<a href=http://www.nheri.org/Latest/Homeschooling-Across-America-Academic-Achievement-and-Demographic-Characteristics.html>Homeschooling Across America: Academic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics</a>
(summary of study, August 10, 2009)
The purpose of this new nationwide cross-sectional, descriptive study is to examine the educational history, demographic features, and academic achievement of home-educated students and the basic demographics of their families, and to assess the relationships between the homeschool students’ academic achievement and selected student and family variables.
Dr. Brian D. Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI, www.nheri.org), conducted the study. Data were collected in spring 2008 on the 11,729 participants in grades K to 12 from all 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Summary of Major Findings in This Study
Demographics of the Families and Students
The median income for home-educating families ($75,000 to $79,999) was similar to all married-couple families nationwide with one or more related children under age 18 (median income $74,049 in 2006 dollars; or roughly 78,490 in 2008 dollars).
Homeschool parents have more formal education than parents in the general population; 66.3% of the fathers and 62.5% of the mothers had a college degree (i.e., bachelor’s degree) or a higher educational attainment. In 2007, 29.5% of all adult males nationwide ages 25 and over had finished college and 28.0% of females had done so.
These homeschool families are notably larger – 68.1% have three or more children – than families nationwide.
The percent of homeschool students in this study who are White/not-Hispanic (91.7%) is disproportionately high compared to public school students nationwide.
Almost all homeschool students (97.9%) are in married couple families. Most home school mothers (81%) do not participate in the labor force; almost all home school fathers (97.6%) do work for pay.
The median amount of money spent annually on educational materials is about $400 to $599 per home-educated student.
Academic Achievement of Home-Educated Students in Grades K-12
Homeschool student achievement test scores are exceptionally high. The mean scores for every subtest (which are at least the 80th percentile) are well above those of public school students.
There are no statistically significant differences in achievement by whether the student has been home educated all his or her academic life, whether the student is enrolled in a full-service curriculum, whether the parents knew their student’s test scores before participating in the study, and the degree of state regulation of homeschooling (in three different analyses on the subject).
There are statistically significant differences in achievement among homeschool students when classified by gender, amount of money spent on education, family income, whether either parent had ever been a certified teacher (i.e., students of non-certified parents did better), number of children living at home, degree of structure in the homeschooling, amount of time student spends in structured learning, and age at which formal instruction of the student began. However, of these variables, only parent education level explained a noticeable or practically significant amount of variance, 2.5%, in student scores; the other variables explained one-half of 1% or less of the variance.
The full-length report is expected to be published circa December 2010.
Hat tip, <a href=http://www.siena.org/Blog/>Intentional Disciples</a>, where Sherry wrote the following (to which I add my emphasis in red):
America's "Brainiest": Home Schooling Parents </a>
Written by Sherry
Saturday, 02 October 2010 07:09
CNN is running a piece this morning on the <a href=http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/01/pf/college/Americas_brainiest_cities/index.htm>"brainiest" major cities in America</a>. The criteria? What percentage of the population has a bachelor or graduate degree. Washington DC comes in first with 47.3% of adults 25 and older with college degrees. Then San Francisco, San Jose, and Raleigh, NC. Boston, Austin, Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle, and New York round out the field.
Now there are all sorts of problems with the idea that a simple concentration of college degrees in a town equals the "brainiest". And these lists seem to change so rapidly. In 2006, <a href=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13278190/>my home town of Seattle was labeled the "smartest city in the US"</a> because 47% of adults held a bachelor's degree. And my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs was in the top 10. (And not just because Fr. Mike started to spend a lot of time here in 2006 - although that undoubtedly altered the bell curve.)
But what does the MSM know? All Coloradans know that the city of Boulder, just up the road, is blessed with a population where 56% of adults have bachelor's degrees, which blows DC out of the water and is more than twice the national average. Hey, we're skinny and we're smart. (Sorry, Mark, but "stout and out" just isn't our style in Colorado.)
But enough gloating. The point is, that if we use the same criteria, the average home schooling family is a far brainier place than DC, Seattle, or Boulder.
<a href=http://www.nheri.org/Latest/Homeschooling-Across-America-Academic-Achievement-and-Demographic-Characteristics.html>A survey of nearly 12,000 home-schooling adults</a>, conducted by Dr. Brian D. Ray and published in the peer reviewed Journal of Academic Leadership in 2009, produced some impressive findings. 66.3% of home-schooling fathers and 62.5% of home-schooling mothers have bachelor's degrees or higher. 20% of homeschooling fathers have masters degrees and 8% have doctorates while 11.6% of home schooling moms have masters and 2.5% have doctorates.
Compare those figures to the national average: 26% of US adults have bachelor degrees, 5.6% have earned a master's, and about 1% have doctorates. Women who home-school are more than twice as likely to have masters degrees or doctorates as other American adults and home-schooling dads are nearly 4 times more likely to have a master's degree and 8 times more likely to have a doctorate than their peers.
The image, widely held in some circles, of home-schooling families as intellectual and cultural neanderthals, doesn't hold water. Parents who choose to educate their children at home are much more like to be highly educated themselves, invested in education, and comfortable with it. The confidence that comes with this, no doubt, makes the decision to educate their children at home easier to sustain and accomplish.