Changing homeschooler demographics
Homeschoolers typically come from one of two groups. They are either religious conservatives or minimalists who want to live off the grid. Studies have shown that upward of 80 percent of parents who homeschool their children do so for religious reasons.
But homeschooler demographics are changing, according to a Newsweek article by Linda Pearlstein. “There are an estimated 300,000 homeschooled children in America’s cities, many of them children of secular, highly educated professionals who always figured they’d send their kids to school,” Pearlstein writes.
Pearlstein’s findings are underscored by a 2007 US Department of Eduction study that found that a minority of parents homeschool for religious or moral reasons,reports USA Today. Only 36 percent of parents homeschool for religious reasons. Thirty-eight percent of parents home school because of concerns with the school environment or dissatisfaction with the school system.
There has also been huge growth in homeschooling among minority groups. Native Americans in Virginia and North Carolina have founded homeschool organizations in an effort to escape assimilationist public schools and preserve their traditional values. Islamic homeschooling has grown rapidly post 9/11, according to a PBS news program. “The public school system is not accommodating to Muslims,” said Fatima Saleem, founder of the Palmetto Muslim Homeschool Resource Network, a website that helps Muslim home schoolers locate information on everything from buying books to choosing a curriculum to learning the laws of their individual states.