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Home School Students Perform Better Than Their Peers

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Homeschool Students Out Perform Peers

In 1997, Dr. Brian D. Ray released a study of 5,402 homeschool students from 1,657 families. In Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America, the study demonstrated that homeschoolers, out-performed their counterparts in public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects.

The research provided encouragement for families to commit to homeschooling for the long-term.  The data showed that eight graders who were homeschooled two or more years scored significantly higher than students who had been homeschooled one year or less. Newer homeschoolers were scoring in the 59th percentile on average.  Comparatively, students who had been homeschooled during the last two or more years scored between the 86th and 92nd percentiles.

Another important finding documented by Dr. Ray was that the race of the student does not make any difference. There was no significant difference between minority and white homeschooled students. For example, in grades K-12, both white and minority students scored, on the average, in the 87th percentile. In math, whites, on average, scored in the 82nd percentile while minorities scored in the 77th percentile.  However, in public schools, there continues to be a significant achievement gap.  White public school eighth graders scored nationally in the 58th percentile in math and the 57th percentile in reading.  African American eighth grade students scored, on the average, around the 24th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading. Hispanics scored around the 29th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading.  These findings show that when parents, regardless of race, can teach their children at home, achievement gaps dissipate.

A significant finding from the Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America shows regardless of the government regulation on homeschooling, academic performance was not impacted.  This means whether a state had a high degree of regulation (i.e., curriculum approval, teacher qualifications, testing requirements or home visits) or no regulation, the homeschooled students in all states performed the same.  The students all scored, on average, in the 86th percentile regardless of state regulation.  Involved parents and hard work determined the outcomes.