83,609. That’s the estimated number of home school students according to North Carolina’s Office of Non-Public Education. The number represents almost 6 percent of all students enrolled in K-12 education. Annual Statistics released earlier this week show those students are enrolled in 45,524 home schools. Approximately 65 percent of home schools are classified as religious schools and 35 percent are classified as independent schools. Wake County enrolls the most home school students (8,033); while Tyrell County has the fewest,(33). A review of previous reports shows the steady increase in home school enrollment in North Carolina. In 1988-89 — the first year statistics were collected – there were 2,325 students enrolled in home schools.
Several factors help to explain the dramatic growth. First, overall population growth obviously creates a larger pool of students. Second, a favorable home school law allows parents and families the flexibility to be successful. And third, home schooling works. Academic performance by home school students consistently rivals that of the best students in traditional public and private schools.