Homeschooling: The Research

Homeschooling: The Research

What Is Homeschooling?

Homeschooling allows parents to teach their children at home instead of sending them to school. Parents make use of a wide range of resources; children’s experiences vary.

Homeschooling by the Numbers

After a long period of growth, the number of children being homeschooled has stopped increasing. Roughly 3.3% of students, nearly two million children, are being homeschooled.

Homeschool Demographics

Homeschooled children today are less likely to be white, more likely to have a parent who has not completed high school, and more likely to live below the poverty line than in the past.

Motivations for Homeschooling

Parents homeschool for many reasons: to provide religious instruction, creative learning, or a better education; to meet a child’s special needs; or to escape bullying.

Academic Achievement

Homeschooling appears to depress students’ math performance, but may increase reading scores for some children. Few studies using random samples have been conducted.

What about Socialization?

The socialization a homeschooled child receives depends on their parents. Some students have active social calendars; others may not receive the interaction they need.

Homeschool Outcomes

Homeschool graduates who attend college tend to do well; however, there are indications that homeschooling depresses both college attendance and achievement in STEM fields.

What Scholars Say

Scholars have long divided homeschoolers into groups—closed communion or open communion; believers or inclusives; first choice or second choice.

A History of Homeschooling

The movement began in the 1970s when educator John Holt began urging parents to foster their children’s learning at home. In the 1980s, evangelicals entered the scene.


Good research promotes good homeschooling. Research that is honest about exploring the strengths and weaknesses of homeschooling has the potential to help improve homeschooled students’ experiences. As an organization, research is part of our mission. While our original research so far has been preliminary, we have several studies in the works and maintain the Homeschooling’s Invisible Children database. In addition to conducting our own research, we also offer critical analyses of research on homeschooling conducted by others.

Original Research

Research Analyses

Homeschooling’s Invisible Children

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