Homeschooling in Wisconsin

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Homeschool Research & Statistics
 Research Organizations
 Statistics and Data for Wisconsin and the U.S.
 Homeschool Research Analysis

Research Organizations Back to Top
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane. It is a non-profit public policy research foundation headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. Toward that goal, the Institute strives to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, concerned lay public in questions of policy and the proper role of government.
Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, produces the world’s premier database of journal and non-journal education literature. The ERIC online system provides the public with a centralized ERIC Web site for searching the ERIC bibliographic database of more than 1.1 million citations going back to 1966. More than 107,000 full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2004), previously available through fee-based services only, are now available for free.
Home School Research from HSLDA
Home School Legal Defense Association has compiled research and statistics on homeschooling and other education topics. You'll find information about the number of homeschooled children in the country, the benefits and advantages of homeschooling, and more.
National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI)
NHERI's mission is to produce high-quality research on home-based education, to serve as a clearinghouse of research, and to educate the public concerning the findings of all research on home education. If you are interested in statistics and research to inform your choice about education, this site offers resources and information. NHERI's forte is in the realm of research, statistics, data, facts, demographics, the academic world, consultation, academic achievement tests, and expert witness while serving people ranging from researchers, educators, teachers, policy makers, the media, home schoolers, parents in general, marketing consultants, and the general public.
The Home School Researcher
This quarterly, refereed, scholarly journal presents basic research on home- and family-based education in areas such as socialization, academic achievement, history, and law. This unique periodical keeps home educators, researchers, and others abreast of the most current factual and theoretical research information available on home education.

Statistics and Data for Wisconsin and the U.S. Back to Top
1.1 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2003
This brief uses data from the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) to estimate the number of homeschooled students in the United States in 2003 and to discuss the reasons parents decide to homeschool their children. The brief also shows that the number of homeschoolers, and the proportion of the student population they represent, has increased since 1999.
Comparison of Enrollment Trends in Home-Based Private Educational Programs in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
A comparison of enrollment in the home-based private educational programs and public and private school enrollment is available in a multi-year listing for the years 1984-85 to 2005-06.
Enrollment and Family Unit Trends in Home-Based Private Educational Programs in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
A comilation of data from 2010-2011 school year to 2013-2014 school year showing enrollment and family unit trends in homeschooling, classified by CESA.
Estimated Number of Homeschooled Students in the United States - 2003
Both the number and the proportion of students in the United States who were being homeschooled increased between 1999 and 2003. Approximately 1.1 million students (1,096,000) were being homeschooled in the United States in the spring of 2003, an increase from the estimated 850,000 students who were being homeschooled in the spring of 1999. In addition, the percentage of the entire student population who were being homeschooled increased from 1.7 percent in 1999 to 2.2 percent in 2003.
Home School Research from HSLDA
Home School Legal Defense Association has compiled research and statistics on homeschooling and other education topics. You'll find information about the number of homeschooled children in the country, the benefits and advantages of homeschooling, and more.
Home Schooling Works!
20,760 student achievement test scores and their family demographics make this one of the largest study of home education. Results demonstrate that home schooled students are doing exceptionally well and provide an informative portrait of America’s modern home education movement. Conducted by Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.
Homeschool Statistics and Achievements
Home Education Foundation
The Home Education Foundation has several reports detailing statistics on home education in America.
Homeschooling in the United States: 1999
The Parent Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program, 1999 (Parent-NHES:1999) provides a comprehensive set of information that may be used to estimate the number and characteristics of homeschoolers in the United States. This report, Homeschooling in the United States: 1999, presents an estimate of the number of homeschooled students, characteristics of homeschooled children and their families, parents' reasons for homeschooling, and public school support for homeschoolers.
Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 Statistical Analysis Report
This report represents the latest survey information from the National Center for Education Statistics on the prevalence of homeschooling in the United States. Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 uses the Parent and Family Involvement Survey of the 2003 National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) to estimate the number and percentage of homeschooled students in the United States in 2003 and to describe the characteristics of these students and their families. It reports on the race and ethnicity, income level, and educational attainment of students’ parents; compares the characteristics of homeschoolers to those of public and private schooled students; examines how homeschooling rates have changed between 1999 and 2003 for different segments of the student population; and describes parents’ primary reasons for homeschooling their children, as well as the resources and curricular tools homeschooled students use in their education.
Homeschooling Rates by Student and Family Characteristics
A look at the homeschooling rates according to students' race, number of children in the household, single vs. two-parent households, and the education levels of the parents.
Parents' Reasons for Homeschooling
A 2003 survey details and categorizes the reasons give for homeschooling their children. The reason most often cited was concern about the environment of other schools, followed by a desire to provide religious or moral instruction and dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools.
Sources of Curriculum or Books
Parents of homeschooled students obtain curriculum or books from a wide variety of sources. This study shows that a majority of homeschooled students had parents who used one or more of the following sources of curriculum or books for their children’s home education: a public library (78 percent); a homeschooling catalog, publisher, or individual specialist (77 percent); a retail bookstore or other store (69 percent); and an education publisher that was not affiliated with homeschooling (60 percent). Approximately half of homeschooled students used curriculum or books from homeschooling organizations. Thirty-seven percent of homeschooled students used curriculum or books from a church, synagogue or other religious institution and 23 percent used a curriculum or books from their local public school or district.
The Case for Homeschooling
Roy Lechtreck
The public schools are beyond repair. If it is not practical to replace the current system, then at least let those alone who wish to homeschool. Hassle them not. Instead, encourage them and help them. Parents who homeschool their children have three basic complaints against public schools: the lack of academic rigor, the number of maladjusted graduates, and the anti-religious atmosphere. Homeschool advocates claim that homeschooling overcomes these problems. They argue that no matter whether the educational philosophy one holds is that schooling prepares for life or schooling is life, the homeschooled do better. Proponents also claim that private schools are nearly always similar to public schools, so the fundamental criticisms of public schools apply to private schools also, although to a lesser degree.
The Characteristics of Homeschooled and Nonhomeschooled Students
One way to examine how student, family, and household characteristics are related to homeschooling is to compare the characteristics of homeschooled students to different populations of students. This study provides a comparison of homeschoolers to non-homeschoolers, both public schooled students and private schooled students, by student, family, and household characteristics.
Wisconsin DPI Reports on Home-Based Private Education
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has compiled statistics on students who are home educated. Enrollment for the Home-based Private Educational Program is available by CESA, grade level, and by public school district. Data is available in Excel or Portable Document Format (PDF). Home-based and public school enrollment by school district is available on a year-by-year basis.
Wisconsin Home-Based Private Educational Program Enrollment Trends by Grade
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Contains data from the school year 1984-1985 through 2006-2007 of homeschooled students classified by grade level.

Homeschool Research Analysis Back to Top
Careful Study Finds Homeschool Advantage
Brian D. Ray, PhD
Reviews a carefully done study that uses a matched-pair design. This research shows that students in structured homeschooling academically outperform conventional-school students, and there is no evidence that the difference is simply due to the family’s income or the mother’s educational attainment.
