Growth in the Number of British HomeschoolersRoland Meighan of the University of Nottingham School of Education, a longtime observer of the alternative education movement in Britain, wrote a fascinating article, "Home-based Education Effectiveness Research and Some of its Implications," in volume 47 of Educational Review (November 1, 1995), beginning at page 275. Meighan sums up the international trends in his abstract by writing, "In the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, a quiet revolution has been taking place. More and more families are taking the option of home-based education in preference to school attendance. The evidence supports only two generalisations about this development. The first is that families display considerable diversity in motives, methods and aims. The second is that they are usually very successful in achieving their chosen aims."
Professor Meighan's article notes an estimate from the time of his article of over 1 million homeschoolers in the United States. He points out that there were as few as twenty families known to be homeschooling in Britain in 1977, but as of the time of his November 1995 article, there were almost 10,000. Indeed, the London Evening Standard newspaper reported on Monday, January 15, 1996 that 15,000 families are estimated to be homeschooling in Britain, which is a 50 percent increase over the year before. It is thought that 100 children a month may be leaving Britain's state schools to begin homeschooling.
Karl M. Bunday
Minnetonka, MN 55345
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