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Homeschooling in the United States: 2003

NCES 2006-042
February 2006

Use of Distance Learning

As discussed in the previous section, parents of homeschooled students use a variety of sources for curricula and books. Another resource for parents is distance learning media. Distance learning is defined in the NHES as a course where some or all of the instruction for the course is provided using some kind of technology, while the person taking the course is at a different place from the instructor. Figure 3 and table 6 show various distance learning media asked about in the survey and the number and percentage of homeschooled students whose home education involved using each type of media.

Forty-one percent of students who were homeschooled in 2003 engaged in some sort of distance learning measured in the survey. Approximately 20 percent of homeschooled students took a course or received instruction provided by television, video or radio. About 19 percent of homeschooled students had taken a course or received instruction provided over the Internet, e-mail, or the World Wide Web. An estimated 15 percent of homeschooled students took a correspondence course by mail designed specifically for homeschoolers. The apparent differences between the percentage of students engaging in a correspondence course by mail and the percentages of students engaged in distance learning via the other two media categories were not detectably different. This may be due to large standard errors resulting from a relatively small sample size.