More parents are deciding to have their children taught at home as opposed to in a traditional school environment, a new report revealed.
Home schooling has grown by 77 percent over the last eight years, a U.S. Department of Education study found. From 2003 to 2007, the number of home-schooled students had increased by 36 percent.
Click play for more on the increase in home schooling with home-school expert Brad Jacobs.
A 'Mainstream' Alternative
According to the 2007 survey by the National Center for Education Statistic, more than 1.5 million students were home-schooled in the U.S., making up 2.9 percent of the nation's school-age population. In 1999 when the surveys began, home-schoolers were only numbered at about 850,000.
"Home-schoolers can now be found in all walks of life," said Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, which advocates home schooling
"Home schooling is a mainstream educational alternative," he added. "It will continue to flourish as parents and children continue to experience the social and academic benefits of a home-based education."
Home-Schoolers Show Better Stats
Statistics have shown that students taught at home can perform at least one grade higher than those taught in a traditional school environment, according to the HSLDA. By eighth grade, the average home-schooled student performs four grade levels above the national average.
Parent-led, home-based education "is now bordering on 'mainstream' in the United States," said Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute. His comments were made in a fact sheet released last year.
"The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional and psychological development," he said. "Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem."
Sources: Christian Post, Baptist Press
*Originally aired January 18, 2009