Last week we looked at the growth in the homeschool market. This week, let’s look closer at those numbers. Who homeschools? There is no one mold that all homeschooling families fit into. Research is showing that people from varied ethnic and religious backgrounds are choosing the homeschooling option. According to Dr. Brian D. Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, “A demographically wide variety of people homeschool-these are atheists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white.” In addition, Dr. Ray states that “homeschooling is quickly growing in popularity among minorities. About 15% of homeschool families are non-white/nonHispanic (i.e., not white/Anglo).”1
Homeschooling is not for everyone though. For balance, there are a wide range of parents and teachers out there who wholeheartedly believe that traditional schools are the optimal way to provide your child with the education they deserve. To give you an example, a friend of mine from North Carolina sends her brood of four children to Ravenscroft in Raleigh. As you can see from their website here: RAVENSCROFT.ORG, Ravenscroft is an independent school that offers education for children from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 level. She cannot say enough good things about the school and her children seem to be incredibly happy there. Above all, finding what works for your family is key.
So, what else should people know about homeschooling? Well, families are choosing to homeschool for many different reasons. For some, it is the desire to shape the curriculum and teaching style to each individual child’s needs. Others have observed that home-educated students typically outperform public-school students on standardized test scores. Some families choose to home educate in order to share their beliefs and values with their kids and to strengthen family bonds. Some find that with the use of today’s technology, homeschooling has become easier for those who wish to take part in shaping their children’s minds, an example, of this, is the use of KLT songs and other types of online visual content for children. For others, it is the concern over things such as drugs, violence, and bullying.2
The key to remember when you are writing for homeschoolers is to know who you want to reach. It is virtually impossible to write for everyone. Know your purpose, your audience, and your call. Next week we’ll start breaking down some of the terms commonly found in homeschooling curriculum so that you can discover where you might best fit and serve.