Homeschooling Across America: A Revealing New Study

Homeschooling Across America: Academic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics is the latest authoritative study on home education.Dr. Brian D. Ray president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI, www.nheri.org), has conducted the study to examine the following:

  • educational history, demographic features, and academic achievement of home-educated students
  • and the basic demographics of their families,
  • and to assess the relationships between the homeschool students’ academic achievement and selected student and family variables.

 Data were collected in spring 2008 on the 11,729 participants in grades K to 12 from all 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Summary of Major Findings in This Study

Demographics of the Families and Students

  • The median income for home-educating families ($75,000 to $79,999) was similar to all married-couple families nationwide with one or more related children under age 18
  • Homeschool parents have more formal education than parents in the general population with over twice as many homeschool parents having college degrees;
  • Over 68% of these homeschool families have three or more children
  • The median amount of money spent annually on educational materials is about $400 to $599 per home-educated student.

Academic Achievement of Home-Educated Students in Grades K-12

  • Homeschool student achievement test scores are exceptionally high, averaging at least the 80th percentile in every subtest.
  • Achievement generally has no statistical difference based on whether or not: 
    • the student has been home educated all his or her academic life,
    • the student is enrolled in a full-service curriculum,
    • the parents knew their student’s test scores before participating in the study,
    • 0r the degree of state regulation of homeschooling (in three different analyses on the subject).
  • Students of non-certified parents actually scored better than those with parents who are certified educators

The full-length report is expected to be published circa November 2009.

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