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Homeschool 101: What are the statistics?

by Kristi Hebert
Source: New Orleans Homeschooling Examiner
September 2, 2009

If you are looking for statistics on homeschooling you might have a hard time finding recent figures. However, since homeschooling is growing at a faster rate than ever before, so is the research. The National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) is a non-profit research and educational organization that has published recent findings that are quite interesting.

In certain states you can homeschool your child without notifying anyone. Here in Louisiana, we are considered a moderately regulated homeschool state. In other words, we do have to send notification to the state that we are homeschooling, but the state canít tell us what curriculum to use or request annual test scores. Louisiana has it pretty easy. Some states are much more regulated, requiring home visits by state officials, a state approved curriculum and even teacher qualification of the parents. The interesting news is a study by the NHERI in August 2008 found ďNo relationship between the degree of state control of home-based education and the college SAT scores of the homeschooled.Ē

Sounds like parents in those states with no regulation still want to successfully educate their children. Who would have thought? Even though public educators and old-fashioned adults donít believe moms and dads can handle educating their own, the research has proven that parents are more than capable.

Achievement test scores for homeschooled students are exceptionally high. Kids taught at home score across the board between the 75th-80th percentile. Public school children tested on the same material consistantly produce scores at the 50th percentile. The children in the study came from a mixture of gender, racial and financial backgrounds. Each level of education was represented, ranging from Kindergarten to 12th grade. All 50 states were also represented, including Guam and Puerto Rico.

Well, the burning question in the mind of a skeptic is always, "What happens after these homeschooled kids are released into the real world?". University of Michigan professor Dr. Gary Knowles, spent time researching adults who were home educated. An amazing 96% said if they could do it all over again they would want to be homeschooled. Not a single one was unemployed or on welfare. That is pretty impressive.

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