Homeschooling Statistics: Revealing Trends & Demographics

Dive into homeschooling statistics, revealing trends, demographics, academic performance, and more.

judah schiller
Judah Schiller
March 5, 2024

Growth of Homeschooling

The trend of homeschooling has seen significant growth over the years. Both domestically and internationally, an increasing number of parents are choosing to educate their children at home. In this section, we will explore the homeschooling trends over the years and the impact of the pandemic on homeschooling statistics.

Homeschooling Trends Over the Years

In the United States, the number of homeschooled children has more than doubled from 850,000 in 1999 to 1.8 million in 2012 Hanley Foundation. A study from the National Home Education Research Institute found that homeschooling is continuing to grow at an estimated rate of 2% to 8% annually Hanley Foundation.

The percentage of homeschooled students in the United States increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 3.4 percent in 2012. However, this percentage was lower in 2019 compared to 2012 National Center for Education Statistics.

Year Number of Homeschooled Students (in millions) Percentage of Total Students
1999 0.85 1.7%
2007 1.5 2.9%
2012 1.8 3.4%
2019 1.7 3.3%

Homeschooling Statistics During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented shift in the educational landscape. As traditional schooling methods faced disruption, homeschooling emerged as a viable alternative for many families.

During the 2020-2021 school year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the number of homeschooling households doubled compared to the previous year, reaching 11.1 million households Washington Post.

This surge in homeschooling during the pandemic underscores the flexibility and adaptability of homeschooling as an educational choice. As we move forward, it will be interesting to observe whether these changes in homeschooling statistics will persist post-pandemic.

Demographics of Homeschooling

Understanding the demographics of homeschooling can provide valuable insights into the trends and patterns within this educational choice. The racial and ethnic composition of homeschooling families, as well as the educational backgrounds of the parents, play a significant role in shaping the homeschooling landscape.

Racial and Ethnic Composition

The racial and ethnic composition of homeschooling has seen some shifts over the years. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019, the homeschooling rate varied by race and ethnicity. White students had a homeschooling rate of 4.0 percent, Hispanic students 1.9 percent, and Black students 1.2 percent [1].

However, the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) has found a noticeable decline in the number of white children being homeschooled, with a corresponding increase in Hispanic students being homeschooled. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of white children being homeschooled fell from 1,200,000 to 1,000,000 [2].

In terms of percentages, the NHES 2016 found that 1.9% of black students and 1.5% of Asian and Pacific Islander students were being homeschooled. These groups are less likely to be homeschooled than white or Hispanic students [2].

Here's a summary of the racial and ethnic composition of homeschooled students:

Race / Ethnicity Percentage of Homeschooled Students
White 4.0%
Hispanic 1.9%
Black 1.2%
Asian / Pacific Islander 1.5%

Parental Education Levels and Homeschooling

The education level of parents also factors into homeschooling statistics. Data shows that parents with higher levels of education are more likely to homeschool their children. However, it's important to note that homeschooling is a choice made by families across the entire educational spectrum, not just those with advanced degrees.

Detailed data on the correlation between parental education levels and homeschooling rates is lacking. More research is needed to provide a comprehensive picture of how parental education levels influence the decision to homeschool.

Reasons for Choosing Homeschooling

Understanding the reasons why parents choose homeschooling over traditional schools helps to illuminate the factors driving the growth of this educational choice. These motivations often revolve around concerns about traditional schools and the desire for customization and individualized learning.

Concerns About Traditional Schools

One of the primary reasons parents opt for homeschooling is due to concerns about the negative environment of their child's public school. According to the National Household Education Survey (NHES) conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), over 26% of parents cited a negative environment as their most important reason, and over 90% listed it as one of their reasons for homeschooling [3].

Furthermore, issues such as bullying in schools, which can lead to lower grades, self-esteem issues, poor sleeping habits, depression, and more, are a significant concern for parents. These adverse incidents are often dismissed by teachers and go unreported by children who experience bullying [3].

Additionally, many parents believe that the quality of education in today's public schools has declined due to factors like the implementation of Common Core, declining state education budgets, increased student enrollment, and other issues. This perception leads some parents to choose homeschooling in pursuit of a higher quality education for their children [3].

Customization and Individualized Learning

Homeschooling also offers the opportunity for customization and individualized learning, a factor that appeals to many parents. From the ability to provide religious or moral instruction, to dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools, concerns about the school environment, and the desire to enhance family relationships, parents have a myriad of reasons for choosing homeschooling [4].

Homeschooling allows parents to tailor the educational process to meet their child's unique needs, interests, and learning style. It provides the flexibility to adapt the curriculum, learning environment, and pace of learning to the individual student. This customization can lead to improved student engagement, motivation, and academic performance.

In conclusion, the reasons for choosing homeschooling are as diverse as the families who make this choice. However, a common thread is the desire for a more personalized, flexible, and supportive educational experience than what traditional schools may be able to provide. As homeschooling statistics continue to rise, it is clear that more and more families are seeing the benefits of this educational choice.

