Facts About Homeschooling
General Facts and Trends
Homeschooling is a growing trend with about 15 to 20 percent growth per year. More than two million children in the United States are homeschooled (parent-led, home-based education).1 In addition to the United States, home-based education is growing in other countries including:
- United Kingdom2
In the United States, families pay the cost of homeschooling and are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for their children's education. Homeschooling saves taxpayers more than $16 billion in public school funding.2
Homeschooling is growing in popularity among families of various income levels; parents of various education levels; families of various faiths including atheists and Christians; and families of various political affiliations including conservatives, libertarians, and liberals. In addition, about 15 percent of homeschooling families are not Caucasian and not Hispanic.2
Homeschooling Academic Achievement Facts
The average homeschooled student scores between 15 and 30 percentile points higher than his or her public school peer on standardized academic achievement tests. Homeschooled students score higher on achievement tests regardless of:
- Their parents' level of formal education
- Their family's household income
- Their parents' teacher certification3
Homeschooled students score above average on the SATs and ACTs and are actively recruited by many colleges.3
Social, Emotional, and Psychological Development
The homeschooled are typically performing above average on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.2
Homeschooled students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their family members.They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, Scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.2
Homeschooling Accommodates Gender Differences in Youth
Researcher Susannah Sheffer found that homeschooling gives young people an opportunity to ask questions, such as "Who am I?" and "What do I really want?" Through this questioning process, home-educated girls develop strengths and resistance abilities that give them an unusually strong sense of self.4
Homeschooling Facts About Adult Success
Adults who were homeschooled as children generally:
- Participate in local community service more often than the average person
- Vote and attend public meetings more often than their peers
- Attend and are successful in college at an equal or higher rate than the general population5
Suggested Websites for Further Information About Homeschooling
1 "Facts About Homeschooling," HomeSchool-Curriculum.org, accessed December 19, 2012, http://www.homeschool-curriculum.org/facts-about-homeschooling.html.
2 Brian D. Ray, "Research Facts on Homeschooling," National Home Education Research Institute, last modified January 11, 2011, http://www.nheri.org/research/.
3 Brian D. Ray, "Academic Achievement and Demographic Traits of Homeschool Students: A Nationwide Study," Academic Leadership Journal 8, (2010), http://www.academicleadership.org/.
4 Susannah Sheffer, A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls (Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers, Inc., 1995).
5 Brian D. Ray, Home Educated and Now Adults: Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views About Homeschooling, and OtherTraits (Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute, 2004).