(NaturalNews) The numbers of families choosing to homeschool their children has shown a dramatic increase since the 1980s. The number of homeschooled children in the United States is currently estimated to be between 2.5 and 4 million. Many people are critical of the idea of homeschooling, feeling that children who are home educated are somehow at a disadvantage. Yet, the facts and statistics prove otherwise.
Homeschooling is growing at a rate of 5-12 percent per year, according to the National Home Education Research Institute. The reasons why families choose to homeschool their children vary - Some want to protect their kids from school violence or bullies, others feel children waste a lot of time with meaningless "busy work," still others want their kids to be safeguarded from negative peer pressure. Many parents who homeschool their kids agree with acclaimed anthropologist Margaret Mead who is quoted as saying "My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school."
Quality of homeschooling
Many critics of homeschooling maintain that homeschooled kids are "isolated from the world" or "lack socialization skills." However, public school children are trapped with a group of peers with little chance to interact with children of other ages, or adults. The opportunity to pursue what interests them is stifled, discipline is often lax and passing from grade to grade is automatic. Contrast this with homeschooled kids, who mix with a variety of age groups and interact each day with adults, learning to follow their example.
A study of homeschooled students between the ages of 10 and 21 by Dr. Linda Montgomery, concluded that homeschooled children are not isolated from social activities with other young people. She found that homeschooling may nurture leadership at least as well as the conventional schools do.
Reasons to homeschool
The decision to homeschool is not an easy one and takes a great deal of sacrifice on the part of parents. Yet findings show that parents, regardless of race, high or low income, educational background, or religious beliefs, who are committed to making the necessary sacrifices and tutor their children at home, have been able to achieve great success. And what constitutes success?
A truly successful home-school produces individuals who possess an ability to think independently, have a positive outlook on life, have obtained the academic tools to reach their goals, have a creative and an enthusiastic approach to life, and possess initiative and a sense of responsibility.
About the author: Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about living as natural a life as possible and reducing damage to the environment wherever possible. She spends a lot of time researching and writing about alternate medicines and healthy, green living, and manages to find the time to home-school her two daughters.