Homeschooling on the rise

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - An increasing number of parents across the country have turned to homeschooling as an alternative education for their children.

According to the National Home Education Research Institute, approximately 2 million students were homeschooled last year.

Low test scores and bullying have escalated in public schools in recent years. For these reasons, parents have turned to an alternative education for their children.

Natasha Pharis, a homeschooling mom from Moss Bluff, decided to try homeschooling after seeing a lack of freedom in public schools.

"They started taking the pledge out of schools," said Pharis. "Some parents may not like what's happening in their schools and the lack of control that some teachers may not have."

Pharis has the freedom to choose her own curriculum to teach her children.

"We took pieces from different curriculum that we find instead of ordering an entire box of curriculum," said Pharis. "I find that my children have a different learning style and the entire box set may not fit their style."

Pharis said she believes the number of homeschooling families will continue to increase in the next few years.

"It's definitely on the rise and it will continue to be because more people are becoming aware of what the freedoms are that come with it," Pharis said.

Although it may still be early in her children's education, Pharis is confident homeschooling is the best choice for her children.

"I don't know if we'll continue through graduation," Pharis said. "My plan is to take it one year at a time. I know at this time this is another year doing it."

Homeschooling is currently legal nationwide. However, some states have stricter regulations on curriculum than others.

Minnesota requires students to take the state's standardized tests and parents must have teaching certifications or college degrees. Oklahoma requires that the students learning be equivalent to the subjects and hours taught in public school.