Jul 232013

Wondering about Homeschooling Statistics and Who homeschools?

My Master’s Degree Project focused on home schooling children with specific learning disabilities. Below, you will find homeschooling statistics stemming from polls listed on home schooling Listservs.

These homeschooling statistics were sought regarding the population of homeschooled students who have learning disabilities. A poll was conducted in an online group with 470 members, primarily consisting of parents home schooling children with specific learning disabilities, and 62 responses were received. Of those responding, 61% previously had their child enrolled in public school and are home schooling because the child failed to make adequate progress (Figure 1). Among the remaining parents, 34% did not previously enroll their child in public school; 5% previously had their child enrolled in public school and the child made adequate progress, but the child is being homeschooled for other reasons.

This distribution is important among homeschooling statistics because a failure to make adequate progress in public school indicates the child is probably already below grade-level when home schooling begins. Additionally, the parents enrolled their children in public school initially, indicating they were not originally planning on home schooling. The parents would experience an unplanned learning curve in both home schooling methods and remedial teaching.

homeschooling statistics

To determine the distribution of exceptionalities among homeschooled students, an online poll was conducted in a general interest home schooling listserv with 1550 members, which resulted in 119 responses. Poll results showed 38% of the students represented were identified by their parent as being ‘typical’, 24% were identified as being gifted, and 38% were identified as having special education needs (Figure 2). Twice exceptional students, those who are both gifted and have learning disabilities, overlap with the gifted and special education categories and account for 3.0% of the children represented.

At a percentage of 38%, the homeschooled student body with special education needs would be approximately 38,000 students out of every 100,000. That is almost three times higher than the number of students being served in public school special education programs. Students with specific learning disabilities account for approximately 16% of the homeschooled population (SLD and twice exceptional combined). That equals about 16,000 out of every 100,000 students. This percentage is more than two and half times the number being served in public school, and is one of the eye-opening homeschooling statistics.

homeschooling statistics
The grade levels for students with learning disabilities being homeschooled are distributed among all K-12 grades. Students are an average of 1.6 grades behind in achievement, as compared to the child’s age-based grade level.

The grade-level distribution shows the highest number of homeschooled students with learning disabilities occurs in grades four through seven. There is a drop in the number of students occurring in the sixth grade, at the beginning of middle school. The peak occurs in the fifth grade, with 24% of students being in fifth grade (Figure 3). The number increases around the fourth grade, most likely because students with learning disabilities fall further behind peers more rapidly in the third and fourth grade.

The number of students with disabilities being homeschooled drops off after seventh grade. The number is likely to drop for several reasons.

First, many parents do not wish to attempt home schooling through high school.

Second, students sometimes seek to have greater interaction with peers at the high school level, therefore they may request to return to school.

Third, if a child has been successfully homeschooled, his remedial skills may be at a level where re-integration into public school is easily accomplished.

As far as homeschooling statistics go, the grade levels is most important to consider in developing programs to support the larger number of students being homechooled in grades 2-7.

homeschooling statistics

If you would like to see the full survey results and all of the homeschooling statistics, with 200 respondents, go to:
learningabledkids.com/mssurveyresults-200participants.htm. For additional homeschooling statistics, you may want to see the research at http://www.nheri.org/.


Best Wishes, Sandy

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