INFOGRAPHIC: Homeschooling Trends in 2011

In the last decade, the US has seen a tremendous surge in the number of families choosing to homeschool their children. Our latest infographic explores this trend and examines the roles that education reform and the proliferation of educational technologies have had in encouraging alternative education. Finally, we compare how homeschooled students perform against their peers who attended traditional public schools. Check it out:

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  • Technology has an influence on the decision to home school your children. The guess work is taken out when you trust your program to an actual home school program like Mother of Divine Grace, Seton, or Calvert. Technology enhances the ability to communicate easily. We have classroom discussions. We have assistance from other moms who are in the program longer and therefore more experienced. I can read the philosophy of the home school program and I see the truth in the philosophy everyday. I do not need to wait for Grade 12 to see the results of all my hard work. The beginning is slow and hard but when you feel the relationship with your children strengthening everyday…I would not change it for the world. The Catholic who does his/her research discovers that no one can teach their child better than them because they were given these gifts with the Sacrament of Matrimony.
    The benefits of home schooling are far deeper than academic results. I thank you for your research.

  • Great article! I suspect though that the data here is pointing to not better outcomes as a result of students being schooled at home vs a classroom – but rather homes where they opt for home-schooling are more prepared to take a vested interest in their child’s success.

  • This is all averages. I find it bogus. Because you have a small percentage of the overall student population and the parents care of course their scores will be higher. Sorry to burst your homeschooling bubble.

    • I can only give you my own testimony. Homeschooling our children was the best decision we ever made. I homeschooled five of our six children for 15 years. The gift of homeschooling is not limited to statistics. It results in deep family ties, reinforced values, an opportunity to encourage strengths in children and give extra help and time where needed. Every child has different interests. My history lover could go as far and as fast as he wanted. My science lover could spend plenty of time on experiments. The gift to me was time with my children and many happy memories.

  • Very interesting, but one complaint: your conclusion about a relationship between technology and homeschooling is tenuous at best. It may be true, it may not, but noting that both things are increasing over a similar period of time does not indicate a causal relationship. US Government debt also increased over that time – is that also related?

    A more direct way to measure this is to survey homeschooling families about how much technology they rely on.

    Also, your graphic about the $$ spent on K-12 students would be more accurate if you accounted for inflation. Admittedly, it would not be as dramatic, but I assume it would still show increasing cost vs. little change in scores.

    • I agree on the fallacy you pointed out; there really is no direct correlation between the use of technology and those who choose to home educate their children.

      Speaking as someone who was home educated for 18 years of his life, I would actually argue that home schooler’s use LESS technology than more. While yes, the technology could potentially enhance the child’s experience, in many situations parents choose home education because of the frivolous use of technology in the public school systems. Many times government funded schools will beg tax payers for more funding to be able to provide the “latest and greatest” in learning infrastructure. A seemingly noble appeal that many tax payers fall for. In reality, the children need to simply read more of the RIGHT books etc., regardless if they are reading them on an iPad or out of a beat upvPenguin Classics edition.

      Not to mention the individual attention home schooling provides allows children to excel in subjects they are gifted in and take more time for topics that may not come as naturally. I’ve known countless home educated students who were one, two, even three years ahead in a certain topic; allowing them to take college courses earlier, and gain an competitive advantage on their publicly/privately educated counterparts.

      The most common counterargument individuals present against home education is the social aspect. If you “seclude” a child for 18 years, surely they’ll have some sort of irreparable emotional damage because they couldn’t go to prom, play sports, or participate in clubs. This argument honestly just shows a lack of knowledge when it comes to the home schooling community. Anymore, there are home schooling sports (ONLY for home educated students), co-ops, and even debate leagues ( While yes, home schooling parents/communities may not have the resources that a tax payer supported institution may possess, home educated children are for the most part not social idiots. Unfortunately, many have developed an unfair stereotype of home schooler’s, thinking them as nerdy and unable to carry on a conversation with an adult. Did I mention they probably don’t have any friends? This is far from the truth, but has resulted in only a few rare instances dictating the public’s view of an entire community. You don’t have to look very far to find just as many, probably more, publicly educated kids incapable of communicating or being socially awkward due to the expected ostracization that comes with attending a school full of your peers.

  • When parents take a vested interest in their children and their children’s education, then those kids will be better prepared. While it may not be an option for all parents, technology is making it easier for some parents to provide a home based education even while working. There are so many different versions and options for homeschooling, but what matters most is putting in the time and effort with your children in whatever version of education works well for your family!

