Research & Statistics
Learn about current research and statistics involving homeschooling families, the homeschool movement, and the educational system.
Resources
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.

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.
Research Organizations
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homeschool Research Analysis
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.
Homeschooling and Socialization Revisited
Richard G. Medlin, a psychology professor at Stetson University, continues a line of inquiry he began in one of the landmark articles of the original 2000 Peabody Journal homeschooling special issue. Since that article he has published several pieces in the journal Home School Researcher, all of which find very positive results for homeschoolers’ social and academic development. In this piece his goal is to review research on homeschooler socialization that has appeared since his 2000 article.
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 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--It's a Growing Trend Among Blacks
African-Americans are joining the national home schooling community at larger and larger numbers every year. Following a nationwide trend, educating children at home is becoming a popular option for Black Americans as private school costs rise and the reputation of public schools grows worse. Read about the current movement of African-American homeschoolers.
Homeschooling: Back to the Future?
Explore some of the history of the homeschooling movement, why some parents choose to homeschool, the basics of homeschooling, and more. The article includes some homeschooling statistics and demographic information. Also included is a discussion of the influences of Dr. Raymond Moore and John Holt on the emerging homeschool movement.
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.
Homeschooling - ERIC Digest
This Digest discusses the extent of contemporary homeschooling and its legal status, describes available resources, presents evidence on the performance of homeschoolers, and notes how public opinion regarding the practice has changed over time.
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.
Homeschooling Facts
A Reason online magazine article discusses the number of homeschoolers, most popular reasons for homeschooling, how the general public views homeschoolers, and what the law says about home-schooling.
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
How do Unschoolers Turn Out?

As more and more families take up unschooling, self-directed education, researchers have pondered whether it is a successful learning model or not. Peter Gray and Gina Riley offer the results of a survey of 232 parents who unschooled their children. The results were overwhelmingly positive about the unschooling experience. In a follow-up survey, Gray asked children who had been unschooled for their feedback. They recounted their experiences and how it affected their lives as adults, with most saying that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages of unschooling. 

Academic Statistics on Homeschooling
Many studies over the last few years have established the academic excellence of homeschooled children. Includes summaries of studies and state Department of Education statistics on homeschoolers.
The Case for Authentic Assessment
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy 'items'--efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student's performance at those valued challenges.
Homeschooling Is Growing Rapidly in Many States of the United States
Includes statistics from around the country detailing the number of homeschooled students. Also discusses the growth of homeschooling around the world.
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.
Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization

Virtually all homeschooling parents will hear the question at some point ... What about socialization? It is a puzzling question to homeschoolers, as the term itself has various meanings. This well-documented paper by Richard G. Medlin takes a look at this question and concludes that homeschooled children certainly are not isolated. In fact, they associate with and feel close to many types of people. Their socialization skills are very good and they demonstrate good self-esteem, confidence, and resiliency. 

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.
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.
Statistics and Data for Idaho and the U.S.
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.
Canadian Study Confirms Advantages of Homeschooling
This Canadian study has confirmed what has been known for over two decades, much to the chagrin of public school officials: Homeschoolers perform better than public school students in the crucial core academic disciplines of reading and math. The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, compared the standardized test scores of 37 homeschooled students between the ages of five and 10 to those of 37 public school counterparts, finding that while public school students typically tested at or slightly above their grade level, homeschooled kids performed about a half grade higher in math and 2.2 grades higher in reading.
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.
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.
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. 

1.1 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2003
This brief uses data from the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) to estimate the number of homeschooled students in the United States in 2003 and to discuss the reasons parents decide to homeschool their children. The brief also shows that the number of homeschoolers, and the proportion of the student population they represent, has increased since 1999.
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.
Homeschool Statistics and Achievements
The Home Education Foundation has several reports detailing statistics on home education in America.
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 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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