Updated Homeschool Research by NHERI

I love that NHERI is dedicated to presenting a real picture of what homeschool looks like. It is so easy to allow the media and the negative commentary to become the dialogue about homeschooling. Don’t let it. Point them to the data. We know how wonderful homeschooling is and can be. NHERI is the National Home Education Research Institute.  They conduct research about homeschooling and publish the research in their journal, the Home School Researcher.  They specialize in homeschool research, facts, statistics, scholarly articles, and information. This information is from their research.



NHERI Updated Data

NHERI updated their data in January of this year, and there are lots of facts and statistics that I thought you would be interested in.

  • In the Spring of 2016, there were approximately 2.3 million home-educated students in the United States, so it appears the homeschool population is continuing to grow (between 2% to 8% annually over the past few years).
  • Homeschooling is now bordering on “mainstream” in the United States. It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. But it has also been growing in many other nations (such as Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom).
  • A wide variety of people homeschool – secular and religious; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high school diplomas.
  • The finances associated with homeschooling likely represent over $27 billion that American taxpayers do not have to spend (Hello, they should be thanking us for homeschooling, right?) annually since these children are not in public schools.
  • Taxpayers spend an average of $11,732 per pupil in public schools, plus capital expenditures. Taxpayers spend nothing on most homeschool students, and homeschool families spend an average of $600 per student for their education. (Seems the public school system might need to copy our frugal ways!)

Reasons for Homeschooling Vary

Some of the most common reasons given for homeschooling are to:

  • customize and individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child,
  • accomplish more academically than in schools,
  • use pedagogical approaches other than those typically found in institutional schools,
  • enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings,
  • provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults,
  • provide a safer environment for children and youth because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools, and
  • teach and impart a particular set of values and beliefs, and a particular worldview to children and youth.

How Homeschoolers Perform Academically

    • The home-educated student typically scores 15 to 30 percentile points higher than public-schooled students on standardized academic achievement tests.
    • Homeschooled students score above average on achievement tests regardless of the parents’ level of formal education or the family’s household income. (I know… shocking, right?)
    • Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.
    • The degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.
    • Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.
    • Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.


  • Those students in the homeschool world 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.
  • Homeschooled students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work.
  • Adults who were home educated are more politically tolerant than the public schooled in the limited research done so far.

Real World Success in Adulthood

The research base on adults who were home educated is growing; thus far it indicates that they:

  • participate in local community service more frequently than the general population,
  • vote and attend public meetings more frequently than the general population,
  • go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population, and
  • by adulthood, internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a high rate.

We are committed to bringing you up-to-date information about the homeschool community. This is not all the data NHERI presented. To read the entire article, visit NHERI’s website. 


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