September 27, 2004
Home schooling numbers up

Here are two more reports, about how home schooling is on the up and up, in Scotland:

The latest figures produced by the Scottish Executive show there were 480 children educated outside school in Scotland, who were known to the authorities, in 2002/03. The number represents a 38% increase compared with 2000/01, when there were 349 children in the same category.

Over the past five years, the number of children excluded from Scottish schools for violent behaviour has increased by almost 18%. A study of young people in Glasgow last June revealed that 20% of young boys, including primary children, carried knives to protect themselves.

A spokeswoman for the Home Education Advisory Service (HEAS), told Scotland on Sunday: "The most common reason which people give us for considering home education is fear of violence and bullying at school. They fear that their learning is being disrupted, and that it’s making their lives miserable.

"Many fear that the system is unable to cope and keep the small number of children who cause problems from ruining it for the rest of them.

... and in the USA.

In Florida, the number of home-school students has nearly tripled over the past ten years. Nationally, the United States Department of Education says the number has swelled to more than a million kids. Home-school experts say it's even higher.

Oregon researcher Brian Ray, of the National Home Education Research Institute, estimates two million kids are now taught at home.

"In the last four years, we think home schooling has grown at least 30 percent," says Ray. "Study after study, many of which I've done, have shown that home-schooled children are well above average – 15 to 30 percentile points above on standardized achievement tests."

Ray points to last year's first and second place winners of the National Spelling Bee – both home-schooled. And now even Harvard University says it accepts home-schooled applicants.

My bet is that it won't be long before Harvard goes looking for home schooled applicants.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 12:54 AM
Category: Home education