Homeschooling by the Numbers [infographic]

Homeschooling by the Numbers [Infographic]

Across the United States homeschooling has been overlooked and underrated by many. Diving deeper into student performance and the environments of homeschooling households, it is clear that homeschoolers have risen to the occasion and met the expectations of recruiting Universities and American workforce.

There an estimated 1.9 to 2.5 million home-educated kindergarten through 12th grade students in the United States. That represents $16 billion that American taxpayers do not have to spend.

Home schooled students generally achieve higher SAT scores in reading, math and writing; as well as, ranking in the 80th percentile for math, science, social studies, language and reading. This may be due to the higher level of education of fathers and mothers that stay home to teach their children. Most have some college, an associates degree, or a bachelors degree.

There are many students that choose non-traditional educational paths. Online education is another option to those looking to improve their skills and increase their education level.


  1. Topcapi Feb 8, 2014 at 8:28 am

    The experience of riding on a school bus, a steel tube of screaming
    children, starting before dawn every morning, and all of that experience
    before school starts, would have no effect on the student’s
    availability to learn? (three years as a school bus driver got me
    through college). Do I need to list other examples of the thousands of
    differences of environments? I suppose all of a sudden “environment” is
    of no importance to the result? (That is not why we homeschool, but
    that is a factor.)

  2. Mrsforefire Sep 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Numbers and results tend to speak for themselves.

    • JesusForHomeSchoolin' Sep 29, 2011 at 3:38 am

      ‘Specially if they’re taken from the bible, in which case the world is 46-hundred-some years old — or was that 64-something? — or from Fox news, which finds exactly the numbers you want to know to be true. But don’t trust those damn numbers from scientists and independent pollsters! Those jerks’ll ruin a good faith-based belief any day if you let’m! 

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  5. Emmanuel Caceres Jan 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I wish homeschool was don’t in New York as well and people that graduated with Local Diplomas which is iep could have chances to go colleges or have employments that matchrs their skills.Thank You.

  6. Leah Dec 20, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Oh my goodness, Mr. Bill. That’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read. Thanks for the good laugh.

    My kids started out in public school, and I quickly saw why America is in decline. It starts with the kids! The teachers want so much to do their best and help the kids do the same, but when orders are coming from faceless committees and mandated across the country, the individuality of entire communities gets squandered. There is no more freedom in schools! There is nothing unique or culturally rich when everyone everywhere is doing the exact same things at the exact same time.

    Also, my daughter is one of those high IQ kids who’s taking the high test scores away from the school. But my son had low test scores and was marked as slow, wild, and unable to learn. Remarkably, in home school, BOTH kids are thriving. Who knows their needs better than me? I doubt their teachers were praying for guidance for them every single day. I doubt their principles even knew their names. I doubt the school board saw them as anything but a monetary value.

    @Chris – don’t be too quick to judge. My two kids are like night and day on the education front! I had a lot of noses turned up at me when they found out I didn’t stress math. Third graders spend and ENTIRE school year drilling and drilling and drilling the times tables. I waited until 5th grade to teach them, and know how long it took? 2 months, tops. We can tackle multiplication, division, algebra, and even geometry in a single year because their minds are ready for it and we don’t have to DRILL. If everyone has the same skills and abilities, what kind of gray, uninteresting world would we live in?

    Here’s a great article that shows that parent’s income and education level made very little difference in the outcome of the children – whose test scores matched the info shown in this graphic.

  7. Joline Nov 19, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I am a teacher. I taught in public school for years then decided to homeschool my kids. What do I see as the biggest pros?

    1. Small class size- I have two instead of 23..when they get it we move on- when they don’t we practice till they do and move on…much less “busy work”

    2. Individual and group assignments that are designed to where they are and where we are going- the ability to bring in their personal interests and personalities into instruction

    3. Easy to work with anyone that is having a hard time with something- immediately, not after the problem has been going on for a long time

    4. Abitlity to put what we learn into practice in the real world- lots of field trips -learn it, do it….

    5. Ability to choose curriculum and materials that fit each of the kids (we are using two different math programs) …not take a curriculum and material that has been choosen and make it work for all the kids…

    6. As a public school teacher I loved the kids in my class and tried to do the best I could for each of them…but now I am teaching my own kids who I love more than anything in the world. That makes a difference.

