Research & Statistics
Learn about current research and statistics involving homeschooling families, the homeschool movement, and the educational system.
Resources
The Homeschooling Revolution
A readable, scholarly overview of the modern day homeschooling movement. Includes vignettes from homeschooling families, war stories, research information, media reaction, footnotes, and statistics.
Kingdom of Children : Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)

More than one million American children are schooled by their parents. As their ranks grow, home schoolers are making headlines by winning national spelling bees and excelling at elite universities. The few studies conducted suggest that homeschooled children are academically successful and remarkably well socialized. Yet we still know little about this alternative to one of society's most fundamental institutions. Beyond a vague notion of children reading around the kitchen table, we don't know what home schooling looks like from the inside.

Sociologist Mitchell Stevens goes behind the scenes of the homeschool movement and into the homes and meetings of home schoolers. What he finds are two very different kinds of home education--one rooted in the liberal alternative school movement of the 1960s and 1970s and one stemming from the Christian day school movement of the same era. Stevens explains how this dual history shapes the meaning and practice of home schooling today. In the process, he introduces us to an unlikely mix of parents (including fundamentalist Protestants, pagans, naturalists, and educational radicals) and notes the core values on which they agree: the sanctity of childhood and the primacy of family in the face of a highly competitive, bureaucratized society.

Kingdom of Children aptly places home schoolers within longer traditions of American social activism. It reveals that home schooling is not a random collection of individuals but an elaborate social movement with its own celebrities, networks, and characteristic lifeways. Stevens shows how home schoolers have built their philosophical and religious convictions into the practical structure of the cause, and documents the political consequences of their success at doing so.

Ultimately, the history of home schooling serves as a parable about the organizational strategies of the progressive left and the religious right since the 1960s.Kingdom of Children shows what happens when progressive ideals meet conventional politics, demonstrates the extraordinary political capacity of conservative Protestantism, and explains the subtle ways in which cultural sensibility shapes social movement outcomes more generally.

