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) (Ray, 2011). 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 14,000 to 17,000* K-12 homeschool students in Connecticut during the spring 2013 (based on Ray, 2011 and USDE, 2013).
Note: The number of homeschooled children in any state represents roughly 2.5%-3% of the school age (5-17 yrs.) population. The numbers for CT were based on most recent available statistics.
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. (2011) 2.04 Million Homeschool Students in the United States in 2010. Salem, OR. National Home Education Research Institute. Retrieved 2/18/13 online: http://www.nheri.org/research/nheri-news/homeschool-population-report-2010.html.
*US Dept of Education, NCES, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2015 from http://nced.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13_101.40asp
*African American homeschool parent’s motivations for homeschooling and their Black children’s academic achievement. Ray, Brian D. (2015a). Journal of School Choice, 9:71-96
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