    7. As a public school teacher I was accountable for my kids learning for the year. As a homeschool parent I am accountable for their education for their lives…if I fail I doom my kids to a life I don’t want them to have…this is an incredible thing and makes me more accountable than any evaluation/test a school could have for their teachers!

    8. The ability to work when the kids are most productive and play when they need it- school happens around their natural timeframe not when the bell rings.

    9. The biggest plus the ability to have pajama day everyday! (Im kidding)

    ps. Public school teachers are mostly a dedicated group of people that try really hard to do what they can! Their job is to mass educate a huge number of kids with various backgrounds and various abiltity levels. A homeschoolers job is to teach their own children. Comparing the two it like comparing apples and oranges. Each has it’s pros and con’s but each is only as good as the support system lets it be! There are great schools and great homeschooling going on…and there are not so good examples of both too!

  8. Nicki Nov 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I was homeschooled by my parents. My dad graduated high school and eventually took some junior college courses. My mom finished 9th grade, and eventually took the GED when I was a teen.

    I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree.

    It really is not about the parent’s education, but the time the parents spend with their children. It also helps to take away such time-wasters as state achievement tests (like the TAKS in Texas, which is all the public schools teach now). Kids at home actually learn reading, writing, and math, instead of answers on a test.

    Homeschooling has proven to be superior for YEARS. The naysayers don’t have to like it.

  9. Jared Oct 22, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I was homeschooled K-12. Neither of my parents have a college degree, yet I scored a 32 on the ACT test, which put me in top 1% in the nation. My brother scored one point higher.

    • John Sep 29, 2011 at 3:30 am

      Well, ain’t you just a godsend! Now that you got your genius, quit blogging here and save the f*&^ing world.

  10. daniel Oct 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I think it would be revealing if we knew the percentage of homescooled vs public school students who actually sit for the SAT.

  11. Noeleen Hart Oct 3, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I am a Principal of a public school. I have not been privileged enough to homeschool my own children and it is one of my deepest regrets.

    For any family that can survive on a single income, it makes good sense for the stay at home parent to homeschool their children.

    If you have decided to go the homeschooling route – good for you. My thoughts on homeschooling (just a few of them) I detail below – taken from one of many articles I have written extolling the pros of homeschooling as opposed to entering your child into a very flawed public schooling system.

    When you first mention home schooling to traditionalist family members, their objections come thick and fast. Many will tell you about the perceived problems, and very few will talk about the pros attached thereto.

    The first hurdle to overcome then is to make your decision known to your family and close friends. If you struggle to find a supporter or support among them; stick to your decision and join a home schooling chat site or group. These parents, like teachers the world over, are always willing to share success stories and tips with their colleagues.

    Another con which will be thrown out immediately by concerned family members and friends will be the mention of the red tape involved. Do your homework, approach the local school board and you will find that it is not so difficult to register your home school after all.

    Many doomsayers will tell you that you will never manage to offer your child a daily learning routine such as that offered by mainstream schools. Herein lies the beauty of the home school. Learning need not end when a bell rings; learning need not be restricted to a single room; the day need not be broken up into artificial time slots to cover the three R’s.

    Parents who have successfully home schooled their child or children will tell you that unlike in traditional learning centers and schools, the home schooled child is able to work at his or her own pace. The child is able to engage in continuous learning inside the home classroom, outside in the garden and when participating in a family outing. The universe is the classroom for those lucky enough to enjoy the benefits of home schooling.

    Probably the most often quoted con is that children who do not attend the local public school will never learn to get along with other children. The opponents will tell you that your child’s socialization process will be stunted or retarded in some way. While your child may not be forced to interact with large groups of children on a daily basis as happens in the traditional schools; it is ridiculous to suggest that he or she will not learn social skills in the primary classroom: the home.

    Parents who school their own children obviously ensure that their children enjoy social interactions on different levels. These interactions could happen during the course of a normal family day such as taking children to birthday parties or family functions; or could even be structured outings organized by a small group of parents who home school their children. Socialization is a natural process which occurs by virtue of the fact that one is a member of human society. There is no evidence to suggest that this process can only occur if a child attends a mainstream school.

