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PARENT AS TEACHER

By Published on .

The homeschooling movement has experienced small but steady growth in the past two decades, accompanied by a continual rise in public approval. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of 1999, the last date for which figures are available, approximately 850,000 children were being homeschooled in America; experts say the number is at least twice that today. The majority of homeschooled children (52 percent) live in two-parent homes with one parent working, though more than 1 in 4 (28 percent) live in homes where both parents work.

Americans are divided on whether or not the growth of homeschooling has had a positive impact on national academic standards. According to a June 2001 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup poll, 50 percent say homeschooling does not contribute to raising standards, though a sizable minority disagrees: 43 percent believe the homeschool movement has a positive influence. Similar division exists on the question of whether homeschooling promotes good citizenship. Again, nearly half (49 percent) say it doesn't, while 46 percent believe it does.

Almost half (47 percent) of registered Republicans say homeschools are a good idea for the nation, compared with roughly a third of Democrats (34 percent). Blacks are least inclined to approve of homeschools (34 percent), while Hispanics are most in favor (58 percent).


STAY HOME AT SCHOOL

More Americans increasingly view homeschooling as a positive thing.

Recently, there has been movement toward “homeschools� — that is, schools where parents teach the children themselves, keeping them at home. In general, do you think that this movement is a good thing or a bad thing for the nation?

GOOD THING BAD THING
1985 16% 73%
1988 28% 59%
1997 36% 57%
2001 41% 54%
Source: Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup 2001
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