Trend and Data Analysis of Homeschooling
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 9 No. 4 (2008): Vol-9-Issue-4-April-2008
In the United States, every child has the right to an education and is required by law to attend school.
The government provides an enormous number of public schools throughout the country, free of charge,
in order to ensure education for all, yet there are families who choose to homeschool their children
instead. Hill (2010) explains that “homeschooling is not a new phenomenon. In colonial days families,
including wealthy ones, educated their children at home, combining the efforts of parents, tutors, and
older children” (p.1). He goes on to mention how colonial rural one-room schoolhouses provided a
place for the children of several families to study together under the direction of a teacher who
implemented their personal program of instruction.
Modern day homeschooling began in the 1970s by two main groups of people: the intensely religious
and those of an exceptionally high academic philosophy (Isenberg, 2007). In the 1970s and 1980s,
states treated homeschooling as a type of truancy, claiming that children, by law, must be in school.
Initially, relations between homeschooling advocates and school authorities were very strained and
often hostile. During the 1980s, advocates of home-based education came together as allies to
legalize homeschooling at the state level. During the 1990s, as a result of the legalization of homebased
education and the widespread use of the Internet, homeschooling began to grow and became a
viable option for more families (Isenberg). These families represent a demographically diverse group
of people; from Christians to atheists, libertarians to liberals, low-income families to high-income
families, blacks to whites, parents with Ph.D.s to parents with no degree, all kinds of people from all
different backgrounds across the country are choosing to homeschool (Ray, 2009).