    Those against the home schooling option will tell you that it cannot work because you will never know what grade your child is in and how he or she compares to his or her peers. Again, this supposed con is in fact a pro. Education cannot be placed into little boxes. A child’s achievements should be reward enough, without having to compare oneself to others. As long as the exit or entry examinations are in the end, achieved, it does not matter if your child has done Grade 2 work for two years or completed it in 5 months. In a home classroom, parents take the lead from the child. Once a child has reached an outcome or milestone, one can move on without waiting for the rest of a class full of children to catch up.

    The next con that you will hear is that your child will be excluded from participating in clubs, sports and activities which are offered at mainstream schools. This is not a problem as you can sign your child up for ballet class, music lessons and even at a local sports’ club to participate in individual and team sports and extra mural activities. The only difference is that you will be able to steer your child into activities in which he or she is talented or interested; your child will not be forced into participating in a specific area.

    If you are still unsure as to the wisdom of your choice to home school your children, simply browse the Internet and speak to others who have pursued this option and you will quickly realize that the pros far outweigh the cons.

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  12. Joseph Sep 29, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Now I wish I had been homeschooled. However, I think the main point is that if you have parents who are involved in your education and want to help you develop a love for learning, you will excel more.

  13. Denise Sep 29, 2010 at 4:09 am

    Comment by “Mr. Bill” is really funny…I know that there happen to be quite a few parents with children w/ an IEP (myself included) who are sick of the bad IDEA. To say that homeschooling is succeeding because all the smart kids are leaving is preposterous! Homeschooling is succeeding because parents are invested in their children – simple as that. Oh and my children? I was told that my oldest would never read – she would like to go to college w/ an English major! Public school never had a chance to label and box her – but she is striving towards becoming a veterinarian with a science major! Mr. Bill; whatever gets you through the night!!! Oh, Chris – I have a high school diploma…faked my way through high school to get it. I graduated before the IDEA & IEP were known but would have had them if they were available. Parents don’t have to be brainiacs! INVESTED! Golly! Take a real look at public school teachers – they ain’t that smart! They have the cheat sheet already!!!

  14. JAW Sep 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I am an example of a homeschooled child whose parents both had little to no post-secondary education. The average SAT score of me and my 2 siblings was almost 1400 (Sorry Mr Bill, but it occurred by practicing extensively, taking prep courses, and taking the test multiple times) and out of the three of us we have a Medical doctor, an Engineer, and a Pilot. We all graduated with high or highest honors from college and it wasn’t from pure natural intelligence (I had a high IQ but my siblings did not), but from learning how to study and work around our natural challenges. Frankly, in a public school setting my youngest sister who struggled with dyslexia would have never made it towards the top of her class in college and become a pilot had it not been for the advantages of being able to tailor teaching to each student.

  15. rachel Sep 28, 2010 at 5:09 am

    i help homeschool my two grandsons…. the oldest is almost 11, does math word problems on an 8th grade level, is being taught geometry and drafting by his grandfather (my husband)….. he also understands the principles of physics and is learning extensively about the civil war and the presidents…he is active in the cub scouts and church and also does tae kwan doh….. he has never been to public school and went to preschool for about a year and a half until he got so bored he asked if he had to go…..

    the youngest grandson will be five in two months…. he decided on his own that he knew how to spell and write and is doing so when the mood hits him…. he went through a pre-k workbook in two weeks….. he is beginning to read and can do so quite well when he wants to….. he is putting together lego kits (their creator and city sets) almost completely by himself….most are designed for ages 7-12….he has been doing this for about six months…..he is also designing his own lego creations and can tell you exactly what each one does….

    public schools these days take the joy out of learning for learning’s sake….. all the students are taught is how to take a test that really means nothing…. gone are the days when a teacher could walk into a room and say, “hey class, let’s go outside and look at some caterpillars!” and then proceed to make a full day’s lesson on what they saw and what happens to the caterpillars…. there are lessons in something like that that will stick with children longer that choosing a, b, or c on a test…. public schools are too violent and too filled with foul language for anyone to learn anything except violence and foul language….. there are many outstanding teachers out in the public school systems but they are not encouraged to teach for the sake of encouraging students to love to learn….

    yes, my husband, daughter and son-in-law have college degrees but i do most of the basic homeschool subjects with only a high school diploma….i read extensively and have plenty of resources to turn to if i have a problem….parental education has some to do with how well homeschooling goes but not everything….. each day is a new learning experience both for the student and the teacher, no matter who the teacher is or their educational background…. i am more and more impressed with the homeschooling community in our area than any public school around…..keep up the good work all homeschooling families…. peace and God’s many blessings to them all!