Evidence for Homeschooling: Constitutional Analysis in Light of Social Science Research
Tanya K. Dumas, Sean Gates, Deborah R. Schwarzer
Homeschooling is a time-honored and widespread practice. It often presents, however, a conflict between the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and the State’s right to impose regulations in the interest of ensuring an educated citizenry. The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that any regulation impacting this constitutional right must be “reasonable.” Courts have therefore generally resolved homeschooling cases by examining whether State regulation of homeschooling places an unreasonable burden on the rights of parents. The courts, however, have altogether failed to address another, more fundamental question: whether the State regulation, in fact, advances the State interest. A regulation that fails this criterion cannot be “reasonable.” Using a recent California appellate court case that initially upheld a regulation prohibiting parents from homeschooling their children unless they first obtained a state teaching credential, we show how recent social science research should impact the analysis. Instead of assuming away the issue of whether the regulation advances the State interest, we show that empirical research will allow courts to be able to answer this threshold question.1
Fifteen Year Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults
Deani A. Neven Van Pelt, PhD, Patricia A. Allison, MEd, and Derek J. Allison, PhD
Little is known of Canadians who were home educated as students, particularly as they compare to their Canadian adult peers who were educated in publicly-funded and private schools. Are they as engaged as their peers in democratic, cultural, and economically productive activities? How do their income levels and income sources compare? Are they more or less likely to pursue postsecondary education, to be involved in their communities, to be physically active? How do they evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of their home education experience? This study provides a demographic and lifestyle snapshot of these young adults and offers an initial description of some of the indicators of the outcomes of the first generation of home education in Canada. The study followed up with Canadian survey participants fifteen years after they first shared information about their home education practices, family demographics, and academic achievements (Ray, 1994). It describes their current education level, occupation, community participation, religious observance, income, life satisfaction, recreational pursuits, and family status, and compares these with those of the general adult population of Canadians in the same age group. We also asked graduates to reflect on their home education experience and how it prepared them for their future.
Home Schooling Achievement
Home Schooling Achievement provides a concise look at home school achievement test score data, followed by a more in depth comparison of student's scores with parent education levels, money spent on home school curriculum, government regulation, and race, and gender. In all categories, home school students' successes defy the standard predictors. The final chart examines activities and community involvement and resoundingly explodes the myth that home schooled children lack adequate socialization opportunities.
Homeschooled Kids: But What About Socialization?
Laura Osborne
What about socialization? This is one of the most common questions confronting homeschooling. Socialization is the process whereby the young of a culture learn the rules, mores, traditions, and acceptable interactions of their particular society. Regardless of being at home or at school, a child will be socialized. The question then seems to be: what is the best agent of socialization? Realizing that when a child graduates, he is never again cloistered in an environment with same-age peers makes one question the authenticity of the school as a superior socializing agent. But detractors ask, does the homeschool student do as well in measures of interpersonal and communication skills as his traditionally schooled peers? Let's look at the research.
Homeschooling - ERIC Digest
This Digest discusses the extent of contemporary homeschooling and its legal status, describes available resources, presents evidence on the performance of homeschoolers, and notes how public opinion regarding the practice has changed over time.
Homeschooling Facts
Greg Beato
A Reason online magazine article discusses the number of homeschoolers, most popular reasons for homeschooling, how the general public views homeschoolers, and what the law says about home-schooling.
Homeschooling Grows in the Black Community
Michael Smith
The best research on homeschooling indicates the total number of children who are homeschooled is 1.5 to 2 million, and that number is growing by 10 to 15 percent per year. But not everyone recognizes the academic and social success of homeschoolers and some criticize the movement as being white and elitist. While it's true that the large majority of homeschool children are white, the number of black homeschoolers is growing rapidly. Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute, estimates that there are 30,000 to 50,000 black children being homeschooled today. Others estimate that black homeschoolers make up 5 percent of the total homeschool population. Most importantly black homeschool movement is growing at a faster rate than the general homeschool population.
Homeschooling in Wisconsin: A Review of Current Issues and Trends
Robert V. Luebke
While homeschooling has grown by 1,500 percent in Wisconsin in the past 15 years, it is not a threat to traditional education in the state. Analysis of Wisconsin respondents in one national study indicates 85 percent describe themselves as "Born Again" Christians; were largely middle-class, white, two-parent families, with instruction provided by at-home mothers; and exhibited average extracurricular participation rates. Recent homeschool families are more secular, primarily motivated by academic concerns. Influential homeschooling lobbying organizations helped defeat legislation weakening parental control and increasing state regulation. Recent policy debates involving supporters and opponents of homeschooling focus on three issues: (1) access to public-school courses and services for students primarily schooled at home, welcomed by many, but opposed by others concerned about undermining opportunities and increasing costs for traditional students; (2) opposition by parents to efforts to subject their children to state academic testing requirements; and (3) the impact of homeschooling on colleges in Wisconsin. Opponents of homeschooling express concerns about accountability and denial of social benefits of public schools. Proponents argue the majority of homeschooled students who return to traditional schools during middle-school years do not experience transition difficulties. Sentiment for more restrictive homeschooling legislation does not currently exist. Little evidence suggests homeschooling threatens traditional schools or is socially or academically harmful to students. Although the absence of significant data on performance should be addressed, policymakers should consider homeschooling an effective alternative to traditional education.
