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

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.
Research Organizations
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.
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.
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.
Homeschool Research Analysis
Research Facts on Homeschooling
A summary look at research facts on homeschooling including: general facts and trends, reasons for home educating, academic performance, social, emotional, and psychological development, success in adulthood, and overall success.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 

Homeschooling Growth in the 1980s
Homeschooling was growing rapidly in the 1980s in the United States, after starting from a very small base.
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.
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.

Homeschoolers: Estimating Numbers and Growth
Homeschooling is the education of school-aged children under their parents' general monitoring, and it replaces full-time attendance at a school campus. Some homeschooling children enroll part time at a campus-based school, or share instruction with other families, but most of their educational program is under the direct oversight of parents. While many activities take place in the home, parents often draw on their community, neighboring institutions, and travel opportunities to complete the program.
Homeschooling Benefits: Children less preoccupied with peer acceptance
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.
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
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.
Growth in the Number of Virginia Homeschoolers
Virginia homeschoolers can make use of either of two main state statutes when homeschooling. One is a general homeschooling statute, the other a religious exemption from compulsory school attendance statute. Thus the proportion of homeschoolers registering under the religious exemption statute is not an accurate measure of the proportion of Virginia homeschoolers who may be homeschooling for religious reasons in whole or in part. The Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education began gathering figures about the religious exemption in a later year than when it began gathering figures about the general homeschooling statute, so the data series begins with figures reporting the number of children registered under the general statute, followed by one year (1993-1994) in which both the aggregate figure of all homeschooled children and the number of children using the general statute are shown, followed by recent years showing only the aggregate figure of all homeschooled children registered with local school authorities.
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.
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. 

Parents' Literacy and Their Children's Success in School: Recent Research, Promising Practices
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.
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 Virginia and the U.S.
Virginia Home Education and Religious Exemption Statistics 2006-2007
These are the statistics for the total number of home educators in Virginia during the school year 2006-2007, as well as those homeschooling under the religious exemption rules. Compiled by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
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. 

Virginia Home Education and Religious Exemption Statistics 2002-2003
These are the statistics for the total number of home educators in Virginia during the school year 2002-2003, as well as those homeschooling under the religious exemption rules. Compiled by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
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
The Home Education Foundation has several reports detailing statistics on home education in America.
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.
Virginia DOE Report on Home Instruction
The Virginia Department of Education has compiled statistics on students who are home educated in the state. Choose the report entitled, "Home Instruction."
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.
Virginia Home Education and Religious Exemption Statistics 2004-2005
These are the statistics for the total number of home educators in Virginia during the school year 2004-2005, as well as those homeschooling under the religious exemption rules. Compiled by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
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.
Virginia Home Education and Religious Exemption Statistics 2005-2006
These are the statistics for the total number of home educators in Virginia during the school year 2005-2006, as well as those homeschooling under the religious exemption rules. Compiled by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
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 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.
Virginia Home Education and Religious Exemption Statistics 2001-2002
These are the statistics for the total number of home educators in Virginia during the school year 2001-2002, as well as those homeschooling under the religious exemption rules. Compiled by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
Virginia Home Education and Religious Exemption Statistics 2000-2001
These are the statistics for the total number of home educators in Virginia during the school year 2000-2001, as well as those homeschooling under the religious exemption rules. Compiled by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
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.
Virginia Home Education and Religious Exemption Statistics 2003-2004
These are the statistics for the total number of home educators in Virginia during the school year 2003-2004, as well as those homeschooling under the religious exemption rules. Compiled by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
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

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

How to Drive: Real World Instruction and Advice from Hollywood's Top Driver
Want your child to be the best--and safest--driver possible? This book is for you! Ben Collins is a professional driver and is a former Top Gear Stig driver. He offers strategies for increasing control and safety and to encourage fun and efficient driving for all skill levels. 
Educational Travel on a Shoestring : Frugal Family Fun and Learning Away from Home
Educational Travel on a Shoestring shows parents how they can help their children learn–and have a blast–while traveling. From researching destinations to sharing activities that both teach and entertain, this priceless guide offers practical information for parents who want to have more fun with their kids, build closer family ties, and enjoy richer educational experiences–all without spending a fortune.
Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started
Homeschooling 101 gives you the steps to help you get started on your homeschool journey. This guide lays out how to get started, choose and gather curriculum, scheduling, organizing your home, and finding the joy in homeschooling. This book is perfect for new homeschoolers who are looking for real help in taking the first step. 
Learn and Do Unit Studies
Hands on unit studies on a variety of subjects, including science, life skills, arts and crafts, and animals and insects. Also offers free mini units available for download.
Home Schooling from Scratch : Simple Living, Super Learning
Parents learn what they really need, how to find or create materials and opportunities for less money, and how to organize their household for economical, happy learning.