Research Organizations
National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)
NHERI's mission is to produce high-quality research on home-based education, to serve as a clearinghouse of research, and to educate the public concerning the findings of all research on home education. If you are interested in statistics and research to inform your choice about education, this site offers resources and information. NHERI's forte is in the realm of research, statistics, data, facts, demographics, the academic world, consultation, academic achievement tests, and expert witness while serving people ranging from researchers, educators, teachers, policy makers, the media, home schoolers, parents in general, marketing consultants, and the general public.
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane. It is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Toward that goal, the Institute strives to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, concerned lay public in questions of policy and the proper role of government.
Home School Research from HSLDA
Home School Legal Defense Association has compiled research and statistics on homeschooling and other education topics. You'll find information about the number of homeschooled children in the country, the benefits and advantages of homeschooling, and more.
The Home School Researcher
This quarterly, refereed, scholarly journal presents basic research on home- and family-based education in areas such as socialization, academic achievement, history, and law. This unique periodical keeps home educators, researchers, and others abreast of the most current factual and theoretical research information available on home education.
Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, produces the world’s premier database of journal and non-journal education literature. The ERIC online system provides the public with a centralized ERIC Web site for searching the ERIC bibliographic database of more than 1.1 million citations going back to 1966. More than 107,000 full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2004), previously available through fee-based services only, are now available for free.
Homeschool Research Analysis
U.S. Department of Education Longitudinal Study of 2002: Homeschool Student Questionnaire
This is a survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, with a stated goal of being used by educators and by federal and state policy makers to address important issues facing the nation's schools: educational standards, high school course-taking patterns, dropping out of school, the education of the disadvantaged, the needs of language minority students, and the features of effective schools. We are including this link as an item of interest, to demonstrate what directions institutional survey writers are taking in their approach to homeschooling. In our opinion, it is a completely inadequate attempt to measure homeschooling demographics or success, focusing heavily on cultural notions of "socialization" and structured educational models. It is also invasive in terms of the amount of personal information required.
Parents' Literacy and Their Children's Success in School: Recent Research, Promising Practices
This report examines recent research and program developments designed to improve the education of children by improving the literacy skills of their parents (particularly their mothers) who did not graduate from high school.
Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998
This report presents the results of the largest survey and testing program for students in home schools in 1998.
Homeschooling in the United States: 1999
This report, Homeschooling in the United States: 1999, presents an estimate of the number of homeschooled students, characteristics of homeschooled children and their families, parents' reasons for homeschooling, and public school support for homeschoolers. Major findings from the Parent-NHES:1999 indicate that in the spring of 1999, an estimated 850,000 students nationwide were being homeschooled. This amounts to 1.7 percent of U.S. students, ages 5 to 17, with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12. Four out of five homeschoolers were homeschooled only (82 percent) and one out of five homeschoolers were enrolled in public or private schools part time (18 percent). It also found that a greater percentage of homeschoolers compared to nonhomeschoolers were white, non-Hispanic in 1999—75 percent compared to 65 percent. At the same time, a smaller percentage of homeschoolers were black, non-Hispanic students and a smaller percentage were Hispanic students. Further, it was found that the household income of homeschoolers in 1999 was no different than nonhomeschoolers. However, parents of homeschoolers had higher levels of educational attainment than did parents of nonhomeschoolers.
HSLDA's Position on Tax Credits Generally
Although a credit or deduction could be helpful for homeschoolers, HSLDA opposes any tax break legislation that could come with governmental regulations. Homeschoolers have fought far too long and much too hard to throw off the chains of government regulation that hinder effective education and interfere with liberty. It would be inconsistent and foolhardy to accept tax incentives in exchange for government regulation. However, HSLDA supports tax credits that promote educational choice without threatening any regulation of homeschoolers. - See more at: http://nche.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200504150.asp#sthash.tvLv2ItR.dpuf
Structured homeschooling gets an A+
A new study from Concordia University and Mount Allison University has found that homeschooling -- as long as it's structured or follows a curriculum -- can provide kids with an academic edge. "Structured homeschooling may offer opportunities for academic performance beyond those typically experienced in public schools," says first author Sandra Martin-Chang, a professor in the Concordia Department of Education, noting this is among the first nonpartisan studies to investigate home education versus public schooling.
Homeschooling Growth in the 1980s
Homeschooling was growing rapidly in the 1980s in the United States, after starting from a very small base.
Homeschooling Comes of Age
The rise of homeschooling is one of the most significant social trends of the past half century. This reemergence of what is in fact an old practice has occurred for a distinctly modern reason: a desire to wrest control from the education bureaucrats and reestablish the family as central to a child's learning. This article discusses the growth of the homeschooling movement, the future growth of the homeschooling community, some of the reasons to homeschool, and public acceptance of homeschooling.
Fifteen Year Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults
Little is known of Canadians who were home educated as students, particularly as they compare to their Canadian adult peers who were educated in publicly-funded and private schools. Are they as engaged as their peers in democratic, cultural, and economically productive activities? How do their income levels and income sources compare? Are they more or less likely to pursue postsecondary education, to be involved in their communities, to be physically active? How do they evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of their home education experience? This study provides a demographic and lifestyle snapshot of these young adults and offers an initial description of some of the indicators of the outcomes of the first generation of home education in Canada. The study followed up with Canadian survey participants fifteen years after they first shared information about their home education practices, family demographics, and academic achievements (Ray, 1994). It describes their current education level, occupation, community participation, religious observance, income, life satisfaction, recreational pursuits, and family status, and compares these with those of the general adult population of Canadians in the same age group. We also asked graduates to reflect on their home education experience and how it prepared them for their future.
