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CRHE was founded to raise awareness of the need for homeschool reform and to provide public policy guidance. We believe homeschool policy should reflect the child’s interest in receiving a quality education in a safe home environment. Read our article, A Message for Lawmakers, to learn more about how policymakers can support homeschooled students. 

At-Risk Children

In a 2014 study, child abuse researchers found that, in 47% of the school-aged child torture cases they examined, a child was pulled from school to be homeschooled. The researchers wrote that “this ‘homeschooling’ appears to have been designed to further isolate the child” and that it “typically occurred after closure of a previously opened CPS case.” Further, the children’s isolation “was accompanied by an escalation of physically abusive events.” Lawmakers in a growing number of states have seen the consequences of abusive parents using homeschooling to hide their abuse, and are taking action to prevent such cases.

At-Risk Homeschooled Children: An Issue Brief (PDF)

This issue brief includes data on child abuse in homeschool settings, a list of risk factors, policy recommendations for lawmakers, and approaches states have already tried.

Recommendations and Model Legislation

This page is a shortened version of the issue brief above, offering a list of policy recommendations and links to testimony, draft legislation, and relevant state statutes.

Homeschooling’s Invisible Children: A Database of Abuse Cases

This database highlights individual cases of abuse and fatality in homeschool settings. Only cases covered in the media are included. Use a map to locate cases in your state.

Abuse in Homeschooling Environments

This page, written for laypeople, covers ways abuse in homeschool settings can differ from abuse in other settings, and offers specific characteristics and examples.

Academic Progress

Most states do little or nothing to ensure that homeschooled students receive an education. The result is steep disparities in the quality of education received: Some homeschooled children receive an interactive, rich education while others struggle, their futures limited by a lack of access to even the most basic education. There is evidence of a homeschool “math gap” and reason to believe that homeschooling may decrease the rate of college attendance; once in college, homeschooled students may be less likely to major in STEM fields.

Recommendations and Model Legislation [coming soon]

This page offers a list of policy recommendations and links to draft legislation and individual statutes that may serve as model legislation for other states.

Academic Achievement

Our knowledge of homeschooling’s effect on academic achievement is limited by the methodological problems that affect many studies. But what do we know?

Homeschool Outcomes

What do we know about how homeschooled children fare once they reach adulthood and enter the world on their own? The answer is a lot—and a little.

CRHE Research Pieces:

Sports Access

Participation in public school athletics and other extracurriculars has been found to have pronounced benefits for children’s socialization, self-esteem, and leadership skills. A recent study of homeschool alumni found that those who participated in public school athletics rated their homeschooling experience more highly than other respondents.

Recommendations and Model Legislation [coming soon]

This page offers a list of policy recommendations and links to draft legislation and individual statutes that may serve as model legislation for other states.

Homeschool Sports Access by State

This page outlines each state’s policy on allowing homeschooled students to participate in public school athletics, and can be used for comparing and contrasting.

2016 Homeschool Athletics Survey

We surveyed 150 homeschool graduates about their athletics participation. Respondents overwhelmingly believed that athletic participation was beneficial to homeschooled students.

What Homeschool Graduates Are Saying

At CRHE, we work with an extensive network of young adults who were homeschooled as children and teens. You can read dozens of testimonials written by these individuals here. You can read excerpts from some of these testimonials below.

On at-risk children:

“My mother informed me that from now on we were all going to be ‘homeschooled’ so that no more nosy teachers would be interfering in ‘our’ (her) lives. One of my youngest stepsiblings had made some mention to a teacher of the rampant domestic violence that routinely rampaged through our home. . . . Homeschooling was the first step my mom took to make sure no one could get involved through children’s loose tongues ever again.” ~ Elizabeth W.

“My father was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive.  Every abuse had a magnified effect on us because there was no escape from our home environment, and every ideology taught by our parents had a manifold influence on us because we were isolated from the influence of other people.” ~ Kimberly R.

On academic accountability:

“My kindergarten through eighth grade experience [in Pennsylvania] provided me a mostly balanced, interesting, and engaging homeschool program. Every year, we submitted a portfolio to our licensed evaluator . . . . In New Jersey, things fell apart. Without oversight, there was no need to think about compiling a portfolio. Without state standards, there was no benchmark for my progress. We still tried to follow the Pennsylvania guidelines for high school . . . but no one was there to check up on us or offer help.” ~ Caitlin T.

“If there had been more oversight, my mom may have been able to get more motivated to get organized and give me and my sisters the education we needed. My sisters and I would not be in the very difficult place we are right now because of being under educated.” ~ Sierra S.

On sports access:

“Homeschooled students should have resources available to them that are also available to public school students. In the case of athletics, these resources help keep homeschooled kids active, expand their social circles and introduce them to people with different experiences, and teach them lessons from physical coordination to teamwork.” ~ Rachel O.

“Homeschooled students need the opportunity to socialize, work with a team, and take constructive criticism from a coach. It helps as they grow up and join the workforce, giving them essential tools for being a good contributor to society.” ~ Amanda