Homeschool Fast Facts

How many children are homeschooled?

3.4% of all school-age children in the United States were homeschooled in 2011. That adds up to 1.77 million children. That number is likely higher today. Click here to learn more about the number of children being homeschooled.

Why do parents homeschool?

In 2011, 64% of homeschooling parents reported that they homeschooled at least in part to provide their children with religious instruction. 91% referenced concern about the school environment and 74% expressed dissatisfaction with the academic instruction in other schools. Click here to learn more about why parents homeschool.

What sorts of families homeschool?

As of 2007, 77% of homeschooled students were white, 89% lived in two-parent homes, and 33% lived in households with incomes over $75,000. 60% of homeschooled children lived in families with three or more children and 50% had at least one parent with a bachelor’s degree. Click here to learn more about homeschool demographics.

How do scholars talk about homeschooling?

Most scholars have divided homeschoolers into three groups: Those who homeschool for religious reasons, those who homeschool to liberate children from the constraints of the traditional classroom, and those who homeschool because other educational options weren’t working for them. Click here to learn more about these groups.

Why and when did homeschooling begin?

Homeschooling originated among progressive educational reformers in the late 1970s, and was adopted by evangelical and fundamentalist Christians in the 1980s. The practice grew during the 1990s and became increasingly accepted by the public in the 2000s, diversifying further in the 2010s. Click here to learn more about the history of homeschooling.

How do homeschooled students do academically?

While homeschooled students from non-poor, well-educated families whose families choose to participate in studies of homeschooling tend to perform well, less is known about other groups. There is evidence of a math gap, and data that suggests that homeschoolers do not on average outperform their peers. Click here to learn more about academics.

What about socialization?

The socialization homeschooled children receive depends almost entirely on their parents. What studies we have suggest that homeschooling parents overestimate their children’s social skills and that homeschooled children have fewer friends and are more likely to report being lonely. Click here to learn more about socialization.

What do we know about homeschool outcomes?

Studies of homeschool graduates’ college performance tend to be positive, but there are some indicators that homeschool graduates are less likely to attend college than their peers. One study found that homeschool graduates from religious homes were more likely to report a “lack of clarity of goals and sense of direction” and “feelings of helplessness in dealing with life’s problems. Click here to read more about homeschool outcomes.

Are homeschooling parents more or less likely to abuse their children?

This question is difficult to answer given a lack of data. A 2014 study of child torture found that nearly 50% of cases surveyed involved homeschooling, and our HIC database has catalogued over 100 homeschool child abuse or neglect fatalities since 2000. It is possible that there is a higher rate of severe child abuse among homeschooled children than in the general public, but not necessarily a higher rate of child abuse overall.

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