homeschoolers
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There are many reasons why you might decide to homeschool your children, and just as many benefits to that practice. 

Even as parents all over the world are screaming in frustration in 2020, the general homeschooling statistics, those examining the practice during ordinary times, times that don’t fall under the label of world crisis, paint a different picture. 

The thing is:

Whether it is out of dissatisfaction with the school system, concern about the school environment, religious reasons, desire for a non-conventional approach, or the specific needs of the child, parents turn to homeschool as an alternative to public or private schools.

Would homeschooling work for you? Let’s see what the statistics Mark in Style collected for you have to say.

Astonishing Homeschool Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • There are 2.5 million homeschooled children in the United States.
  • Homeschooling is experiencing a steady growth rate of 2% to 8% every year.
  • Homeschooling in the UK has increased by 40% during the last three years.
  • Homeschoolers score 15% to 30% higher on tests than public-school students. 
  • Homeschooling erases racial disparities in academic achievement.
  • Homeschooled students perform four grade levels above average.
  • Homeschooled children engage in 5.2 activities outside the home.

Global Homeschooling Facts and Stats

1. How many homeschoolers are there in the world?

(HSLDA, Wikipedia)

In contrast to formal education, homeschooling is a type of informal education.

With homeschooling still illegal in many countries, the total number of homeschooled children in the world at the beginning of 2020 was still under three million. The countries with most homeschooled children are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

A number of countries have strictly regulated homeschooling programmes that work parallel to or as an extension of the existing school system. In contrast, others have banned it entirely and view the practice as undesirable.

2. About how many children are homeschooled in the United States?

(NHERI)

The number of homeschooled children in the United States in spring 2019 was estimated at about 2.5 million. With that number, homeschooling studies show the United States is home to the majority of the world’s homeschoolers.

The number of homeschoolers by state is directly influenced by each state’s regulations and laws. So, you should check local regulations before embarking on the homeschooling journey.

Now:

Homeschool statistics by state show California, North Carolina, and Texas have the most homeschooling students, with over 100,000 pupils each.

The lower end of the homeschooling statistics by state scale shows the states of Vermont, Wyoming, and Connecticut have the lowest number of homeschoolers – under 3000 students.

3. With over 100,000 homeschooled students, the United Kingdom has the second-highest number of homeschoolers.

(BBC, NHERI, HSLDA Teachers To Your Home, IGI Global, ABC, HSLDA)

Looking at homeschooling statistics for 2017 as well as homeschooling statistics for 2018, homeschooling in the UK has increased by a whopping 40% between 2015 and 2018. Numbers range from 75,000 to 130,000 for the 2019/2020 period.

Some 2019/2020 estimates report the homeschooling numbers for Canada went well over 100,000 students even before the pandemic.

Australia follows with an unclear situation. There might be up to up to 55,000 homeschooled children on average in the last ten years, and yet only 21,437 students were properly registered in 2019.

A significant drop follows, and we find New Zealand with 6000 and South Africa with 500

Homeschooling data shows Germany, France, Taiwan, and Ireland all have from 400 to 600 students, while the Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland, and Bulgaria have under 100 homeschooled children.

4. Homeschooling is experiencing a steady growth rate of 2% to 8% every year.

(NHERI)

While this varies from year to year, some statistics for homeschooling report significant growth.

This rate is observed as much in countries just setting off on the homeschooling path, like France, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, and Thailand, as well as those experienced in the field, such as the UK, Australia, Canada, and the US.

5. Nearly 5.7 million Americans have been homeschooled at some point during the course of their education.

(NHERI)

According to the text, one of the largest studies of homeschooled students found that more than 3.4 million adult Americans have been homeschooled for at least one year during their education, and this lasted six to eight years on average.

What’s more:

An estimated 5.7 million people in the US have been or are currently homeschooled. Click To Tweet

6. Homeschoolers score 15% to 30% higher than public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests.

(HSLDA, NHERI)

For those wondering why homeschooling is better

When observing the national average homeschooled students do more than well. In fact, their test scores are up to 30% higher than those of public school pupils. 

This trend is constant for every subject and for every grade level of the ITBS and TAP batteries.

And that’s not all: 

Homeschool vs public school stats shows homeschoolers score 85% to 87%, while their peers in public schools stand at 50%.

7. Homeschool statistics show that up to 24.5% of all homeschooled children have enrolled at least one if not more grades above their age level.

(HSLDA)

One of the benefits of homeschooling statistics point to is that it allows the students to advance at their own pace, which often results in moving faster than their age group. This should also be taken into consideration when comparing statistics of homeschooling vs public schooling. 

This might be one of the disadvantages of homeschooling statistics, given that homeschooled children in certain grades are often a couple of years younger than their public school counterparts. 

8. Homeschooling academic statistics show the achievement gap for homeschoolers gets significantly wider by fifth grade.

(HSLDA)

Is homeschooling more effective than public school? Definitely.

