by Anna Manning
The State writes that religion is becoming less of a reason that parents are choosing to homeschool their children,
Religious-based home-schoolers still make up the majority of registered home schools in North Carolina, but their percentage has been steadily dropping. Secular home-schoolers are now outgrowing religious home-schoolers, helping to fuel the continued rapid increase in the number of home schools in the state.
For the first time two years ago, the number of new secular home-schoolers in North Carolina was greater than the number of religious home-schoolers. The state has added 6,386 independent home schools compared to 5,714 religious home schools over the past two school years.
John Locke Foundation’s Terry Stoops offered comments on the learning environment and academic rigor of traditional public schools.
Traditional public schools should ask why educational reasons and not religious reasons are motivating a growing number of parents to home-school their children, according to Terry Stoops, vice president of research for the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank in Raleigh.
“The fact that we’re seeing a declining number of individuals home-schooling with a religious focus is part of a national trend and is indicative of parents who feel that traditional public school is not an environment conducive to learning and is not associated with the type of academic rigor they’d like their children to have,” Stoops said.
School Choice gives parents options for their children. Not only are we seeing homeschool numbers rise, but also charter and private school enrollment.
The growth in home-schooling in North Carolina is occurring at a time when enrollment has also been increasing in charter schools and private schools while dropping in traditional public schools. Nearly one in five North Carolina students are not attending a traditional public school.
“We’ve created a climate in North Carolina where there are more choices,” said Brian Jodice, a spokesman for Parents For Educational Freedom in North Carolina. “Many times parents feel they can provide the best education for their children at home.”
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