PURCELLVILLE, Va., Jan. 4, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a new study released today the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) estimates there are over 2 million children being homeschooled in the U.S. in 2010.

“The growth of the modern homeschool movement has been remarkable,” said Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defence Association. “Just 30 years ago there were only an estimated 20,000 homeschooled children.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2008) there were an estimated 54 million K-12 children in the U.S. in spring 2010, which means homeschoolers account for nearly 4% of the school aged population, or 1 in 25 children.

The NHERI study used data from both government and private sources in order to arrive at the two million figure.

The explosive growth in the homeschooling movement has been accompanied by a growth in openness to homeschoolers in mainstream academia. Increasingly post-secondary institutions are targeting homeschoolers, after studies have repeatedly shown that homeschooled children tend to outperform their conventionally educated peers.

According to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, a homeschooling magazine, a number of institutions have even appointed “homeschool liaison and recruitment specialists” to serve incoming freshmen and their families.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of College admission found that “homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, grade point averages (GPAs) and graduation rates when compared to traditionally-educated students.”

It also found “that students who are homeschooled earn higher first-year and fourth-year GPAs when controlling for demographic, pre-college, engagement, and first-term academic factors.”