TEACH CT - The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers

Research Facts on Homeschooling

by 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 2.2 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.

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.

Academic Performance

• The home-educated score, on average, 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile.)

• 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.

• Some educators think 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 19,000* K-12 homeschool students in Connec­ticut during the spring 2010 (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, and
   • 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.


*Ray, Brian D. (2011). 2.04 Million Homeschool Students in the United States in 2010. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute. Retrieved 2/18/2013 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://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_101.40.asp

For more homeschool research and more in-depth interpretation of research, please contact: National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), PO Box 13939, Salem OR 97309, USA | www.nheri.org | tel. (503) 364-1490 |  |Copyright © 2015 by Brian D. Ray.