8/17/2019 6:40:00 PM EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: PART IV
Three members of the homeschooling group Seeds of Promise talk about homeschooling
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
The regular traditional public school system is still by far the educational choice for most North Carolina students. Charter schools continue to grow in number of schools and students and now account for about 7% of all students; but an even larger percentage of students are homeschooled. According to the state agency Dept. of Non-Public Education, Lincoln County had 721 homeschooled students last school year (2018-19); Cleveland County had 1037; Catawba County, 1395; and Gaston County, 1931. Homeschooled students made up 8.4% of the total student population. Statewide, it was estimated that almost 136,000 students were being homeschooled.
We say estimated because once a parent has registered a homeschool, there is no requirement to report a number of additional children that might later be taught. The state gets its estimate based on its belief that the average homeschool educates 1.7 children. In some cases, a homeschool may be teaching only one child, but in other cases, a parent may be homeschooling several.
Not all children who are not enrolled in traditional public schools, charter schools, religious schools, or private schools are being homeschooled. North Carolina also allows what are called 'virtual charters,' where the state funds the online charter school and parents can keep their children at home and let them get their instruction via a computer. Those students are considered students of the 'virtual' charters and not homeschooled students.
There are two homeschooling groups in Lincoln County. We talked last week with three parents who are members of one of those groups (video at right).
This is the fourth of our articles in the series EDUCATION IN THE 21STCENTURY (See Related Stories Links at Bottom of this Page). We welcome comments from readers on the articles and on education. Email us your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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