As a participant in these activities [homeschooling conventions], I’ve watched the homeschool movement grow by leaps and bounds. For example, 11 years ago, when the Massachusetts homeschool organization held its first convention in a church basement, about 300 people showed up. At the last convention in April 2000, which had to be held at the Worcester Convention Center because there wasn’t a hotel in the state large enough to accommodate the gathering, more than 3,000 people showed up. This same kind of growth is taking place nationwide. For example, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, there were 1,126 homeschoolers in Wisconsin in 1985. In 1998, the number was up to 18,712, an increase of 1,562 percent.
My two cents
These figures are now a bit dated, but how pleasing to see the rate of growth that took place during the 1990s. I hadn’t realised it surged like that.
As far as rendering the quotes on this blog, I tend not to put them in bold or in a different colour. If I felt like breaking with tradition, I guess I wold have bolded the parts saying “there wasn’t a hotel large enough to accommodate the gathering”, as well as “an increase of 1,562 percent”.
It would be nice to get some up-to-date figures, although I couldn’t find any. And when it comes to homeschooling conventions, I wonder if any National Education Association types go to them out of curiosity (or to spy). If it’s the latter, I wonder if the stallholders can smell a rat.
Blumenfeld, S. (2000). Finding Hope at Home. Available http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/education/item/15263-finding-hope-at-home. Last accessed 21st Jan 2013.