Homeschool Fast Facts
3.3% of children are homeschooled.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 3.3% of all school-age children in the United States were homeschooled in 2016. That adds up to close to two million children.
The homeschooling rate has leveled off.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 3.3% of all school-age children in the United States were homeschooled in 2016, down slightly from 3.4% in 2012.
Most parents homeschool for multiple reasons.
In 2016, parents cited an average of 3.5 reasons for homeschooling. The most common reasons were concern about the environment in other schools, academics, and religion.
Poor children are more likely to be homeschooled.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported that in 2016, 3.9% of poor children were homeschooled compared with 3.1% of non-poor children.
11% of homeschooled students do not have a parent who speaks English.
This finding by the National Center for Education Statistics is likely related to the growing diversity of homeschooling; in 2016, 26% of homeschooled students were Hispanic.
High school dropouts homeschool at the highest rate.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 4.4% of children whose parents have not completed high school were homeschooled, compared to 3.6% of children whose parents have a bachelor’s degree.
Not all homeschooling families are religious.
The National Center for Education Statistics found that 51% of homeschooling parents cited religious reasons for homeschooling in 2016, down from 64% in 2012.
Homeschooling began in the 1970s.
Homeschooling originated among progressive educational reformers in the late 1970s, and was adopted by evangelical and fundamentalist Christians in the 1980s.
Homeschooled students have a “math gap.”
A wide range of studies have found that homeschooled students underperform in math relative to their peers. Several studies indicate that this math gap results in a lower percentage of homeschoolers pursuing degrees in STEM fields.
Homeschooled students may under-attend college.
Homeschooled students take the SAT and ACT, often viewed as a proxy for intent to attend college, at far lower rates than other students.
Most states offer no accountability for homeschooling.
Only a handful of states require homeschooling parents to show evidence that they are educating their children. In eleven states, including Texas, homeschooling parents are not required to have any contact with school officials.
Perpetrators of severe child abuse often homeschool.
A 2014 study of child torture found that 47% of school-age child torture victims were removed from school to be homeschooled.