RESEARCH FACTS ON
Brian D. Ray, Ph.D.
Homeschooling—that is, parent-led home-based education—is an age-old traditional educational practice that a decade ago appeared to be cutting-edge and “alternative” but is now bordering on “mainstream” in the United States. There are about 2.4 million home-educated students in the United States, and it appears the homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum over the past few years)*. It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. Home-based education has also been growing around the world in many other nations (e.g., Australia, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, and the United Kingdom).
Reasons for Home Educating
Most parents and youth decide to homeschool for more than one reason. The most common reasons given for choosing home-based education are the following:
• customize or individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child,
• accomplish more academically than in schools,
• use pedagogical approaches other than those typical in institutional schools,
• enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings,
• provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults,
• provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools, and
• teach and impart a particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview to children and youth.
• The home-educated score, on average, is 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. A 2015 study found Black homeschool students to be scoring 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public-school students* (Ray, 2015).
• Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of education, their family’s household income or whether their parents were ever certified teachers.
• Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.
• There is sound reason to believe homeschooling is a cause of this relatively high academic achievement.
• Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests and are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.
Social, Emotional, and Psychological Development
• The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self- esteem.
• Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.
Homeschooling in Connecticut
• CT General Statute 10-184 mandates that parents have the primary responsibility to care for and instruct their children, unless they arrange to provide for such instruction elsewhere (school).
• The C-14 Guidelines were developed in 1990 by the State Board of Education to provide suggested procedures for homeschooling. However, since these procedures are not law, compliance is voluntary.
• Homeschooled in CT – There were an estimated 40,000 to 45,000 K-12 homeschool students in Connecticut during March of 2021. There were about 22,000 in Connecticut in the spring of 2019*. Homeschool numbers roughly doubled from March of 2020 to March of 2021, largely due to families’ responses to government lockdowns of schools regarding Covid-19. It will likely not be known until October of 2022 how much of the accelerated growth in homeschooling will have persisted.
Success in the “Real World” of Adulthood
The research base of adults who were home educated is growing; thus far it indicates that they:
• participate in local community service more frequently than does the general population
• vote and attend public meetings more frequently than the general population
• go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population
• by adulthood, internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a high rate
• adults who are home educated are more politically tolerant than public school graduates.
* Ray, Brian D. (2015). African American homeschool parent’s motivations for homeschooling and their Black children’s academic achievement. Journal of School Choice, 9:71-96
* Ray, Brian D. (2021). Research facts on homeschooling, from https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/
* United State Census Bureau. (2021). Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey Shows significant increase in homeschooling rates in Fall 2020. https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/03/homeschooling-on-the-rise-during-covid-19-pandemic.html
* United States Department of Education. (2021). Digest of Education Statistics 2019, 55th Edition, February 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021 from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2021/2021009.pdf
Need More Information About Homeschooling?
The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers in CT (TEACH-CT)
12 Sage Park Rd, Windsor, CT 06095
Phone: (860) 938-6765 / Fax: (860) 653-6263
Email: gro.tchcaet@tchcaet (General Inquiries)
Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600