  • We started with our oldest daughter in a VERY GOOD Catholic Private School (K &1st)

    – Mt. Saint Michaels in Dallas, TX. GREAT SCHOOL!

    When I was laid off and out of work for over a year we felt like it was wrong to draw on financial aid and assistance to pay for her education, so we took the step towards home schooling. Now our oldest is in 3rd grade and our next daughter is in 1st grade. Home schooling IN MY OPINION is the BEST education a parent can provide for their children. It is also the most challenging path for a parent to take I believe. (Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. – Jim Rohn) If you cannot currently, but do desire to home school I would recommend prayer. Ask God to open the door for you to be able to and then make it happen!

    We have the ability to travel and engage in learning anywhere we go. Our children participate in extra curricular activity’s not offered in government schools, and we have no worries concerning the moral decline that is found so heavily in government schools wearing down our children. (1 Cor. 15:33 Do not be led astray, bad company WILL corrupt good morals.) Everyday I read about some teacher arrested for sex with a student, drugs, and now this morning I read how another teacher killed themselves! (This one set them self on fire….not much better than the hanging incident!) Also guns are not banned on my campus and we will never have a problem with crazy people coming on campus trying to hurt anyone:) My children are even taught gun safety; try to teach THAT in government school.

    I AGREE 100% with Bernadette Chin Lee above!

    School is SO much more than the academics; but home schooled children are the winners of most of the B’s. (Math B, Spelling B, Science B, Physics B………)

    My children look at other children when at parks and public places and later engage in interesting discussions about why they act the way they do and the obvious influence that weak homes and broken marriages have on the childrens displayed behavior. When a 5 and 8 year old knows that there is something wrong, it just helps me as a parent to understand that I have made the best decision.

    God gave my wife and I all for the ability’s needed to provided the BEST education for our children. We are not scholars or acidemics; heck we both left school as push-outs that graduated later in life. I run multipule companies now and my wife and sister in law handle most of the education. I still take time each week and every evening to engage in teaching all of our children something. With four children so far, and open to more in the future we will definitely be part of the positive transformation of this nation and world with the seeds we are sowing. Our goal is to help strengthen the moral character and fabric of this great nation, one child at a time.

    Great work gathering the data for this piece.


  • Your reasoning was all good until……
    “…they (OTHER kids) act the way they do and the obvious influence that weak homes and broken marriages have on the childrens displayed behavior. ”

    Too bad your children will also learn to judge others that they know nothing about and walk around with superiority complexes that make for pretentious sociopaths when they have to interact in the real world. Exactly what gives homeschoolers a bad name. Shame on you.

  • The way some of your comments slander homeschoolers makes me sad. Obviously you have never tried it. I was homeschooled for the majority of my life, but dropped out after 7th grade. My grades rose, I felt healthier, I wasn’t tempted (as much) to misbehave and lose morality. Now, everyone is different and needs a diferent approach to studies. Homeschooling worked for me, but my friends who love people would never even consider homeschooling. There are thousands upon thousands of different ways to school someone. From dvd classes, online courses, co-ops, classes at local colleges, classes offered at certain private schools, to just taching one on one by the book. There is no one perfect way, so stop judging, and just figure out what is best for you and/or your child and do the best you can. =)

  • It’s great to hear that parents want to be a part of their child’s education and that parents are becoming more involved within their child’s educational career. However, homeschooling isn’t the only approach. Children can still be active members inside of a classroom and parents can still be actively involved in their child’s learning. Parent’s are the best teachers. Parent’s are the ones who instill beliefs and a way of life inside of their children. It’s all about the parent/teacher communication. As parent, know what your child is learning inside the classroom, know what goals are being set of your child’s success as a student, and communicate with your child’s teacher. No one knows your child better than you, so use that to your advantage and let the teacher know what kind of student your child is. How can the teacher best serve your student?

    Homeschooling is a great form of education. However, your child will be missing the one-on-one interaction with peers. With your child inside of a classroom, you child is getting outside of the house on a daily basis, your child is able to create a relationship with other people their own age, your child is able to use their life skills such as interaction, communication, and problem solving without even realizing it, and your child is able to create a sense of responsibility outside of the house which will be useful with future careers.

