Homeschooling has been on the rise for several years now. In fact, it is estimated that 2 million children are now homeschooled by their parents. The reasons vary, but one of the most common reasons is because people want their children to be raised in a more moral or religious environment. They are hoping more time with their kids will help give them the foundation they need to keep their faith in God as an adult. Research has shown this can work, but there are a variety of factors that play into it.
Secularism on the Rise
Each generation in America appears to be less religious than the last. This means a large number of people are not keeping their parents' religion when they grow up. Consequently, the United States has slowly become more and more secular over the years. Many of the people who reject their parents' religion as adults were often those who did not spend as much time with their parents as children. Those who maintained their parents' religion were often closer with their parents and spent a great deal of time with them. This is especially true for those who were close with their fathers.
Homeschool Students vs. Religious Private School Students
Because the research shows that people are more likely to keep their parents' religion if they spend a lot of time with them, a lot of religious parents have chosen to homeschool their children. However, research has shown that homeschooled students were no more or less religious than those who attended religious private schools.
Homeschool Students vs. Public School Students
Generally, homeschool students do wind up being more religious than those who went to public schools, regardless of whether or not the parents were religious. Studies also show that homeschoolers are more religious than those who attend a Catholic school.
More Important Factors
There are more important factors that determine a person's religion other than whether or not they were home schooled. For example, a person who was raised in a nurturing, loving environment is more likely to stick with their parents' religious beliefs than those who didn't feel loved or spend as much time with their parents. Another important factor is how devoted the parents are to their religion. For example, families who attend church regularly, pray together regularly, and stay involved in their religious community will more likely raise children who stay with their religion than people who don't.
Other Reasons for Homeschooling
Contrary to popular belief, religion is not the reason a lot of people choose to homeschool their kids. Many nonreligious or secular families are choosing to homeschool as well. Some want their children to have more one-on-one attention in their school environment. Other reasons may include concerns with the public school system in the area they live, or even the fact that their children are excelling or falling behind at school. Some have found their children thrive in a homeschool environment, when they were either struggling or not being challenged enough in a public school setting. It's also important to note there are a variety of homeschool styles, and these may also play a huge role in whether or not people maintain their parents' religion as adults.
Socialism of Homeschool Children
Those who are critics of the homeschool setting are typically concerned with the lack of socialization between children of the same age. However, parents of homeschoolers argue they are often involved in many activities that give their children a chance to socialize. These include things such as:
Co-ops Extracurricular activities Church activities
Critics also have other concerns, but those in the homeschooling community feel they are doing what's best for their children: giving them more one-on-one attention and adjusting their education to the child's individual learning level.