Report: Number of Homeschooled Students in U.S. Approaching Two Million

Homeschool 2 pdWASHINGTON, D.C. – Homeschooling is an increasingly popular form of education in the U.S, with an estimated 1.8 million students now being educated at home, according to a detailed report that was released last week.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the branch of the U.S. Department of Education that is responsible for collecting and analyzing schooling data and educational trends across the country. Their most recent report, “Homeschooling in the United States: 2012,” provides a detailed glimpse into the modern homeschool movement.

“This report provides estimates of the number, percentage, and characteristics of homeschooled students in the United States in 2012 and provides historical context by showing overall estimates of homeschooling in the United States since 1999,” the report’s executive summary explains.

Data for the report came from questionnaires that were completed by the parents of 17,563 students. After collecting the questionnaires and extrapolating the data to represent the entire nation, the NCES estimated that 1,773,000 students were homeschooled in the U.S. in 2012. Compared to 1999, when 850,000 students were homeschooled, that is a significant increase.

“The percentage of students ages 5–17 with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12 who are homeschooled—the homeschooling rate—has increased over time,” the report states. “The homeschooling rate increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 3.4 percent in 2012.”

Homeschooling grew most rapidly between 1999 and 2007, with the growth rate tapering off between 2007 and 2012.

The report sheds light on why a growing number of parents in the U.S. are choosing to educate their children at home.

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“Nine in 10 homeschooled students’ parents reported that concern about schools’ environments was an important reason for their decision to homeschool,” the NCES says. Many parents also mentioned a desire to provide moral or religious instruction, a dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools, and a desire to provide a nontraditional approach to child’s education as reasons they chose to homeschool their kids.

The report shows that most homeschooled students learn a variety of science subjects at home.

“Among science subjects, about 7 in 10 high-school level homeschooled students had earth sciences or geology and biology included in their home instruction (69 percent each); about half had home instruction in scientific inquiry (47 percent), and about a third had home instruction in chemistry or physics (34 percent) and computer science (32 percent),” the NCES explains.

To teach these and other subjects, a growing number of parents are turning to online courses.

“About a third of middle school-level homeschooled students (35 percent), a third of high school-level homeschooled students (34 percent), and 11 percent of elementary-level homeschooled students took online courses,” the report notes. “A quarter of homeschooled students who took online courses took them through their local public school or another public school (13 and 12 percent, respectively).”

In addition to these characteristics, research suggests that children who are homeschooled in Christian homes are less likely to leave the faith when they grow up. As previously reported, a study last year found that Millennials who are homeschooled tend to continue in the faith more than individuals who attend private or public schools.

“Having a strong relationship with the child’s mother and father, attending church as a child, and years homeschooled were all clearly positively associated with Millennials’ basic Christian orthodoxy, broader biblical beliefs, Christian behaviors (e.g., attending church, keeping sex in marriage, prayer, not using pornography), satisfaction in life, civic and community involvement, and having beliefs similar to one’s parents,” said Dr. Brian Ray, the lead researcher behind the study.


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  • Nidalap

    A logical circumstance, all things considered…

  • Blue J

    And they’re such darn nice kids too. I’m always impressed with these kids. Get them away from their lazy peers and their brain-dead PC teachers, and it’s awesome what kids can be like.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    The West should make the Christian schools free. It’s so unfair that public schools teach only atheism and sexual immorality and drain Christian parents’ strength. Children need to be taught the truth and morality instead of evils. Secular people do not value purity or the life of babies/the elderly/the weaker. Today’s secular education is similar to Nazism because both stem from godless humanism and evolutionism. Children need Jesus to be saved and the instructions of the Lord to live well.

    • bowie1

      Nothing is free. It would have to be paid through additional taxes. My parents went to school in the Netherlands and they could choose which kind of school to attend whether Catholic, Christian, Public (Secular) and in my dad’s case Seafarers school.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Sounds better. Christians pay taxes for public schools which teach Anti-christian things. Others should pay for Christian schools especially because all schools were set up by Christians.

        • johndoe

          School are not teaching anti christian. Religion has no place in our school systems. Schools are for educating not indoctrinating.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Yes, today’s Western public schools are Anti-christian; they teach atheism and immorality. The West therefore the world’s education has nothing worthy to learn if Christianity is taken away. Paganisms teach barbarism and oppressions and Western secularism teaches depraved immorality and greed. It’s proven and observed. Mankind need Christianity to be civilized. Children need God’s truth to be able to live.

          • johndoe

            You need to provide proof of your statement, otherwise its just nonsense

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Christian Americans were respected. Atheistic Americans are immoral and despicable in lifestyles. The grand proof. You are too young to remember anything about America and the world; Americans were utmost highly respected even when they were racists because their Christianity was outstanding superb and excellent.

          • johndoe

            Atheists are no more despicable than christians. You have no idea how old I am . You are clueless about America as you dont live here and continuously insult those who do. Nobody respects racists. You cannot be both racist and christian.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Every Earthling is a racist, one way or another. You think otherwise because you are naive and English is probably your only language. People are usually very racist. Christians alone transcend humanity’s racism and love everyone with God’s love. You talk like a typical teenager educated in secular nations’ public schools.

          • johndoe

            Im no racist. For a christian. youre very insulting

        • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          The problem is that once you start accepting money from the Government for doing something, then the government believes that it has the right to come in, inspect, regulate and control all aspects of what you do.

          Think of the Interstate Highway system. All states gladly took money from the Federal Government to build, patrol and maintain the Instate Highways.
          Speed Limits on highways are determined by the States through which they run. During the “Arab Oil Crisis” of the early 70’s, President Nixon went on TV to declare a nation-wide speed limit of 55 MPH to save fuel and increase highway safety. The thing is that the Federal Government has not authority to set speed limits on State roads. So, the Federal Government made it a condition of receiving Federal Highway Funds that the state must pass a law mandating the maximum speed limit in the state of 55 MPH… Needless to say all states passed these laws in short order…

          If we started accepting government money to homeschool our children, how soon do you think it would be before the government started controlling what we teach about certain areas (you can’t teach that homosexuality is wrong – that is hate speech…)

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            No, today’s Western secularism is wrong. Western secularists try to impose sexual depravity upon mankind. It’s the deadliest form of slavery.

    • johndoe

      Can you point me to the school(s) that teach immorality or atheism? Doubtful

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Today’s Western public schools are Anti-christian; they teach atheism and immorality. Western children need Christian education not to become suicidal or immoral.

        • johndoe

          Religion isnt needed in our educational system
          We need to be giving our kids a well rounded education and not an indoctrination. Religion is for church, at home, and between the ears

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            No Christianity = No truth = No education

          • johndoe

            Funny that im very educated and atheist. Truth.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            You are not. Your capitalization is wrong.

          • johndoe

            You have no idea about what youre saying. Educated beyond your ability.

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    The beautiful and radical witness of Christian homeschool families was one of the last and largest straws to break this former atheist’s back.

    May God bless and protect all homeschool families everywhere!

  • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    “Having a strong relationship with the child’s mother and father, attending church as a child, and years homeschooled were all clearly positively associated with Millennials’ basic Christian orthodoxy, broader biblical beliefs, Christian behaviors (e.g., attending church, keeping sex in marriage, prayer, not using pornography), satisfaction in life, civic and community involvement, and having beliefs similar to one’s parents,” said Dr. Brian Ray, the lead researcher behind the study.

    Thank you for validating one of the core reasons why we have been homeschooling for over 20 years.