The Perrys are part of a growing home-school movement. In 1999, according to federal statistics, there were 850,000 home-schooled children in the United States. In 2003, that number rose to 1.1 million. Some estimates put the figure today as high as 2.4 million.
"It's certainly on the rise, there's no doubt about it," said Brad Haines, executive director for the Missouri-based Families for Home Education. "Exactly how fast is up to speculation."
Before their four children were born, Kim and her husband, David, decided they were going to home-school them. They had the most common reasons for doing so: They wanted an alternative to the sometimes violent culture of American public schools, and they wanted to educate their children with a Bible-centered focus.
"People always ask me, 'Why do you want to stay home with your kids?'" Perry said. "I tell them, they're my kids. I want to have a ...