Homeschooling Goes Mainstream

Milton Gaither, author of the book “Homeschool: An American History,” published an article in the winter edition of the respected Stanford University journal Education Next, titled “Homeschooling Goes Mainstream.” Gaither announced the article at his blog: “In it I describe the growing diversity of homeschoolers and the increasingly heterogeneous forms homeschooling is taking, including collaborative efforts between families and public school districts.”

A brief except from Gaither’s article:

After three decades of explosive growth, the rate of increase in home schooling has begun to slow somewhat, and home-schooling rates are even declining a bit in some states. In Pennsylvania, there were 24,415 reported home schoolers in 2002, the largest figure the state had ever seen. But in 2003 the number of registered home schoolers dropped to 24,076. In 2004 it declined again to 23,287, a decrease of 3.3 percent from the previous year.

Among the possible explanations for declines in home schooling is the increased use of home-based public charter schools, often called “cybercharters” because of their extensive use of online curricula, by families that had previously been home schooling independently. Home schooling is blending with other education movements to lead the way toward a 21st-century education matrix that is far more dynamic and adaptive than the schooling patterns of the past.

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