A new report by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute finds that homeschooled students perform much better academically than public school students for less money and without certified teachers. This should broaden the appeal of homeschooling to more families.

The homeschooling movement is growing. Ten years ago, roughly 850,000 students were homeschooled. Today that number has grown to as much as 1.5 million to 2 million students.

How is it possible to learn without a certified teacher? Dr. Ray’s research of more than 11,000 families in all 50 states (and even Guam and Puerto Rico) finds that there is no correlation between a certified parent and higher test scores. In fact, he finds slightly higher test scores for students if neither parent had ever had a teaching certificate than if one or both parents were certified.

How much better are homeschoolers academically? Homeschooled students performed 34 to 39 percentile points higher than public school students in all core subject areas.

What does it cost to homeschool? Homeschool families typically spend between $400 and $599 per child whereas the average per student cost in public schools nationwide is $9,963.

What does a typical family that homeschools look like? Usually, the parents are married with an average of 3.5 children, and have a median family income between $75k and $80k. This figure is similar to the nationwide median of $79k for married couples with kids. About 20% of mothers work outside the home in mostly part-time positions. Most families are Protestant (82.4%) or Roman Catholic (12.4%). In addition, the parents are well educated. Ray found 62% of the mothers and 66% of the fathers have a bachelor’s degree or more advanced degree.

Obviously, homeschooling is working for these kids. By reducing property taxes, local officials will inevitably make it easier for more students to have this opportunity.

– Brooke Terry