Academic Performance of Homeschooled Students

One of the most significant areas of interest when exploring homeschooling statistics is the academic performance of homeschooled students. This section focuses on the performance of these students in relation to standardized tests and college entrance exams.

Homeschooling and Standardized Tests

When it comes to standardized academic achievement tests, homeschooled students typically outperform their peers in public schools. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, homeschool students generally score 15 to 30 percentile points above public school students.

Additionally, research from the Hanley Foundation shows that 75% of homeschooled students scored at or above the national average on standardized tests. These figures highlight the potential academic benefits of homeschooling in a standardized testing context.

Student Type Percentile Above Average
Homeschooled 15-30
Public School -

College Entrance Exams and Homeschooling

Performance in college entrance exams is another important metric in evaluating the effectiveness of homeschooling. The National Home Education Research Institute has found that homeschooled students who take the SAT or ACT typically score 15 to 20 percentile points above public-school students.

In addition, a study from NHERI revealed a statistically significant difference in the overall GPAs of homeschooled students and traditionally schooled students. The study, conducted at a private university in the Southeast United States, found that homeschooled students exhibited a higher GPA mean compared to their peers who were not homeschooled.

Exam Type Homeschooled Students' Percentile Above Public School Students
SAT 15-20
ACT 15-20

These statistics suggest that homeschooling can offer an effective pathway for academic success, both in terms of standardized testing and college readiness. However, it's important to remember that these figures represent averages and may not reflect the experience of every homeschooled student. Factors such as the quality of instruction, the student's commitment to learning, and the support provided at home can all influence the academic outcomes of homeschooling.

The Economic Aspect of Homeschooling

Understanding the economic implications of homeschooling is vital, as it provides insights into the financial commitment required from families who choose this educational path. This section will explore the annual expenditure on homeschooling and the state-wise homeschooling expenditure.

Annual Expenditure on Homeschooling

On average, homeschooling families spend $600 per student annually for educational materials and services, making the total cost of homeschooling in the U.S. approximately $900 million per year [4]. This cost can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as the curriculum chosen, the number of children being homeschooled, and the cost of supplemental learning resources.

It's worth noting that while homeschooling may require a significant upfront investment, many parents find that the flexibility and personalized learning experience it provides are worth the expense. Moreover, a portion of these costs may be offset by savings from not requiring school uniforms, transportation, and other school-related expenses.

State-Wise Homeschooling Expenditure

State-wise homeschooling statistics reveal that Texas and California had the most homeschooling households in the country, with each state having over 1 million households in the 2020-2021 school year [5].

The top 10 states with the highest percentages of children who were homeschooled in the 2020-2021 school year were largely located in the South and Mountain West regions of the United States. This indicates a regional trend towards homeschooling that may be influenced by local school policies, cultural factors, and the availability of homeschooling resources.

Top 10 States Percentage of Homeschooled Children
Florida 9.1%
North Carolina 8.9%
Alaska 8.6%
Idaho 8.3%
Louisiana 8.2%
Arkansas 8.1%
Mississippi 7.9%
Alabama 7.8%
Tennessee 7.6%
South Carolina 7.5%

Figures courtesy Washington Post

The economic aspect of homeschooling, while significant, is just one factor to consider. The decision to homeschool should also take into account the potential academic, social, and personal growth benefits this learning approach can offer.

Social Outcomes of Homeschooling

While the academic performance of homeschooled students is generally recognized as surpassing that of traditionally schooled peers, the social outcomes of homeschooling also provide valuable insight into the benefits of this educational approach.

Community Engagement and Voting Patterns

One significant advantage of homeschooling lies in the students' active involvement in their communities. According to the Hanley Foundation, homeschooled students are 76% likely to vote in elections, compared to just 35% of traditionally schooled students.

These figures suggest that homeschooled students have a heightened awareness of societal issues and a stronger sense of civic responsibility. This inclination to actively participate in civic duties such as voting is a testament to the well-rounded development nurtured through homeschooling.

Education Type Voting Likelihood
Homeschooled Students 76%
Traditionally Schooled Students 35%

Handling Bullying Through Homeschooling

Another important aspect of homeschooling is its effectiveness in addressing the issue of bullying. Bullying in traditional schools often leads to lower grades, self-esteem issues, poor sleeping habits, and depression among students. Unreported incidents of teasing, stealing, physical harm, and verbal abuse are common in these settings, often dismissed by teachers [3].

Homeschooling offers a solution to these problems by removing the psychological and physical torment associated with bullying. Parents who opt for homeschooling due to concerns about bullying often report significant academic improvement and greater personal happiness among their children. Furthermore, homeschooling allows parents to introduce structured social experiences, reducing concerns about socialization by eliminating harmful influences and promoting positive interactions.

These homeschooling statistics highlight the potential of this educational approach in fostering not just academic excellence but also meaningful social development among students. By providing a safe and conducive learning environment, homeschooling empowers students to reach their full potential and make significant contributions to society.