,000 compare to 17.1 percent of hon-homeschoolers. At the top end, over $75,000 a year, non-homeschoolers shaded the homeschoolers 19.2 percent to 17.4 percent. Non-homeschoolers also had a higher percentage at the bottom of the income totem pole -- 33.5 percent compared to 30.9 percent for homeschool families.
The income comparisons should be viewed in the context of another important number. In only 27.9 percent of homeschool families are both parents working compared to 45.9 for non-homeschoolers. Families composed of two parent, with only one of them working, made up 52.2 percent of homeschool families and only 18.6 of non-homeschooling families of which 45.9 percent had both parents earning an income. The risky situation combination -- only one parent who is forced to hold down a job, prevails in only 11.6 percent of homeschooling families compared to 28 percent for other families.
While homeschooling is frequently associated with Christian fundamentalism, the Department. of Education survey notes that because of recent growth in the practice, homeschooling is "reaching a broader range of American families and values."
This is reflected in the reasons families homeschool and discovered by the researchers. Religious issues were cited by only 38.4 percent of homeschooling families while 48.9 percent thought their children could get a better education at home.
Also, contrary to a lot of popular opinion, only 12.1 percent homeschool because they object to what the school teaches. The survey was done in 1999 when the number of home-schooled children was estimated at 850,000. It if it were done today, that number who object to what the public school teaches, as well as the total number of homeschooled kids, might both be higher since some public schools have seen fit to instruct in Islam since Sept. 11, 2001 and the promotion of homosexuality has become more blatant since 1999.
In the last year alone, both Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, a popular Christian radio show, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, have both urged parents to remove their kids from public schools. According to an article in Christianity Today, parents are heeding that call. Marshall Fritz, head of the Separation of School and State Alliance which advocates ending government involvement in education, reports that after Dobson's broadcast some 6,000 people declared their support for his campaign.
The head of a homeschool group near Fresno, California, the magazine reports, has been contacted by close to 50 families interested in joining the group because they're "tired of hassling with the school system."
Homeschooling is catching on among the best and the brightest.
Oh, yes, you are. It's already begun!
Educators have long recognized and acknowledged the difference in students' abilities between those whose parents work with or read to them from birth and those that don't.
There is so much "education" you give your baby without knowing it - "schooling" just adds to the foundation begun as infants.
Because of this, parents will search exhaustively for the best materials for their kids. And what works for one child at a particular age, may not work for the child who follows, so the parents will get the materials which suit each child's learning styles. Public school teachers are limited in what can be offered as texts and can't accomodate the different learning styles in their classrooms.
We have used three different sets of math material. Saxon for one, Abeka for one and Bob Jones for another. The final outcome is the same, the process of getting there is where the difference lies.
ANSWER: Parents who care about them.