Homeschooling Is Growing Rapidly in Many States of the United States
Includes statistics from around the country detailing the number of homeschooled students. Also discusses the growth of homeschooling around the world.
Homeschooling Statistics: Socialization and Sociability
Sara Mcgrath
According to Patrick Basham, author of the Fraser Institute's 2007 examination of homeschooling's growth from extreme to mainstream, "...the academic and socialization outcomes for the average home schooled child are superior to those experienced by the average public school student." When the socialization of homeschoolers is questioned, it's important to clearly define what the critic is asking. For example, how is socialization, an institutional training process, different from extracurricular social interactions, socializing, and sociability?
Homeschooling: A Growing Option in American Education
Dan Lips and Evan Feinberg
Families cite common reasons for choosing to homeschool their children, such as concern about the environment at other schools, dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools, and a preference for providing religious and moral instruction not provided in traditional schools. The decentralized nature of the homeschooling population limits researchers' ability to draw conclusions about the specific effect of homeschooling on various outcome measures such as academic achievement. However, evaluations of homeschooled students have reported that homeschool students perform well in that academic environment. Moreover, a survey of adults who were homeschooled suggests that home schooling leads to positive life outcomes, such as higher college attendance and enrollment.
Research Shows Benefits of Homeschooling
Dr. Raymond S. Moore
Home education at its best, is seldom well understood by writers and even by many within the homeschool movement. As the one whose research is generally credited for the founding of this fast-growing educational phenomenon, Dr. Moore clarifies a few crucial points about homeschooling.Although it plays a key role among most homeschool families, religion is no longer the overriding reason for it, but rather quality education and family togetherness.
Socialization: A Great Reason Not to Go to School
Karl M. Bunday
This "Learn in Freedom" article provides research supporting the positive socialization homeschooled children receive. Discusses research supporting the conclusion that homeschooled children have higher levels of self-esteem and communication skills, and fewer behavioral problems, than other children.
The Case for Homeschooling
Roy Lechtreck
The public schools are beyond repair. If it is not practical to replace the current system, then at least let those alone who wish to homeschool. Hassle them not. Instead, encourage them and help them. Parents who homeschool their children have three basic complaints against public schools: the lack of academic rigor, the number of maladjusted graduates, and the anti-religious atmosphere. Homeschool advocates claim that homeschooling overcomes these problems. They argue that no matter whether the educational philosophy one holds is that schooling prepares for life or schooling is life, the homeschooled do better. Proponents also claim that private schools are nearly always similar to public schools, so the fundamental criticisms of public schools apply to private schools also, although to a lesser degree.
U.S. Department of Education Longitudinal Study of 2002: Homeschool Student Questionnaire
U.S. Department of Education
This is a survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, with a stated goal of being used by educators and by federal and state policy makers to address important issues facing the nation's schools: educational standards, high school course-taking patterns, dropping out of school, the education of the disadvantaged, the needs of language minority students, and the features of effective schools. We are including this link as an item of interest, to demonstrate what directions institutional survey writers are taking in their approach to homeschooling. In our opinion, it is a completely inadequate attempt to measure homeschooling demographics or success, focusing heavily on cultural notions of "socialization" and structured educational models. It is also invasive in terms of the amount of personal information required.


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