An estimated 2.04 million students in kindergarten through 12th grade were being home-schooled in the United States in Spring 2010, the National Home Education Research Institute says. That number represents about 3.8 percent of the 54.1 million U.S. children from ages 5 to 17, according to a 2011 report authored by Institute president Brian Ray.
As its name suggests, the institute specializes in research on home schooling.
Ray writes that he expects the number of home-schooled students to rise steadily in the next five to 10 years.
"This increase would be in part because of the reasonable possibility that a large number of those individuals who were being home-educated in the 1990s may begin to home-school their own children," Ray says.
However, it is unclear what effect the nation’s economic troubles are having on parents’ decisions to home-school their children, the report concludes. In some cases, both parents may need to work outside the home and be unable to home-school their kids. In other cases, those inclined to reject public schools may find they can’t afford private school tuition and decide to educate their children at home.