Homeschooling is an educational option that allows parents to teach their children at home rather than sending them to school. Homeschooling parents make use of a a wide range of resources and opportunities, and children's homeschooling experiences vary.
How many students are homeschooled? While exact numbers do not exist, the data we have indicate that around two million students are being homeschooled today. While that number appears to still be rising, it seems to be doing so more slowly than in the past.
Parents choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons: to protect their children's religious development; to foster hands-on self-guided learning; to provide a better education than other schools; to meet a child's special needs; or to protect a child from bullying.
Neither states nor individual school districts collect data on homeschool families’ race, educational background, or income, and studies conducted with volunteer samples cannot be assumed to be representative of the entire population. So what do we know?
Scholars have long divided homeschoolers into groups based on their motivations or practices---closed communion and open communion; believers and inclusives; ideologues, pedagogues, and pragmatics; first choice and second choice homeschoolers.
The modern homeschool movement began in the 1970s when educator John Holt began urging parents to foster their children's learning at home. During the 1980s, evangelicals began homeschooling out of concern for their children's religious development.