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 Homeschooling gaining momentum

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A movement is afoot in the United States. Though not a new phenomenon, the homeschool movement has gained increased followers in the last two decades. It has drawn the interest and alarm of many public educators, administrators and lawmakers.

It now includes 1 to 1.5 million children and their families in this country alone. Having taken several monikers in past years, most now refer to it simply as “homeschooling.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), an estimated 82 percent of these students are tutored exclusively at home. The other 18 percent enroll part-time in public schools.

What’s the rationale behind this schooling alternative? Basically, some children seem to learn better in a home setting than they do in a large classroom. Many children require more one-on-one attention than their public school is able to provide.

Still others are concerned about a poor learning environment or curriculum offered at their state-run school. The “learning environment” rationale accounts for about 25 percent of U.S. homeschooling families, according to a 1999 NCES study. The same study indicates about 38 percent choose homeschooling based on religious reasons.


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