Homeschooling is a fast growing movement that has helped many children become life-long learners. Whether you’re drawn to homeschooling for the freedom to teach your child subjects they love, or you’re simply hoping to offer your child a better education than the public schools can offer, the world of homeschooling offers endless opportunities for your child to learn and grow. Some parents don’t quite understand what homeschooling is about, and how many do it, and why. We’re posting these statistics so you can learn more about how homeschooling works in the United States, and what the benefits will be if you decide to start homeschooling in your family.
There were about 2.5 million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States (about 3% to 4% of school-age children) in spring 2019.
With 2.5 million students in homeschools across the nation, the network of support for parents who homeschool has grown by leaps and bounds in the last several years. More than ever, there are a variety of curriculum products available on the market for people who need them, and of course, there are large groups of homeschooling parents themselves, who provide endless support to each other in online environments. If you’re just joining the world of homeschoolers, welcome! You’re not alone. Support is out there.
25% of parents choose to homeschool their child to ensure they can provide a safe learning environment. Other reasons parents choose to homeschool include desire to teach children from a religious point of view (21%), dissatisfaction with public school quality of instruction (19%), provide a non-traditional approach to learning (5%), and meet the needs of a special needs child (5%).
Homeschooling isn’t easy, but for many families, it’s the right thing to do. Whatever the reason that you wish to homeschool your child, there’s likely a family out there doing the same thing you’re doing. Posting questions in online networks will help you find the support you seek as you teach your child at home. Once you find parents who are homeschooling under similar circumstances, you’ll be able to learn from their advice, and they may even be able to point you in the direction of products like specialized curriculum that can help you achieve your goals.
For the past few years, the homeschool population has grown at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum.
With homeschool populations growing, an increasing number of cities around the nation have support systems in place for homeschooling families. Some kid-centered activities have programs specifically designed for homeschool kids that occur during the school day. At these programs, children can meet other kids who get their learning at home. In addition, many cities have organizations that offer classes and tutoring to home school kids as needed. Find out what’s being offered in your area.
Students coming from a home school graduated college at a higher rate than their peers – 66.7 percent compared to 57.5 percent. They also earned higher grade point averages along the way.
Homeschooling environments provide one-on-one instruction that most kids could never have in public schools. School also moves at your child’s own pace, so your child can never be left behind. Many parents switch to homeschooling simply because they want their child to have the benefit that comes from having your own personal teacher and your own personal curriculum. What’s more, when you’re designing or choosing the curriculum for your child, you can choose a product or focus on subjects that your child finds interesting. In this way, homeschooling can spark a love of learning in children that can follow them to college and beyond.
In the years between 1999 and 2007, the number of students going to home school nearly doubled, from a little over 800,000 to around 1,600,000.
In the last two decades, homeschooling has seen a boom of interest from families all over the country. Parents all over the country choose to home school their children. Homeschooling offers parents and children a kind of freedom that comes from moving at your own pace and studying your own favorite subjects. In fact, many homeschool children finish their day early, because it’s often much faster and easier to teach a child on their own than to teach a group of children in a school. What do children do with the extra time? Some join volunteer programs or extracurricular activities. Others start businesses, help around the neighborhood, read books and engage in their favorite hobbies. If your child had hours of free time every day, what could they accomplish?
Around 74% of homeschoolers aged 18 to 24 have attended some college courses, versus approximately 46% of non-homeschool students.
Homeschoolers understand the value of education in a way that makes them unique, because many homeschoolers get their learning inside and outside the classroom. In a homeschool environment, learning happens at home at the dining room table, outside on nature walks, in extracurricular activities designed for homeschoolers, and on visits to the museum taken during the school day. Homeschooler parents have the flexibility to make school happen where ever and whenever they want, and kids respond. It becomes only natural that they should go on to college, where they can continue their learning as they have done for years and years.
The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.)
There are endless benefits that comes from teaching your child at their own pace. Homeschool learning can build your child’s confidence in academic subjects while also enabling your child to learn faster and learn more than they would otherwise learn in school. The results are obvious. In standardized achievement tests, homeschooled children often score higher than their school educated peers. This sets them up for success in college and beyond. With higher test scores, they can get into more competitive college programs, be awarded bigger scholarships that can make paying for college easier, and they may even be able to get more out of college, because they’ll be operating on a higher level than other students.
Research facts on homeschooling show that the home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.
One of the fears that many parents experience when trying to decide whether to enroll their child in homeschool is that removing them from an environment with other children will put them at a social disadvantage. It is believed that children learn how to interact with others by simply being around other kids. However, research shows that homeschool children are just as comfortable in social settings, if not more comfortable, than other kids their age. Homeschool children still learn how to behave in social situations by participating in extracurricular activities and other social events inside and outside their normal school day. Homeschool kids are leaders, full of confidence and a whole sense of self. Their social interactions come as naturally to them as other kids.
Over 90% of homeschooled students are glad they were homeschooled and over 80% plan to homeschool their own children.
Many kids who go through homeschooling choose to continue to homeschool if offered to return to public school. Every child is different, but many find homeschooling to be an overall positive experience that they would happily repeat if given the opportunity. After all, children in standard schools can’t simply run to the museum on a whim, or get their learning by volunteering at the animal shelter. Homeschool kids have the freedom to take their education in whatever direction suits them, and would not change that experience for anything.
Unlike public school students, parental income levels do not seem to affect academic outcomes for homeschooled students, with the homeschoolers outscoring public school students regardless of family income.
Homeschooling works because it is tailored to the individual. Regardless of household income, children benefit when they’re given one-on-one instruction that allows them to take their education at their own pace. To help set your child up for success in a homeschooling environment, you can allow them to participate in the planning process when setting up the direction you’ll take the school year. You might let them choose some of the books you’ll be reading, or which topics you’ll be covering, or you might let them choose the extracurricular activities you’ll be engaging in throughout the year. By personalizing and customizing the school experience, you help your child love school, and get the most benefit from it.
Thinking about homeschooling your kindergartner? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an exciting journey with your child. Check out some of our other articles about and resources to help you get started.