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The present-day version of homeschooling, a choice by parents to educate their children at home rather than sending them to public or private schools, began as a grassroots social movement in the 1960s. The movement increased in popularity and acceptance in the United States during the latter half of the twentieth century—particularly during the last two decades.
In 1985 Patricia Lines, then a researcher with the U.S. Department of Education, estimated that 50,000 children in the United States were being taught at home. In 1990, Lines revised her estimate of the number of homeschoolers to be between 250,000 and 355,000. In a later report, she indicated that the number of homeschoolers increased to about 700,000 in the five-year period between 1990 and 1995 (Lines, 2000). While the specific figures remain speculative, current estimates place the number of children being taught at home in the United States at over one million (Rauchut and Patton, 2002).
Although children being taught at home are still in the minority compared to their public or private school counterparts, their numbers continue to grow each year. In 2000, lines estimated the number of homeschoolers to be between 3-4% of school-age children nationwide. . . .
The popularity of homeschooling continues to grow not only in sheer numbers, but in diversity as well. Although the majority of homeschoolers are white, two-parent, single-income families with three or more children (Omaha World Herald, 2003), the cultural make-up of homeschoolers is changing. African-American families are five times more likely to be home schooled than just five years ago (FOX News, 2003). The U.S. Department of Education indicates that minority children who are home schooled are scoring better in reading and math than minority children in public schools (Masland and Ross, 2003).