We chose to take the homeschool dive. Our children’s precious hands clasped in ours, their minds open and free, and we jumped. Centuries of traditional education disappeared behind us, as we kerplunked into a new, rich ocean. But before a single toe touched the platform, we gathered research and found the homeschooling statistics to back our endeavor. We think you will be just as surprised as we were.
Home education is growing in popularity. According to federal government statistics, nearly 2 million students were being taught at home in the year 2012. That number represents an enormous jump from the prior study year, which reported roughly 1.4 million K-12 students as homeschoolers. The concept of schooling at home has become more and more appealing, especially as stigmas and prejudices about home learning are being shattered.
Colleges want homeschoolers. Recent studies have shown that colleges–even Ivy League Schools like Harvard–are vying for incoming students who were educated at home. These students tend to earn higher GPAs by the end of their freshman year than those who came from traditional brick-and-mortar schools (an average 3.37 GPA versus a 3.08). It can also help students stand out from others during the application process.
Check out our list of crazy successful homeschoolers. Notice all of the Ivy league Presidents on there?
Home taught students save tax money. Funding for public education comes from a number of sources, but all taxpayers contribute. There are federal programs that support your local school district, just as there are portions of your property and sales taxes that end up in the coffers. If a student is educated at home, they don’t take up a seat in a classroom, eat school lunch, or hop on a school district bus to be shuttled to the building. Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute estimates that keeping those students home leads to “over $27 billion that American taxpayers do not have to spend.”
The students are part of a diverse group. For the uninitiated, the first image conjured up when describing homeschoolers is an ultra-conservative family, teaching fundamental Christian values to their children whilst sprinkling in tidbits of standard curriculum. This is simply not true. The religious beliefs of those who keep their children home run the complete gamut, as do political views, economic status, and racial backgrounds. The NHERI even cites a recent study that suggests 15% of homeschool families are non-white.
Children taught in the home score higher on standardized tests. One of the most frequently cited, yet incorrect statistics provided by anti-homeschoolers is that the students either can’t get into college or won’t perform well amongst their brick-and-mortar peers. This is once again, blatantly false. In fact, in 2014, homeschoolers outscored their peers!
“NHERI found that 13,549 homeschool seniors participated in the 2014 SAT. Of those seniors, homeschoolers scored an average of 567 in critical reading, 521 in mathematics, and 535 in writing. In comparison, the average SAT scores for all 2014 high school seniors were 497 in critical reading, 513 in mathematics, and 487 in writing.”
These homeschool statistics hit you like a chilly wind–you’re awake! The plunge is worth taking, the sacrifices worth making, and there is enough proof in the pudding to make your spoon stand upright. If you are fortunate enough to have the option to homeschool, the evidence of potential success leans heavily in your student’s favor. With such convincing homeschooling statistics being gathered, the only question remaining is; will you join us?
If you feel homeschooling is for you, but you aren’t sure the time is right, or whether your child can weather the transition, our entry entitled When To Pull Your Child Out of Public School.