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Table 8.  Number and percentage of school-age children who were homeschooled, by reasons parents gave as important and most important for homeschooling: 2011-12

Reason Important1 Most important
Number   Percent Number   Percent
A desire to provide religious instruction 692,299   64 176,338   16
A desire to provide moral instruction 831,842   77 51,210   5
A concern about environment of other schools2 986,643   91 268,628   25
A dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools 799,336   74 204,312   19
A desire to provide a nontraditional approach to child's education 474,545   44 56,045   5 !
Child has other special needs 186,157   17 18,107  
Child has a physical or mental health problem 166,878   15 50,652   5
Other reasons3 404,313   37 226,423   21
‡ Reporting standards not met.
! Interpret data with caution; coefficient of variation is 30 percent or more.
1 Respondents could choose more than one reason.
2 Based on the response to the question, "You are concerned about the school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure?"
3 Parents homeschool their children for many reasons that are often unique to their family situation. "Other reasons" parents gave for homeschooling include family time, finances, travel, and distance.
NOTE: Homeschooled students are school-age children (ages 5-17) in a grade equivalent to at least kindergarten and not higher than grade 12. Excludes students who were enrolled in public or private school more than 25 hours per week and students who were homeschooled only because of temporary illness.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Parent and Family Involvement in Education Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES), 2012.
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