    • John Jul 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      Rachel proves that the sentence fragment with no punctuation can be perfected through homeschooling on a keyboard that obviously has no Shift key. Boo to you Rachel. If you are like so many homeschoolers, you’ve pulled your children (grandchildren) from public schools because they teach things like evolution and global warming. You are doing your children an injustice.

  16. omar Sep 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    It is always shocking for me to listen to why homeschooling is advantageous. The major issue that people bring up against homeschooling is “how will the child learn how to socialize”. I think public schools handicap the socialization of children. Public schools are the largest market for illegal drugs in the world. They encourage interaction between the genders at a young age where everyone’s hormones are raging and are the cause of most of the sexually transmitted diseases and early pregnancies in our country. Education sucks in most public schools. Teachers don’t care about the children and children don’t respect the teachers. Can a child learn in this environment? Can we expect kids to have healthy minds or minds with screwed up emotional problems because they have been imprispned in huge buildings that resemble prison there whole childhood. Public schools don’t create good adults, they stretch a child’s immaturity and overextend their childhood for a good 5 or 6 years when they should be active participant’s in their communities. It doesn’t engender I dependent thinking in students, it causes pyschological dependencies on large institutions. I am for homoesxhooling. Anything is better than public school’s.

  17. Drew Sep 26, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I’d like to see the average and median family income level for these three groups.

  18. Chris Sep 26, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Home schooling may be a very viable option for parents that both have an advanced education (roughly 80-90% of those surveyed- see graphs above), but it would be very telling to see how home schooling works for parents with out any form of higher education. It would also be interesting to see the educational background of the parents that send their children to public schools.

    The more I look at these statistical facts, the more it is clear this study was done in such a way as to skew the results toward home school programs. This article and graphs only nod toward how the educational level of the parents that home school their children is “This may be due to the higher level of education of fathers and mothers that stay home to teach their children. Most have some college, an associates degree, or a bachelors degree.”

    The educational system in the US has been high jacked by the teacher’s union, school officials, and both state and federal laws. Something needs to be done to ensure our children get the best education possible, but home schooling is not something that should be taken on by just anyone.

    My sister is home schooling her children, and my 6 year old niece is reading at a 9th grade level, can speak intelligently on both biology and chemistry, and is exposed to many other world cultures. My sister has some college education, and her husband has a bachelor degree in computer science. Their children are comfortable around others and have no social issues with other children. They are having a great deal of success in home schooling their children.

    My brother-in-law and his wife are also home schooling their children. They have multiple children at roughly the same age as my sister (one 1 year older, one 1 year younger). These children struggle to read picture books designed for 3-5 year olds. Spelling is a horrible mess. Math is a foreign language to these children, and they are unable to interact with other children their own age with out getting into physical altercations. As far as we can tell, they are raising their children to have no decipherable skills or abilities.

    This is a very bleak future for my nephews. I have no idea how to stop this train wreck from occurring. For that matter, I do not think it is my place to say anything about how they want to raise their children. It is just such a shame to see children that are destined to have almost no future ahead of them. My only hope is that they will get their acts together and really step it up on educating their kids. They only get one chance at this.

  19. Mr. Bill Sep 26, 2010 at 3:53 am

    This is a case of using the numbers to create the facts. Achievement in schooling and SAT scores are about 95% dependent on IQ, which is determined by genetics, not work or schooling.

    What is happening, is that parents of smarter kids are pulling them out of public schools. This depresses the numbers for the public schools and pumps up the numbers for home and parochial schooling.

    If those students were put back in the public schools, the schools numbers would jump up.

    Skim milk never tastes as good after you remove the cream.

    • Shpalana Apr 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Well, it’s nice to know you think that homeschoolers are the cream!  However, statistics show that many learning disabled kids and kids from all demographics are also being pulled out of school to be homeschooled–and, amazingly, they are also doing well! Are they all the smartest kids in the country?  Your point that if these students were put back into school, the school numbers would jump makes no math sense.  If there are 2 million homeschooled kids and 75 million schooled kids, I don’t think adding their scores will do much at all to the national averages. 

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