Socialization: A Great Reason Not to Go to School
This "Learn in Freedom" article provides research supporting the positive socialization homeschooled children receive. Discusses research supporting the conclusion that homeschooled children have higher levels of self-esteem and communication skills, and fewer behavioral problems, than other children.
Home Schooling Achievement
Home Schooling Achievement provides a concise look at home school achievement test score data, followed by a more in depth comparison of student's scores with parent education levels, money spent on home school curriculum, government regulation, and race, and gender. In all categories, home school students' successes defy the standard predictors. The final chart examines activities and community involvement and resoundingly explodes the myth that home schooled children lack adequate socialization opportunities.
Homeschooling: A Growing Option in American Education
Families cite common reasons for choosing to homeschool their children, such as concern about the environment at other schools, dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools, and a preference for providing religious and moral instruction not provided in traditional schools. The decentralized nature of the homeschooling population limits researchers' ability to draw conclusions about the specific effect of homeschooling on various outcome measures such as academic achievement. However, evaluations of homeschooled students have reported that homeschool students perform well in that academic environment. Moreover, a survey of adults who were homeschooled suggests that home schooling leads to positive life outcomes, such as higher college attendance and enrollment.
Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics
According to widely-repeated estimates, as many as two million American children are schooled at home, with the number growing as much as 15 to 20 percent per year. At the same time, however, home schooling has received little attention compared with other recent changes in the educational system, such as the growth of charter schools. It could be argued that home schooling may have a much larger impact on educational system, both in the short and long run. This report uses the 1994 October CPS, and the National Household Education Survey of 1996 and 1999 to determine the extent of home schooling. It presents social, demographic and geographic characteristics of households that engage in home schooling and examines the potential for future growth. It is found that home schooling is less prevalent than shown in earlier estimates, but that the potential for growth is large.
Careful Study Finds Homeschool Advantage
Reviews a carefully done study that uses a matched-pair design. This research shows that students in structured homeschooling academically outperform conventional-school students, and there is no evidence that the difference is simply due to the family’s income or the mother’s educational attainment.
The Rise of Home Schooling Among African-Americans
Significant growth in black families’ participation in home schooling is beginning to show up on the radar screens of researchers. The National Center for Education Statistics computed African-Americans as 9.9 percent of the 850,000 children the federal agency figured were being home-schooled nationally in 1999. Veteran home-schooling researcher Brian Ray figures blacks are currently about 5 percent of the 1.6 million to 2 million home-schooled children but he agrees that black home schooling is growing rapidly.
Statistics on Public School vs. Homeschool
Deciding how your child will receive his education is a choice that can impact the rest of his life. While your decision may depend on personal factors such as your time and availability and your child's personality, evaluating studies and statistics can also provide information you can include in your decision making process.
A Demographic Portrait of Homeschooling Families in South Carolina
This research presents a demographic portrait of the homeschooling community and families in South Carolina through a 22 question survey administered during the 2010-2011 school year to 751 homeschooling families. It is the first study of its kind conducted in the state since 1992, as well as the largest survey sample to date of South Carolina homeschoolers. The data include 1,584 homeschool students, approximately 10% of all South Carolina homeschoolers, with members of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) as well as numerous third-option associations throughout the state responding to the survey. Homeschooling families responding to the survey are overwhelmingly intact, two-parent families (97.4%) and are double the size of the typical South Carolina family, averaging 5.04 members with 3.09 children, with the mother as homemaker (69.8%) often acting as principle educator in the home. A majority of responding families (61.3%) report an annual household income in excess of $60,000, substantially higher than the median household income of $44,695 for South Carolina in 2008. The vast majority of respondents were religious (98.6%), white (95%), and Republican (75.4%), all to a greater degree than their national counterparts. Most responding families opposed future enrollment in a public (72.6%) or private (61.6%) school, though many do express an a la carte interest in particular programs offered by local public schools, including athletics, band, choir and orchestra. Responding parents were highly educated, successfully completing high school (98%), a bachelor's degree (39.5%), a master's degree (18.0%), or a doctoral degree (4.6%), with rates of academic achievement comparable to homeschooling parents nationwide. Motivations for homeschooling varied but were typically based upon positive perspectives of the benefits of homeschooling, rather than negative perceptions of public or private schools. This is comparable with homeschooling families nationwide, whose reasons for homeschooling, while diverse, are often framed positively.
Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research
Homeschooling is a time-honored and widespread practice. It often presents, however, a conflict between the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and the State’s right to impose regulations in the interest of ensuring an educated citizenry. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that any regulation impacting this constitutional right must be “reasonable.” Courts have therefore generally resolved homeschooling cases by examining whether State regulation of homeschooling places an unreasonable burden on the rights of parents. The courts, however, have altogether failed to address another, more fundamental question: whether the State regulation, in fact, advances the State interest. A regulation that fails this criterion cannot be “reasonable.” Using a recent California appellate court case that initially upheld a regulation prohibiting parents from homeschooling their children unless they first obtained a state teaching credential, we show how recent social science research should impact the analysis. Instead of assuming away the issue of whether the regulation advances the State interest, we show that empirical research will allow courts to be able to answer this threshold question.1
Research Facts on Homeschooling

