As popularity and awareness of homeschooling grows, the homeschooling population changes.
Many of these statistics were conveniently collected from Patrick Basham’s Home Schooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream (2nd Edition, 2007), the Fraser Institute report on homeschooling questions and findings over the past 25 years in the U.S. and Canada. Additional statistics come from Dr. Brian Ray’s Homeschool Progress Report 2009 (U.S.) and The Condition of Education 2009 published by the National Center for Education Statistics (U.S.).
Advantages of Homeschooling
A summary of the benefits and advantages of homeschooling include the opportunities to
- impart values and beliefs
- provide one-on-one instruction for higher academic performance
- develop closer parent-child relationships
- experience high-quality social interactions with peers and adults
- escape negative peer pressure
- learn in a physically safe environment
According to nationwide homeschooling statistics (Ray, 1997; 2018),
- homeschoolers spend less time and money (from less than $600) per student than public schools (average $10,000) with significantly better results
- By grade 8, the average homeschooler performs four grade levels above the national average
- homeschoolers score in the 85th to 89th percentile in core subjects
College@Home created a graphical depiction of homeschool statistics.
Religiosity of Homeschooling
- 1960s -70s: Most homeschooling parents were members of the counter-cultural Liberal Left (academically and/or socially motivated pedagogues; New Age-ers, hippies, homesteaders)
- mid-1980s: Most homeschooling parents could be described as Christian Right (religiously motivated idealogues)
- 1990s: Seventy-five percent of homeschoolers were practicing Christians
- 2005: Thirty-three percent of homeschooling parents cited unavailability of religious instruction in schools as reason for homeschooling (USDOE, 2005b)
- 2017: Fifty-eight percent of homeschoolers were “fundamentalists;” however, only thirty-three percent cited religious reasons for homeschooling.
Homeschooling Population Growth: Canada
- 1979: 2,000 homeschooled children (Wake, 2000)
- 1996: 17,523 homeschooled children (Provincial Ministries of Education estimate)
- 1997: 60,000 homeschooled children (Eisler and Dwyer, 1997)
- 1999: 80,000 homeschooled children (Wake, 2000)
Homeschooling Population Growth: United States
- 1985: 50,000 homeschooled children
- 1992: 300,000 homeschooled children (Gutterson, 1993)
- 1995: 500,000 to 750,000 (US Dept. of Education estimate; Lines, 1997)
- 1999: 850,000 (US Dept. of Education)
- 2007: 1.1 million (Bielick, et al., 2001) to 2.1 million (HSLDA estimate; Ray, 2003)
In a section near the end of John Holt’s Teach Your Own, he suggested that schools can learn from homeschoolers what they can not learn under the constraints of mandated school curricula, which amounts to the great many different ways children learn, so that schools could “offer to learners the widest possible range of choices, both in what to learn and ways to learn it.”