RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) – The amount of parents who elect to home-school their children is on the rise in Virginia.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the state of Virginia had 22,021 students being home-schooled in 2002, that’s 1.8 percent of the student population.  The paper reports that ten years later the number was 35,858, which makes up 2.7 percent of the student population.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national average was 2.2 percent in 2002 and 3 percent in 2013.

Virginia’s pace of home-schooling is slightly higher than the national average.

Parents and children have different reasons on why they chose home-school over attending public school.

“Public school would hold me back,” Stephen Baker, 17, told the newspaper. “A lot of companies are doing a lot of innovative things and there’s breathing space for someone like me who want to do different things.”

Not everyone believes home-school is better than the public school system.

“There’s a public responsibility, there’s accountability,” former state superintendent William C. Bosher Jr.  told the Times-Dispatch.

The graduation rate in Richmond is 73 percent, which is the lowest graduation rate in Virginia.

“It’s a victory for 73 percent but for the other 27 percent it’s a failure,” Bosher told WTVR-TV last year.

There are many websites that help parents with home-schooling, such as Easy Peasy, which is free and lays out a study plan for every weekday.

Amy Withrow decided to home-school her 8-year-old son after his behavior got him kicked out of the classroom numerous times.

“There are so many free resources, museums, and activities he can do,” she told the paper.  “It’s not like 20 years ago when you didn’t have the internet or the ability to connect with other families.”


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