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

Research Organizations
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Homeschool Research Analysis
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.
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.
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
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.
Homeschooling Comes of Age
The rise of homeschooling is one of the most significant social trends of the past half century. This reemergence of what is in fact an old practice has occurred for a distinctly modern reason: a desire to wrest control from the education bureaucrats and reestablish the family as central to a child's learning. This article discusses the growth of the homeschooling movement, the future growth of the homeschooling community, some of the reasons to homeschool, and public acceptance of homeschooling.
Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics
According to widely-repeated estimates, as many as two million American children are schooled at home, with the number growing as much as 15 to 20 percent per year. At the same time, however, home schooling has received little attention compared with other recent changes in the educational system, such as the growth of charter schools. It could be argued that home schooling may have a much larger impact on educational system, both in the short and long run. This report uses the 1994 October CPS, and the National Household Education Survey of 1996 and 1999 to determine the extent of home schooling. It presents social, demographic and geographic characteristics of households that engage in home schooling and examines the potential for future growth. It is found that home schooling is less prevalent than shown in earlier estimates, but that the potential for growth is large.
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.
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. 

Testing the Boundaries of Parental Authority Over Education: The Case of Homeschooling
In this paper, Rob Reich, Department of Political Science, Stanford University, traces the rise of home education, the interests in education held by the government, the parent, and the child, and sets forth his suggestions for balancing these interests. These suggestions lead Reich to conclude that "while the state should not ban homeschooling it must nevertheless regulate its practice with vigilance." This paper caught the attention of many in the homeschooling community and spawned many rebuttals, including:

The Boundaries of Parental Authority: A Response to Rob Reich of Stanford University by Thomas W. Washburne, J.D.
Thomas W. Washburne, J.D. discusses how Reich's ideas for home education have a dangerous implication on the freedoms of homeschooling parents.

Let's Stop Aiding and Abetting Academicians' Folly by Larry and Susan Kaseman
Larry and Susan Kaseman discuss the weaknesses in Reich's study and include strategies to counteract negatively biased research on homeschooling.

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. 

Structured homeschooling gets an A+
A new study from Concordia University and Mount Allison University has found that homeschooling -- as long as it's structured or follows a curriculum -- can provide kids with an academic edge. "Structured homeschooling may offer opportunities for academic performance beyond those typically experienced in public schools," says first author Sandra Martin-Chang, a professor in the Concordia Department of Education, noting this is among the first nonpartisan studies to investigate home education versus public schooling.
Fifteen Year Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults
Little is known of Canadians who were home educated as students, particularly as they compare to their Canadian adult peers who were educated in publicly-funded and private schools. Are they as engaged as their peers in democratic, cultural, and economically productive activities? How do their income levels and income sources compare? Are they more or less likely to pursue postsecondary education, to be involved in their communities, to be physically active? How do they evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of their home education experience? This study provides a demographic and lifestyle snapshot of these young adults and offers an initial description of some of the indicators of the outcomes of the first generation of home education in Canada. The study followed up with Canadian survey participants fifteen years after they first shared information about their home education practices, family demographics, and academic achievements (Ray, 1994). It describes their current education level, occupation, community participation, religious observance, income, life satisfaction, recreational pursuits, and family status, and compares these with those of the general adult population of Canadians in the same age group. We also asked graduates to reflect on their home education experience and how it prepared them for their future.
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.
Homeschooling Grows Up
Homeschooling Grows Up is the largest research survey to date of adults who were home educated. Over the last decade, researchers, professionals, parents, the media, and many others have asked repeatedly: How do homeschooled students turn out? Can a homeschool graduate get into college or get a job? How do they fit into society? Are they good citizens? Are they happy? In 2003, HSLDA commissioned Dr. Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute, to conduct a study to answer these questions. The results of his research demonstrate that homeschoolers are succeeding.
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.
Home Schooling Achievement
Home Schooling Achievement provides a concise look at home school achievement test score data, followed by a more in depth comparison of student's scores with parent education levels, money spent on home school curriculum, government regulation, and race, and gender. In all categories, home school students' successes defy the standard predictors. The final chart examines activities and community involvement and resoundingly explodes the myth that home schooled children lack adequate socialization opportunities.
Homeschooling: A Growing Option in American Education
Families cite common reasons for choosing to homeschool their children, such as concern about the environment at other schools, dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools, and a preference for providing religious and moral instruction not provided in traditional schools. The decentralized nature of the homeschooling population limits researchers' ability to draw conclusions about the specific effect of homeschooling on various outcome measures such as academic achievement. However, evaluations of homeschooled students have reported that homeschool students perform well in that academic environment. Moreover, a survey of adults who were homeschooled suggests that home schooling leads to positive life outcomes, such as higher college attendance and enrollment.
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. 

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: 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 Arkansas and the U.S.
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.
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: 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.
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: 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.
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.
The Characteristics of Homeschooled and Nonhomeschooled Students
One way to examine how student, family, and household characteristics are related to homeschooling is to compare the characteristics of homeschooled students to different populations of students. This study provides a comparison of homeschoolers to non-homeschoolers, both public schooled students and private schooled students, by student, family, and household characteristics.
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.
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.
Featured Resources

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The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12
Fun and Effective Home Learning Activities for Every SubjectAs a homeschooling parent, you're always looking for new and creative ways to teach your child the basics. Look no longer! Inside this innovative helper, you'll find kid-tested and parent-approved techniques for learning math, science, writing, history, manners, and more that you can easily adapt to your family's homeschooling needs. And even if you don't homeschool, you'll find this book a great teaching tool outside the classroom. You...
Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home
This book is not about "school at home"--it is about something better. It is about Real Learning. Homeschooling pioneer Charlotte Mason wrote with great wisdom about providing young minds with a living books education. She urged teachers to present great ideas and stand back, allowing students to form relationships with the ideas. Elizabeth Foss carries Miss Mason's philosophy from the idealto the real. How does the busy home-educating mom balance the various needs of a houseful of children? How...
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
In this brilliant, lively, and eye-opening investigation, Tom Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots. Tr...
Children at Play : Using Waldorf Principles to Foster Childhood Development
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Unclutter Your Home: 7 Simple Steps, 700 Tips & Ideas (Simplicity Series)
Hundreds of practical ideas for sorting, evaluating, and getting rid of all those material items that get in the way of a simplified lifestyle.