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An estimated 3.1 million students were homeschooled in the United States during the 2021-2022 school year.


Homeschoolers are diverse

Homeschooling families come from many different demographics: Atheists, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons; progressives and liberals, libertarians, and conservatives; low-, middle-, and high income; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high school diploma.

Homeschoolers as a group live below the national average income level.

Parents homeschool for these reasons (among others):

  • Concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure
  • Dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools
  • Desire to provide religious or moral instruction

Many African American parents homeschool to:

  • Protect their children, especially their boys, from low expectations and being labeled as “trouble makers”
  • Give their children a sense of their historic cultural roots

Homeschoolers score substantially higher on standardized tests than public school students, on average

The average U.S. homeschooled student scores 15-30 percentiles higher than the national average.

Oregon homeschoolers, on average, score 29 percentiles higher than the national average. Arkansas homeschoolers, on average, score 11 percentiles higher than the national average.

Homeschooled students receive the same academic boost at all ability levels

This includes children with learning disabilities.

Homeschooled students are as consistently (equitably) educated as public school students

There are proportionately just as many well-served homeschool students as there are well-served public school students. And there are proportionately just as many ill-served public school students as there are ill-served homeschool students.

The typical homeschooled student is well-socialized

Socialization is the process of gaining the abilities and motivations necessary to function well as a member of society. In recent research, homeschoolers have demonstrated the sufficiency of their socializing experiences, on some issues showing better results than conventional schools.

One study suggests homeschooled students may be more politically tolerant than public school students.

Homeschooled students have the same or lower child abuse rates than the national average

The largest study so far on child abuse and type of education concluded that demographics rather than type of education largely determine child abuse rates. For homeschool-related abuse, typically “maltreatment is not happening at home and within the family but by others at places and activities such as at co-ops (co-operatives), part-time classes at a public or private school or a pod, museums, sports activities, music lessons, scouts, church or synagogue, or a play group.”

Public criticism of child abuse by homeschoolers relies on anecdotal evidence

There is no indication in Federal data that mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse in public schools significantly protects students.

Regulation does not help homeschooled students

Homeschool academic achievement is not boosted by regulations.

There is no evidence that regulating homeschoolers protects homeschooled students from child abuse.

Most existing state/provincial homeschool regulations are based on assumptions known to be unfounded.

Rodger Williams
Updated March 29, 2024