Attracting Homeschool Students to Your Brick-and-Mortar School

When looking at the possible educational mix, the number of options usually arise in the mind of the prospective parent. Parents can choose public, private, independent, religious, or co-op schools for their children. Many often forget that there is another alternative: homeschooling.

Homeschool statistics

A report by the US Department of Education shows that 1,700,000 students are homeschooled. Or 3.4% of school-age students [1]. The reasons why parents homeschool their children are varied, but includes interest in keeping religious beliefs and values, being interested in having control of the child's curriculum and socialization, feeling that the public school system, and it's one-size-fits-all approach to education is not a good fit for their child, or that their child is geographically or physically unable to attend a brick and mortar school [2]

Preparing to market your school to homeschool parents

When private schools are looking to market to homeschool parents, it is important to look at not only why parents homeschool their children, but also the sacrifices that the parents have to make in order to do so. Parents who homeschool their children will be sacrificing an entire person's salary in order to do so. This is not because of the exorbitant costs of homeschooling (homeschooling is usually quite affordable) but the fact that a parent needs to be present at home in order to homeschool means that they cannot go out and earn a paycheck.

Marketing tactics

If a brick-and-mortar private school is looking to attract homeschooled kids, they will need to understand both the reasons why the children are homeschooled in the first place, and the difficulties that parents have while homeschooling. Options could include:

  • Providing the prospective parents the opportunity to serve on a curriculum committee so that they made have them put in what their child will study at the school. "We would love to have your input on the school's curriculum, your unique perspective is always welcomed."
  • Putting greater emphasis on the safety, family, and community that their children will be able to benefit from. "Here at [school] we are a family, and we value character development and faith formation..."
  • Connecting the prospective parent of this homeschooler with current school parents who used to homeschool their children in the past. This connection may be able to assuage fears and concerns that the parent may have about sending their child to school. "Mrs. Jones homeschooled her three children for many years, and their kids have thrived since coming here, I will give you her number..."
  • Prospective parents should be given every opportunity to volunteer at the school, that they may be physically present to the children while they are learning. This creates a familiar sense that they had one homeschooling their children. "We would love to see you on campus whenever you would like, volunteer opportunities are many."

All of these points put together can help individual admissions and recruitment efforts looking at attracting homeschool families to your school.

Conclusion

Growing the market of potential students is a strategy that is often overlooked. Students usually come to a school from three areas : feeder schools, disaffected/dislocated parents of other schools, Students entering preschool/kindergarten. Now one can add another source: homeschool.

Reference

[1] https://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2013/201309030.asp

[2] http://news.psu.edu/story/141246/2005/10/17/research/probing-question-why-do-some-people-choose-homeschool-their-kids