What do actress Felicia Day , athlete Tim Tebow , author Christopher Paolini have in common?
All three were educated in the quietly rising tide of homeschooling.
The total proportion of school aged children being educated at home is still relatively small: about 3.4 % in 2012. However, considering that only half that proportion of students were homeschooled in 1999, it is clear that homeschooling is on the rise.
While the trend may be obvious, the cause varies. New homeschoolers increasingly fall outside the conservative, religious,"Nineteen-Kids-and-Counting" stereotype.
According to The Atlantic, Black families are increasingly turning to homeschooling to avoid "Euro-centric" curriculum, bullying, and "labeling" of Black students by teachers.
Likewise, Wired reports on members tech industry channeling maker culture into do-it-yourself education . These homeschoolers tend to prize education that encourages students to be "creative" and "entrepreneurial," the same characteristics valued by many tech businesses.
Homeschooling's rapid growth, however, means that we still have much to learn about the trend's effects on both students and society.
In fact, given the wide range of experiences reported by homeschooling alumni, few generalizations can be accurate. Perhaps Felicia Day summarizes it best when she states:
" I'm used to being an outsider. I was homeschooled. I don't think like other people do. "
What remains to be seen is if, and how, this different thinking will change education.