Studies on homeschooling show that students in the early years advance at a pace that puts them one grade higher than the rest of their peers in the conventional schooling system. 

By the fifth grade, that gap widens, resulting in up to four years of difference by eighth grade. So, those students perform four grade levels above what’s considered to be the national average.

Are homeschooled students smarter? Not inherently, but the individual attention they receive and the learning conditions that allow for growth at one’s own speed result in higher results and skill levels.

The latest homeschooling stats tell us the highest academic achievement among homeschoolers is recorded in those students who have been homeschooled their whole life. 

Key takeaway:

The benefits of homeschooling grow over time.

9. Homeschoolers’ scores stayed between 80% and 90% regardless of their parents’ education.

(HSLDA)

Homeschooling research has shown that one thing that makes no difference when it comes to homeschooling is whether the student’s parents had graduated from college or had not finished high school. 

This is not the case for public schools, where children with parents of lower education score evidently lower than those of college graduates or higher.

Also, stats on homeschooling show the homeschoolers scored around 85%, regardless of the degree of state control and regulation that is imposed in their region. Those factors have no influence over their academic achievement. 

Which begs the question: 

Are those practices outdated and in fact redundant and stifling?

Next:

10. Boys score 87% on reading tests when homeschooled and only 43% in public schools, homeschooling statistics confirm. 

(HSLDA)

Looking at the statistics by gender, test results for homeschoolers reveal that, in general, boys do a bit better at maths, while girls lead in reading scores. 

What’s interesting is: 

While maths scores follow the public school difference patterns, the homeschool vs public school test scores when it comes to reading show homeschooled boys do much better. Also, their reading results do not fall behind girls’ scores as much as is the case in public schools.

homeschooling statistics

11. Homeschooled children engage in 5.2 activities outside the home, homeschooling statistics reveal.

(NHERI)

One of the major issues the homeschooling pros and cons statistics are focused on is socialisation and the amount of time spent indoors. 

Here’s the scoop:

Statistics on homeschooling point out that 98% of homeschoolers are involved in more than two activities outside their home, and the average number of activities they are engaged in is an impressive 5.2.

Research also reveals homeschoolers have higher levels of community involvement and leadership skills

Some of the important findings and research facts on homeschooling are that these children are more tolerant and participate in a wide variety of both social and educational activities outside the home, from sports to additional tutoring lessons and volunteer work.

12. There is a 10% gap in test scores between white and non-white students in public schools, while for homeschooled children that gap is non-existent.

(HSLDA)

The homeschool demographics show as much diversity as in public schools

In fact:

Low and high-income families, conservatives and liberals, atheists and families of all religions, and members of all races homeschool their children. 

What is evident from the stats is that racial disparities are being erased, as homeschoolers perform equally across the board once they are out of the public school environments. 

Which raises the question:

Is homeschooling better than public school? 

Looking at homeschooling vs public schooling statistics, it’s clear there are significant advantages in homeschooling for minority groups.

When homeschooled, children score 85% on average on reading tests regardless of race. Click To Tweet

13. 66.7% of homeschooled children graduate from college.

(NHERI, HSLDA, USNews)

What percentage of homeschooled students go to college? 

The estimate is 50% of homeschooled students go on to attend college. Clearly, many negative homeschooling statistics are a myth, as there is no difference between public school percentages and homeschooling.

What’s more: 

96% of colleges report having at least 1 to 200 homeschooled students.

Many are wondering are homeschooled students successful.

Homeschooling vs public education statistics show the percentage of homeschooled students that go to college and graduate is higher than that of their public school peers. It stands at 66.7%, while 57.5% of public school pupils finish college.

14. An average of $600 per student is spent annually on homeschooling.

(HSLDA, Answers for Homeschooling, NHERI)

The amount of money saved on homeschooling both individually and nationwide is quite significant. Over $27 billion is spent per year for the number of students who are homeschooled. 

Since the amount of money paid from taxes for one publicly schooled student is $11,732 per year, from a financial perspective there are plenty of reasons for homeschooling statistics to be closely examined.

Parents who homeschool finance their children’s education on their own without relying on the state spend $600 on average every year according to 2018 stats.

One of the interesting homeschool facts is that the amount of money put in this type of education does not make a difference in test scores, especially not one as evident as with public vs. private school pupils.

15. Homeschooling facts and stats show the benefits of homeschooling heavily outweigh the negatives.

(NHERI, HSLDA, Penn State University)

There is no empirical evidence gained through research that homeschooling has negative effects on students. 

The rare and inconclusive statistics against homeschooling point out the issues of time management, motivation, increased workload on parents, the potential for lower success at discovering family abuse (should this occur), and lack of immunisation.

That being said: 

These are not the problems of the education sector but rather of the courts and the healthcare system.

When looking into why homeschooling is bad, statistics show most drawbacks of homeschooling fall exclusively on parents. 

