[As of NOW, you have to do a little math to make a COMMENT. Please try this out!]


[Did we homeschool our kids?  Well…you’ll probably applaud or be upset by what we say in our “Homeschool tab” just under our picture.]




& the 87th percentile


We’ll show you how to start finding everything you wanted to know but didn’t know where to ask.  We can change that IF…


you go through our DOOR.



[PLEASE NOTE:  One of our regular readers, a professor familiar with the kind of data presented here has pointed out an important CLARIFICATION and CORRECTION to this post.  We’ll add his comment at *** in the notes at the end.] 


First, be aware that homeschool (with an “s,” “er,” or an “ing” attached) can be correctly written that way–as one word, and not only as two. Just as “basket ball” and “base ball” have overcome dictionary resistance and become acceptable (even to our OED and KID which we quote from) as “basketball” and “baseball,” so has “homeschool.”

Homeschooling is booming in the USA. We’ll tell you a few reasons why and tell you where to go for more. Here’s our source right up front for what follows:


Or  just www.home-school.com.  As far as I can tell, this (above) is the latest feature article there as of Aug. 29, 2013.

This recent posting presents what may seem startling information.

For openers:

On the average,  Homeschoolers stand at the


87th percentile


That means that, as a group, they score on standard tests better than 86% of all students taken together.


Some more (USA) numbers*:


1999                           850,000                            1.7%

2003                        1,100,000                           2.2%

2007                        1,500,000                           2.9%

2010                        2,040,000                           4.0%


MAIN REASONS FOR HOMESCHOOLING   (slightly abbreviated)

• Desire to promote religious & moral instruction for child   (36%)

• Concern about environment & safety of child   (21%)

• Dissatisfaction with typical academic instruction   (17%)

• Unique family situations often requiring travel   (14%)

• Desire for a nontraditional approach to child’s education   (7%)

• Our child has special needs   (6%)


From A Dozen Seconds we offer these cautions:

(1)  Homeschooling creates a lot of work, discipline, and persistence from teachers (usually parents).

(2)  Although allowed in most states, rules and regulations vary in each state.

(3)  Sometimes, typical homeschool curriculum varies in quality–with science particularly troublesome. **


Of course, homeschooling  claims should be checked out at in other places, and not just their own websites.


But the rise in homeschooling, and some of the advantages it offers can hardly be ignored…



* Don’t push the numbers here too hard. There’s information missing (here) about what grades are being considered and some other things. Consider this a starting point for gathering more info.

** As we’ve  mentioned in several places, we cannot recommend “Young Earth” (the universe cannot be older than 10,000 years) interpretations of Earth or cosmic history, and Young Earth teaching seems to dominate–much, but not all–typical homeschool earth science, astronomy, and biology materials. Scientists who believe in the Big Bang and an “Old” Earth are often treated as “silly” or not representing real science. This is an unfortunate misrepresentation of modern science that many children later on will reject when they “leave town,” wondering what other facts about the world, the church, the Bible, and God they’ve been led astray on. For a sound, Bible-friendly approach to teaching biology, geology, and astronomy to children we recommend ideas and materials that can be obtained at www.reasons.org.

*** “Don’t forget about the selection bias in homeschooling statistics.  Almost by definition, homeschooled students have parents who are actively involved in the education of their children.  Such students perform at above-average levels.  There is a decent chance that homeschooled children would have performed around the 87th percentile if they had gone to public school, private school, or parochial school too.  From the percentile alone, we cannot reliably infer the effect of the schooling.  Obtaining valid statistical estimates of the effect of schooling is possible, but it takes a lot of control data and advanced statistical techniques … which themselves get treated with skepticism by some people untrained in them.”  

Thank you, (we’ll call him) “Dave.” You’re absolutely right!  Perhaps you noted my hesitancy in my first note (above which I’ve now underlined). Your comment reminds me of a powerful 50-year-old 10-year, detailed study (title I can’t remember) that my doctoral advisor (a wonderful tyrant who marked my life forever) constructed to attempted to measure “factors that affect student achievement through the years–intelligence, city or rural environment, size of community, size of school, education of teachers, characteristics of parents, magazines and books read in the home, income level of family, etc., etc.–and discovered at the end that there were no significant factors (“important” differences) that could be used to predict student success except for the amount of concern that parents had for their kids’ success.

Thanks, too, to a second “regular” reader, a publisher, who corrected a grammar error…









Author: John Knapp