Homeschooling Statistics: Breakdown by the 2022 Numbers
As the name indicates, homeschooling means when the parents opt to provide home-based education to their kids. This was a traditional practice, but over the last few years, it has become the fastest-growing mainstream education in the US and other nations around the world, such as France, Japan, the UK, South Korea, Russia, etc.
If we observe the trend in the last few years, there is an annual homeschooling growth rate of 2%-8%. However, there has been a significant increase in those figures from 2019 to 2021. By the end of 2020, about 9 million Americans said they had attended homeschool at some point in their lives.
There are numerous reasons why families opt for homeschooling, such as the lack of their children’s progress in traditional schooling, the difference in religious and educational philosophies, lack of satisfaction with the traditional educational methods, etc. In this article, we will explore homeschooling facts and their various aspects in detail.
Is Homeschooling More Effective Than Public School?
There are chances of success of homeschooling compared to institutional schooling because this lets the children improve as per their nature and schedule. When homeschooling is well planned and organized, besides providing children scope for socialization, then it results in effective outcomes. It helps students focus on the career which interests them by preparing them for college by including extension courses. It becomes a well-rounded education that is highly effective when the homeschooled students get the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, community sports, and community service groups.
It is an extremely important decision for the parents to choose the mode of education for their children. They consider the effects of homeschooling and the factors such as the student’s personality, style of learning, availability, etc., while finalizing this.
Homeschoolers were seen to have an average standardized test score of 87th percentile as per the National Home Education Research Institute’s study.
Compared to this, the score of those going to public school was only 50th percentile in certain subjects. Generally, standardized tests are not the best method of gauging a student’s academic performance.
A study related to the data obtained from the 2007-2008 school year by Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) shows a difference of 34 percentile
There was 39 percentile points excess in the case of homeschoolers as compared to others, in all subjects. If some parents found teaching math a challenging task, their children could not excel in it like those in public schools.
Consistently Higher Percentile Scores
While standardized test scores aren’t always the best way to measure academic achievement, studies consistently find that home-schoolers do seem to outperform public schooled students on tests such as the ACT and SAT.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) commissioned a study drawing data for the 2007-2008 school year from multiple standardized testing services. The national average percentile scores were higher in all subject areas by at least 34 percentile points, and as high as 39 percentile points. Factors such as parental college degrees, how much parents spent on education, level of state regulation, and sex of the students made little difference in the range of scores in all areas among the home-schooled children.
Analysis from a 2015 study conducted by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute reveals that home educated students usually score 15 to 30 percentile points higher than public school students on standardized tests. This study further concludes that these results were achieved regardless of income level within the students’ families or educational status of the students’ parents.
Other recent news from the National Home Education Research Institute states that the College Board reported 2014 SAT scores for home-schooled students as being significantly higher than scores for their traditionally schooled counterparts.
Conversely, the Coalition for Responsible Home Education found that there was a “math gap” between home educated students and public school students, with the public school students coming out on top in this academic area. The researchers concluded that, while it was a fairly straightforward task for most responsible parents to teach reading, writing, science, and social studies, many parents would struggle with teaching a challenging math curriculum.
Success in the “Real World” of Adulthood
It is possible that homeschooling causes the positive traits reported above. However, the research designs to date do not conclusively “prove” that homeschooling causes these things. At the same time, there is no empirical evidence that homeschooling causes negative things compared to institutional schooling. Future research may better answer the question of causation.
1. For more detail, see How Many Homeschool Students Are There in the United States? The March of 2021 estimate is based on data from state governments (e.g., Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Virginia), the U.S. Census Bureau (2021), and the U.S. Department of Education (2019). See McDonald (2020). The spring 2019 estimate was based on an estimate of about 2.5% per annum growth from estimates of 2 million home-educated children during the spring of 2010 and 2.3 million spring of 2016 in the United States (Ray, 2011). The estimate of 2.3 million in 2016 was calculated by Brian D. Ray, the author of this fact sheet, on April 7, 2016. He based it on publicly available research findings.
- Cheng, Albert. (2014). Does homeschooling or private schooling promote political intolerance? Evidence from a Christian university. Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform, 8(1), 49-68 [a peer-reviewed journal].
- Fields-Smith, Cheryl. (2020). Exploring single black mothers’ resistance through homeschooling. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan Cham.
- Mazama, Ama; & Lundy, Garvey. (2012, August 26). African American homeschooling as racial protectionism. Journal of Black Studies, 43(7) 723–748.
- McDonald, Kerry. (2020). Homeschooling more than doubles during the pandemic: State-level data show just how dramatic the surge in homeschooling has been. Retrieved December 29, 2020 from https://fee.org/articles/homeschooling-more-than-doubles-during-the-pandemic/
- Mead, Sara. (2006). The truth about boys and girls.
- Medlin, Richard G. (2013). Homeschooling and the question of socialization revisited. Peabody Journal of Education, 88(3), 284-297 [a peer-reviewed journal].
- National Education Association. (2021). Rankings of the States 2020 and Estimates of School Statistics 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021 from http://www.nea.org/home/44479.htm
- Ray, Brian D. (2004). Home educated and now adults: Their community and civic involvement, views about homeschooling, and other traits. Salem, Oregon: NHERI.
- Ray, Brian D. (2004). Homeschoolers on to college: What research shows us. Ray, Journal of College Admission, No. 185, 5-11 [a peer-reviewed journal].
- Ray, Brian D. (2010). Academic achievement and demographic traits of homeschool students: A nationwide study. Academic Leadership Journal, 8,www.academicleadership.org [a peer-reviewed journal]. For a free copy, contact us.
- Ray, Brian D. (2013). Homeschooling associated with beneficial learner and societal outcomes but educators do not promote it. Peabody Journal of Education, 88(3), 324-341 [a peer-reviewed journal].
- Ray, Brian D. (2015). African American homeschool parents’ motivations for homeschooling and their Black children’s academic achievement. Journal of School Choice, 9:71–96 [a peer-reviewed journal]. For a free copy, contact us.
- Ray, Brian D. (2017). A systematic review of the empirical research on selected aspects of homeschooling as a school choice. Journal of School Choice, 11(4), 604-621 [a peer-reviewed journal]
- Seiver, Jillene Grove; & Pope, Elisa A. (2022). The kids are alright II: social engagement in young adulthood as a function of k-12 schooling type, personality traits, and parental education level. Home School Researcher, 37(2), 1-9.
- Sheffer, Susannah. (1995). A sense of self: Listening to homeschooled adolescent girls.
- United States Department of Education. (2019) Homeschooling in the United States: Results from the 2012 and 2016 Parent and Family Involvement Survey (PFINHES: 2012 and 2016). Retrieved November 3, 2020 from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2020/2020001.pdf
About the Author
Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. is an internationally known researcher, educator, speaker, and expert witness, and serves as president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute. He is a former certified teacher in public and private schools and served as a professor in the fields of science, research methods, and education at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He holds a Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University, a M.S. in zoology from Ohio University, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Puget Sound. Dr. Ray has been studying the homeschool movement since about 1984.