Homeschooling: The Research
Homeschooling allows parents to teach their children at home instead of sending them to school. Parents make use of a wide range of resources; children’s experiences vary.
After a long period of growth, the number of children being homeschooled has stopped increasing. Roughly 3.3% of students, nearly two million children, are being homeschooled.
Homeschooled children today are less likely to be white, more likely to have a parent who has not completed high school, and more likely to live below the poverty line than in the past.
Parents homeschool for many reasons: to provide religious instruction, creative learning, or a better education; to meet a child’s special needs; or to escape bullying.
Homeschooling appears to depress students’ math performance, but may increase reading scores for some children. Few studies using random samples have been conducted.
The socialization a homeschooled child receives depends on their parents. Some students have active social calendars; others may not receive the interaction they need.
Homeschool graduates who attend college tend to do well; however, there are indications that homeschooling depresses both college attendance and achievement in STEM fields.
Scholars have long divided homeschoolers into groups—closed communion or open communion; believers or inclusives; first choice or second choice.
The movement began in the 1970s when educator John Holt began urging parents to foster their children’s learning at home. In the 1980s, evangelicals entered the scene.
Good research promotes good homeschooling. Research that is honest about exploring the strengths and weaknesses of homeschooling has the potential to help improve homeschooled students’ experiences. As an organization, research is part of our mission. While our original research so far has been preliminary, we have several studies in the works and maintain the Homeschooling’s Invisible Children database. In addition to conducting our own research, we also offer critical analyses of research on homeschooling conducted by others.
- Arkansas Data Contradicts HSLDA’s Claims
- 2016 Homeschool Athletics Survey
- Should We Be Concerned about Low Homeschool SAT-Taking?
- The Homeschool Math Gap: The Data
- The Alaska Data and Homeschool Academics
- Left in Limbo: Examining Kentucky’s 2018 Report on Homeschooling
- Homeschooling and Child Abuse: A Response to Ray and Other Apologists
- Opacity in Data Reporting: A Look at Cardus (2011, 2012)
- Choosing the Data that Supports Your Agenda: A Look at Ray 2010
- Correcting the Record: A Look at Rudner 1999
- Homeschooling Outcomes or Sampling Problems? A Look at Ray 2003