The levels of stress, the amount of time needed, the lack of support systems and access to facilities such as gyms, lab equipment, and so forth are some of the downsides of homeschooling.

COVID-19 and UK Homeschooling in 2021

16. 90% of British parents homeschool at the beginning of 2021.

(ONS)

Homeschooling statistics 2021 data collected in January and February shows that nine in ten parents had to homeschool their children due to the pandemic during this period. 

17. Women report considerably more homeschooling in 2021 than men.

(ONS)

At the beginning of 2021, around 52% of men in the UK said they were personally homeschooling their children. With women, that percentage is 15% higher, as approximately 67% of women report homeschooling in January and February 2021.

18. Half of parents say homeschooling had a negative impact on their wellbeing.

(ONS)

Such a change represents a significant rise from 28% in April 2020, which suggests the situation might have more to do with the overall psychological exhaustion of living through the pandemic year than homeschooling itself.

What’s more:

Up to 63% of parents said lockdown homeschooling is negatively affecting their children, too. According to homeschooling statistics for 2020, in April of that year, only 43% believed that was the case. 

19. In 2021, 14% fewer parents report children struggling to homeschool compared to 2020.

(ONS)

In May 2020, 52% of British parents reported their children were ‘struggling to continue their education at home’. According to homeschooling statistics for the UK in 2021, in January, the number dropped to 38%.

Yet, almost half of all children spent over 21 hours learning provided materials, a drastic increase from 18% in May 2020.

One of the concerning homeschooling uk facts is that up to 65% of students aged 16 to 18 reported being worried that lockdown homeschooling will harm their academic and life plans.

20. Lack of motivation is the most common cause of homeschooling struggles for 75% of children in 2021.

(ONS)

Parents say there are a few key reasons British children struggle with homeschooling in 2021; those are lack of motivation, lack of time a parent has to support homeschooling, and access to the right resources. 

Here’s what homeschooling statistics for the UK say:

  • 74% of parents say their children have lost motivation.
  • 49% of parents say their time to support the learning is limited, an increase from 33% in May 2020.
  • 16% say lack of appropriate resources is the main issue, which represents a decrease from 25% in May 2020.

21. 47% of employed parents report their job is negatively affected by homeschooling.

(ONS)

Many parents were suddenly faced with both working from home and home schooling during COVID. And when those two new realities collided, relationships and jobs started to suffer.

The thing is:

Up to 53% of respondents said homeschooling affected their relationships, a significant rise from 36% in April 2020.

Last year, only 30% of parents said homeschooling affected their job, while at the beginning of 2021, that number jumped by a massive 17%.

22. 69% of children in the UK had live online lessons in January 2021.

(ONS)

In May 2020, only 25% of students had real-time lessons online, which shows schools started the year better prepared. Some 22% of parents report children using books their parents found, 11% less than in May 2020.

23. Some local authorities in the UK report a 200% rise in home education registrations.

(Schools Week)

According to data from October 2020, home education registrations have reached unexpected heights. Many parents are taking matters into their own hands, losing trust in the educational system’s ability to prove it’s safe and efficient.

So, it should come as no surprise that Coronavirus home school practice caused a massive rise in home education registrations from the same period in 2019.

Here’s the deal:

  • Lincolnshire 212% 
  • Kent 180% 
  • Derbyshire 90% 
  • Hertfordshire 76% 
  • Hampshire 51%

A recent pilot study by Ofsted, conducted in 130 schools, found that approximately 33% of them had ‘unusually high numbers’ of students taken off the register at the beginning of the year.

The New Homeschooling Reality

It has yet to be seen what the long term effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic on homeschooling numbers will be worldwide. But the current state of affairs is that over 300 million children are being homeschooled right now, with elearning growing by leaps and bounds.

At first glance, this changed reality might have given parents a taste of what it means to homeschool. But these experiences are not to be taken too seriously, as this is more a case of needs must rather than personal choices. 

Still, two sets of attitudes are strongly emerging: 

While some parents are now willing to pay their teachers their weight in gold, others are wondering why we haven’t been doing this all along. 

Without a doubt:

Many people will emerge on the other side of this experience more humble and grateful to the education workforce. 

But it will be interesting to see what homeschooling statistics will look like in the next couple of years. 

How many people will decide to arrange their children’s academic life differently? We’ll be keeping you updated. Watch this space.

Sources:

2 comments

  • Madeleine
    15/03/2021 at 9:01 pm

    Hi, I’m trying to understand where you found the statistic of 100,000 homeschoolers in the UK? You cite the BBC but I didn’t see a link to a specific study. Could you point me to a source for that? It’s a really fascinating (and exciting statistic)!

    Reply
    • Bobby Chernev
      18/03/2021 at 9:33 am

      Hi Madeleine, thank you for your comment and for pointing out we’d missed linking to one of our sources. We’ve updated our figures with new data from several sources and also added a new section on COVID-19 and UK Homeschooling in 2021 that you might find interesting.

      Reply

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