NHERI, the National Home Education Research Institute, has compiled these research facts on homeschooling. These fast facts cover the number of homeschooled students, demographics, motivations for home educating, academic performance, social, emotional, and psychological development, socialization, homeschool successes, and general interpretation of research on homeschool success. 

Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 Statistical Analysis Report
This report represents the latest survey information from the National Center for Education Statistics on the prevalence of homeschooling in the United States. Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 uses the Parent and Family Involvement Survey of the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) to estimate the number and percentage of homeschooled students in the United States in 2003 and to describe the characteristics of these students and their families. It reports on the race and ethnicity, income level, and educational attainment of students’ parents; compares the characteristics of homeschoolers to those of public and private schooled students; examines how homeschooling rates have changed between 1999 and 2003 for different segments of the student population; and describes parents’ primary reasons for homeschooling their children, as well as the resources and curricular tools homeschooled students use in their education.
The Case for Homeschooling
The public schools are beyond repair. If it is not practical to replace the current system, then at least let those alone who wish to homeschool. Hassle them not. Instead, encourage them and help them. Parents who homeschool their children have three basic complaints against public schools: the lack of academic rigor, the number of maladjusted graduates, and the anti-religious atmosphere. Homeschool advocates claim that homeschooling overcomes these problems. They argue that no matter whether the educational philosophy one holds is that schooling prepares for life or schooling is life, the homeschooled do better. Proponents also claim that private schools are nearly always similar to public schools, so the fundamental criticisms of public schools apply to private schools also, although to a lesser degree.
Statistics and Data for South Carolina and the U.S.
Research Facts on Homeschooling

NHERI, the National Home Education Research Institute, has compiled these research facts on homeschooling. These fast facts cover the number of homeschooled students, demographics, motivations for home educating, academic performance, social, emotional, and psychological development, socialization, homeschool successes, and general interpretation of research on homeschool success. 

Parents' Reasons for Homeschooling
A 2003 survey details and categorizes the reasons give for homeschooling their children. The reason most often cited was concern about the environment of other schools, followed by a desire to provide religious or moral instruction and dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools.
The Characteristics of Homeschooled and Nonhomeschooled Students
One way to examine how student, family, and household characteristics are related to homeschooling is to compare the characteristics of homeschooled students to different populations of students. This study provides a comparison of homeschoolers to non-homeschoolers, both public schooled students and private schooled students, by student, family, and household characteristics.
Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 Statistical Analysis Report
This report represents the latest survey information from the National Center for Education Statistics on the prevalence of homeschooling in the United States. Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 uses the Parent and Family Involvement Survey of the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) to estimate the number and percentage of homeschooled students in the United States in 2003 and to describe the characteristics of these students and their families. It reports on the race and ethnicity, income level, and educational attainment of students’ parents; compares the characteristics of homeschoolers to those of public and private schooled students; examines how homeschooling rates have changed between 1999 and 2003 for different segments of the student population; and describes parents’ primary reasons for homeschooling their children, as well as the resources and curricular tools homeschooled students use in their education.
Home Schooling Works!
20,760 student achievement test scores and their family demographics make this one of the largest study of home education. Results demonstrate that home schooled students are doing exceptionally well and provide an informative portrait of America’s modern home education movement. Conducted by Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.
Estimated Number of Homeschooled Students in the United States - 2003
Both the number and the proportion of students in the United States who were being homeschooled increased between 1999 and 2003. Approximately 1.1 million students (1,096,000) were being homeschooled in the United States in the spring of 2003, an increase from the estimated 850,000 students who were being homeschooled in the spring of 1999. In addition, the percentage of the entire student population who were being homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.2 percent in 2003.
The Case for Homeschooling
The public schools are beyond repair. If it is not practical to replace the current system, then at least let those alone who wish to homeschool. Hassle them not. Instead, encourage them and help them. Parents who homeschool their children have three basic complaints against public schools: the lack of academic rigor, the number of maladjusted graduates, and the anti-religious atmosphere. Homeschool advocates claim that homeschooling overcomes these problems. They argue that no matter whether the educational philosophy one holds is that schooling prepares for life or schooling is life, the homeschooled do better. Proponents also claim that private schools are nearly always similar to public schools, so the fundamental criticisms of public schools apply to private schools also, although to a lesser degree.
Homeschooling in the United States: 1999
The Parent Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program, 1999 (Parent-NHES:1999) provides a comprehensive set of information that may be used to estimate the number and characteristics of homeschoolers in the United States. This report, Homeschooling in the United States: 1999, presents an estimate of the number of homeschooled students, characteristics of homeschooled children and their families, parents' reasons for homeschooling, and public school support for homeschoolers.
Homeschooling Rates by Student and Family Characteristics
A look at the homeschooling rates according to students' race, number of children in the household, single vs. two-parent households, and the education levels of the parents.
Home School Research from HSLDA
Home School Legal Defense Association has compiled research and statistics on homeschooling and other education topics. You'll find information about the number of homeschooled children in the country, the benefits and advantages of homeschooling, and more.
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