|Printer Friendly Version|
Academic and demographic information from the largest national study of home schooled students
Who home schools?
The home school community is undoubtedly a unique segment of American society. Far from being a cross-section of the American public, home schoolers stand out in several areas beyond the obvious distinction of their educational choices.
The background questionnaires returned for this study reveal that, on average, home school parents have more formal education than parents in the general population, with 88% having continued their education beyond high school compared to 50% for the nation as a whole (Figure 7). Furthermore, almost one in four home school students (24%) has at least one parent who is a certified teacher.
Home school families have a higher median income ($52,000 in 1997) than the median income of all American families with children ($36,000 in 1995) (Figure 8). Home school families also tend to be larger than the national average; the majority (62.1%) have three or more children, while most American families with school-age children (79.6%) have only one or two children (Figure 9).
(Home school leaders believe the high numbers of mothers and fathers reporting evangelical preferences is likely skewed in favor of religious home schoolers, since the families obtained the tests through a religious supplier. However, there is no known reason to believe that secular home school students perform at a lower academic level than religious home schoolers.)
Another distinguishing characteristic is that home schooled children tend to watch significantly less television than do average American children. On average, only 1.6% of home schoolers in the 4th grade watch more than three hours of television per day, compared to nearly 40% of 4th graders nationwide (Figure 11).
The median amount of money spent in 1997 on educational materials for home school students was $400. When we consider this relatively small expenditure in light of the high scholastic achievement of most home school students, we can reasonably conclude that it does not require a great deal of money to home school successfully (Figure 12).
F O O T N O T E S
FIGURE 7: * National data: U.S. Census (1996; Table 8). Figures do not total 100% due to rounding.
FIGURE 8: * National data for 1995 from Bruno and Curry (1997, Table 19). Figures do not total 100% due to rounding.
FIGURE 9: * National data: U.S. Census (1997a, Table 77).
FIGURE 10: * Figures do not total 100% due to rounding.
FIGURE 11: * Figures do not total 100% due to rounding. ** National data: NAEP Math 1997.
FIGURE 12.1: * Figures do not total 100% due to rounding.
FIGURE 12.2: * Composite Percentile Score refers to the percentile corresponding to the mean composite scaled score.
|Printer Friendly Version|