    • Meg, this: “your child will be missing the one-on-one interaction with peers. With your child inside of a classroom, you child is getting outside of the house on a daily basis, your child is able to create a relationship with other people their own age, your child is able to use their life skills such as interaction, communication, and problem solving without even realizing it, and your child is able to create a sense of responsibility outside of the house which will be useful with future careers.” is just… SILLY. The idea that home educated children in general miss out on any of the peer interaction you speak of is an old, tired sentiment. I’m sure there are some rare exceptions, just like there are in the public educated arena. But most home educating families just chuckle and shake their heads as they listen to those like yourself who say these silly, silly things. If you think a classroom setting is where children will learn societal responsibility and career-related skills via their same-aged peers, then… well, best of luck!

  • Hello, I thoroughly enjoyed the article presented, but found a few errors. As of 2006, the year that I myself began home schooling, there were 2.5 Million home schooling families, according to As for the points difference educationally, the points difference is much wider, as there have been several Ivy League valedictorians from the home schooling community. Also, the college entrance age is much younger for home school children than those in a formal educational setting. I am rather tired of the socialization argument. Children that are home schooled receive the same, if not more, opportunities to socialize, as the current trend to educate in public school forums as per No Child Left Behind dictates that all children receive no more than 15 minutes of educational instruction per each hour spent in a classroom. This would mean that this 15 minutes must be divided by the size of the class for a minimum of minutes of interaction/socialization taking place in each school day. Also, recess has been removed from many schools, thus creating less opportunities for socializing freely. Also, in terms of socialization, a classroom structure is not an accurate social environment, but a simulated social environment wherein there is a peer group of like age overseen by a party of an older age. In real social situations, one must learn to socialize with others of all ages, races, creeds, faiths, colors, etc. This is not the job nor the success of the formal school system, as we would not need to have sensitivity training for adults to learn how not to sexually, racially, etc. harass their coworkers as adults, or better still, there wouldn’t be such a large-scale issue of bullying in formal school forums as today. As the parent is the first role model, a child under the tutelage of a loving parent with a vested interest in his child, is guided to proper social, spiritual mores and treatment towards one’s fellow man. This interaction happens daily when one sees interaction with “the people in the neighborhood” through living and learning life on an everyday basis (your mailman, store clerk, etc.). This is wonderful because we get the opportunity to make the whole world a classroom. We don’t keep our children in cages, locked up with a tin cup to clang on the bars for bathroom breaks. As for relationships with children of like age, intelligent people socialize with, I repeat, all ages, etc. Also, for the comment by Bernadette Chin Lee, the curricula that she sites, with the exception of Calvert, is not for those with advanced educational expectation. Many of those using Calvert are able to segue straight from Junior High School straight into college-level courses, as it was from retroactively from 2010, four (4) years above the highest advanced placement standards. Not everyone uses canned curricula. Everyone has to find one’s own path. I applaud any parent home schooled, public schooled, private schooled, etc. for taking the challenge and ordainment of parenthood and giving it one’s all. Blessings, LadyG.

  • Just laughing at MEG’s comments, as though homeschooled children don’t get out of the house, learn to make decisions, learn to relate to peers. This kind of ridiculous comment indicates a discouraging level of ignorance in regard to homeschooling and kind of works against his or her argument, in my opinion.

    Obviously if this opinion were based in truth, homeschool numbers would not be increasing. If parents are choosing to homeschool because they want to do what is best for their child and if homeschooling is unhealthy for their children’s social development, then parents would return to their reasoning and rethink their choice to homeschool. To restate in the form of a question, if homeschooling were so bad for social development, why would more and more people be doing it?

    If you say the parents are choosing to do it out of ignorance, then you are saying that all these people, the majority of whom attended public or private school, are as a result of their schooling, ignorant to their children’s need for socialization, which is kind of ironic, really. No?

    How are these “socially deficient” people able to become functioning, successful adults? Maybe you believe in magic….

  • very good article. the number of home schooled children will grow even faster. it is enough to look at what is happening in a public school now to be very motivated to home school your children. we do home school our children also and we are very happy with the results so far. it is very rewarding also when we see other people around us seeing the positive difference between the way our children behave and others do…

  • I am a public school teacher and I have known several students who came to us after being home”schooled” and were unable to read and these were intelligent children. We however, were able to teach them to read rather quickly. I am sure there are some parents out there doing a fine job but not everyone is able to teach.

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