While many still think of homeschooling as something that only happens in rural areas where there isn't access to great schooling, or for parents of elite athletes who spend typical school hours training, it's actually becoming a far more popular options for parents everywhere than you may have thought. While it's only been legal and recognized in all 50 states since 1993, it is definitely becoming more common every year.
In a research paper conducted by Brian Ray in 2015, a researcher at the National Home Education Research Institute, studying data from the National Center for Education Statistics, he suggests that the once "alternative" form of educating your child at home is now becoming increasingly mainstream. His paper states that the amount of children who are homeschooled vs a traditional school environment is becoming so mainstream that it's growing by 3% to 8% a year. In 2012 there were approximately 1.8 million children homeschooled across the country.
In his research Ray found that for parents who chose to homeschool, there was typically more than one reason why they made the decision. Parents liked that they could customize the curriculum for each child and felt they could "accomplish more academically than in schools." They liked that they could define how their child learned while encouraging a greater family dynamic. Many also felt that homeschool was safer for their child due to concerns of "physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools," Ray wrote.
Thanks to technology and the increase of awareness around homeschooling, it's becoming easier for parents to educate their children at home. Research even shows that children who are homeschooled tend to score slightly better on their SAT's as well as have earned more college credits before entering college than their traditionally educated counter parts.
Homeschooled children also tend to stay enrolled in college, and get better grades, according to a study on the outcomes of homeschooled students. The study showed that homeschooled students had a greater college graduation rate than those who attended public school and even Catholic or private schools.
Still, many critics claim the homeschool system is flawed and that children need the socialization — both good and bad — that public school presents them with. The decision to homeschool is a very personal one and thankfully there are many more options for parents these days to help them make that decision and ensure it's the right one for their family.