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Homeschool Research & Statistics
 Research Organizations
 Statistics and Data for Washington and the U.S.
 Homeschool Research Analysis

Research Organizations Back to Top
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.
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.
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.
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.

Statistics and Data for Washington and the U.S. Back to Top
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.
Home Schooling Works!
20,760 student achievement test scores and their family demographics make this one of the largest study of home education. Results demonstrate that home schooled students are doing exceptionally well and provide an informative portrait of America’s modern home education movement. Conducted by Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.
Homeschool Statistics and Achievements
Home Education Foundation
The Home Education Foundation has several reports detailing statistics on home education in America.
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.
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.
Homeschooling Rates by Student and Family Characteristics
A look at the homeschooling rates according to students' race, number of children in the household, single vs. two-parent households, and the education levels of the parents.
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.
Sources of Curriculum or Books
Parents of homeschooled students obtain curriculum or books from a wide variety of sources. This study shows that a majority of homeschooled students had parents who used one or more of the following sources of curriculum or books for their children’s home education: a public library (78 percent); a homeschooling catalog, publisher, or individual specialist (77 percent); a retail bookstore or other store (69 percent); and an education publisher that was not affiliated with homeschooling (60 percent). Approximately half of homeschooled students used curriculum or books from homeschooling organizations. Thirty-seven percent of homeschooled students used curriculum or books from a church, synagogue or other religious institution and 23 percent used a curriculum or books from their local public school or district.
The Case for Homeschooling
Roy Lechtreck
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.
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.
Washington Office of Private Education Home-Based Instruction Annual Reports
Reports dating back to 1998. Information includes total registered home-based students by grade and by school district.

Homeschool Research Analysis Back to Top
Homeschooled Kids: But What About Socialization?
Laura Osborne
What about socialization? This is one of the most common questions confronting homeschooling. Socialization is the process whereby the young of a culture learn the rules, mores, traditions, and acceptable interactions of their particular society. Regardless of being at home or at school, a child will be socialized. The question then seems to be: what is the best agent of socialization? Realizing that when a child graduates, he is never again cloistered in an environment with same-age peers makes one question the authenticity of the school as a superior socializing agent. But detractors ask, does the homeschool student do as well in measures of interpersonal and communication skills as his traditionally schooled peers? Let's look at the research.
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.
Homeschooling and Socialization Revisited
Milton Gaither
Richard G. Medlin, a psychology professor at Stetson University, here continues a line of inquiry he began in one of the landmark articles of the original 2000 Peabody Journal homeschooling special issue. Since that article he has published several pieces in the journal Home School Researcher, all of which find very positive results for homeschoolers’ social and academic development. In this piece his goal is to review research on homeschooler socialization that has appeared since his 2000 article.
Homeschooling Benefits: Children less preoccupied with peer acceptance
William R. Mattox Jr.
Most people who have never met a homeschooling family imagine that the kids are socially isolated. But some new research by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute suggests otherwise. Indeed, Ray's research helps to explain why the number of homeschoolers in America continues to grow. Ray reports the typical homeschooled child is involved in 5.2 social activities outside the home each week. These activities include afternoon and weekend programs with conventionally schooled kids, such as ballet classes, Little League teams, Scout troops, church groups and neighborhood play. They include midday field trips and cooperative learning programs organized by groups of homeschooling families. For example, some Washington, D.C., families run a homeschool drama troupe that performs at a local dinner theater. So, what most distinguishes a homeschooler's social life from that of a conventionally schooled child? Ray says homeschooled children tend to interact more with people of different ages.
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.
Homeschooling Growth in the 1980s
Homeschooling was growing rapidly in the 1980s in the United States, after starting from a very small base.
Homeschooling in the United States: 1999
National Center for Education Statistics
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. Major findings from the Parent-NHES:1999 indicate that in the spring of 1999, an estimated 850,000 students nationwide were being homeschooled. This amounts to 1.7 percent of U.S. students, ages 5 to 17, with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12. Four out of five homeschoolers were homeschooled only (82 percent) and one out of five homeschoolers were enrolled in public or private schools part time (18 percent). It also found that a greater percentage of homeschoolers compared to nonhomeschoolers were white, non-Hispanic in 1999—75 percent compared to 65 percent. At the same time, a smaller percentage of homeschoolers were black, non-Hispanic students and a smaller percentage were Hispanic students. Further, it was found that the household income of homeschoolers in 1999 was no different than nonhomeschoolers. However, parents of homeschoolers had higher levels of educational attainment than did parents of nonhomeschoolers.
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.
Homeschooling Is Growing Rapidly in Many States of the United States
Includes statistics from around the country detailing the number of homeschooled students. Also discusses the growth of homeschooling around the world.
How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education
Paul T. Hill
More than 1.2 million students are now being taught at home, more students than are enrolled in the entire New York City public school system. Paul T. Hill reports on the pros and cons of learning at home—and the effects home schooling will have on public schools.
Parents' Literacy and Their Children's Success in School: Recent Research, Promising Practices
Office Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) of the U.S. Department of Education
This report examines recent research and program developments designed to improve the education of children by improving the literacy skills of their parents (particularly their mothers) who did not graduate from high school.
Socialization? No Problem!
HSLDA
Every parent who homeschools has been through the drill: “Oh, you homeschool. Aren’t you concerned about your child’s socialization?” Homeschooling parents have known the answer for years: “No problem here!” But critics demand proof. Today, the first generation of homeschooled students has “grown up,” and there are enough homeschool graduates to begin to see how they are succeeding in their homes, in their work, and in their lives. In 2003, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned the largest research survey to date of adults who were home educated. Conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, the study surveyed over 7,300 adults who were homeschooled. Over 5,000 of these had been home educated at least seven years, and the statistics in this synopsis are based on their responses. The results confirm what homeschoolers have thought for years: “No problem here.”
State Laws Concerning Participation of Homeschool Students in Public School Activities
This is a list of states that have addressed issues of homeschooler participation in public school classes, sports, activities, etc.
Statistics on Public School vs. Homeschool
Karen Frazier
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.
The Case for Authentic Assessment
Grant Wiggins
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.
U.S. Department of Education Longitudinal Study of 2002: Homeschool Student Questionnaire
U.S. Department of Education
This is a survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, with a stated goal of being used by educators and by federal and state policy makers to address important issues facing the nation's schools: educational standards, high school course-taking patterns, dropping out of school, the education of the disadvantaged, the needs of language minority students, and the features of effective schools. We are including this link as an item of interest, to demonstrate what directions institutional survey writers are taking in their approach to homeschooling. In our opinion, it is a completely inadequate attempt to measure homeschooling demographics or success, focusing heavily on cultural notions of "socialization" and structured educational models. It is also invasive in terms of the amount of personal information required.


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