Home Schooling Facts


Many parents are looking for home schooling facts before deciding on home schooling their children. Take a look at some of the questions and answers on this page so you can decide if it is right for you and your family.

Who gathered the facts about home schooling?

Brian D. Ray is a researcher, writer, speaker, a former professor of education and science (at the undergraduate and graduate levels), a former middle school and high school classroom teacher, and is the president of the National Home Education Research Institute. Dr. Ray holds his Ph.D. in science education from Oregon State University. He has published several books on this topic, and we are thankful to report some of his research information here. We have also listed a few of his books at the bottom of this page.

How many people do home schooling?

During 2002-2003 in the United States, there were an estimated 1,700,000 to 2,100,000 children (grades K-12) that were home educated.

Is home schooling growing or declining?

Home schooling appears to still be the fastest-growing form of education.

Do we have the right to home school?

Another researcher in the home schooling field, Dr. Patricia Lines said that home education families “… have not turned their backs on the broader social contract as understood at the time of the Founding [of America]. Like the Antifederalists, these home­schoolers are asserting their historic individual rights so that they may form more meaningful bonds with family and community. In doing so, they are not abdicating from the American agreement. To the contrary, they are affirming it.”

What about tax dollars for education?

According to Dr. Ray, home schooling families are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources. In reality, they likely save American taxpayers over $10 billion per year.

Do home schooling students have higher academic achievement?

In the most in-depth nationwide study on home education across the United States, Dr. Ray collected data on 5,402 students from 1,657 families. Home schooling students' academic achievement, on average, was significantly above that of public school students.

What if the parents are not certified teachers?

Research has found that the home educated did well even if their parents were not certified teachers and if the state did not highly regulate home schooling.

How flexible is the curriculum?

Home educators have the ability to be flexible and tailor or customize

their curriculum to the needs of each child.

Do home schooling students score better?

According to Dr. Ray, in study after study, the home educated score better than those in conventional state-run schools (see table below).

Public Schools505050
Home Education65-8065-8065-80


Is home schooling good for disabled students?

Another researcher, Steven Duvall, indicates that for learning disabled students, there are higher rates of academically engaged time and greater academic gains made by the home educated. “… [P]arents, even without special education training, provided powerful instructional environments at home…”

Are home schooled children well behaved?

Studying actual observed behavior, Dr. Larry Shyers found the home educated have significantly lower problem behavior scores than do their conventional school-age mates.

What about self-esteem?

According to Dr. Ray's multiple studies, the home educated have positive self-concepts.

Do home schooling parents get involved in the community?

Research by Dr. Ray shows home schooling students are regularly engaged in field trips, scouting, 4-H, and community volunteer work, and their parents (i.e., their main role models) are significantly more civilly involved than are public school parents.

Is there any difference in critical thinking skills?

Critical thinking skills of college students were found to have no significant differences among high school graduates of private schools, public schools, and home­schooling.

Are home schooling parents often unemployed?

J. Gary Knowles presented his study of adults who were home educated and found that none were unemployed and none were on welfare. In addition, 94% said home education prepared them to be independent persons, and 79% said it helped them interact with individuals from different levels of society. They strongly supported the home education method.

Where can I get more information?

National Home Education Research Institute
P.O. Box 13939, Salem OR 97309
Tel: (503) 364-1490 Fax: (503) 364-2827
Website: www.nheri.org

You may also contact us to ask a question or make a suggestion.