Home > School and Learning > Homeschooling > Homeschooling Support > How Many Homeschoolers Are There?

How Many Homeschoolers Are There?

Given all its benefits, you might wonder how many people homeschool. That is actually an interesting question and one that is quite difficult to answer. The number of homeschooled children is difficult to determine for two main reasons:

  • Many homeschoolers aren't counted in anyway. Many states don't require homeschoolers to register in any way. In these states, it is virtually impossible to calculate the number of children who homeschool. And, because many homeschoolers want to avoid government interference in their schools, they don't typically volunteer for any sort of registration process.
  • Political and social agendas bias studies. Many studies of this question are biased either by anti- or pro-homeschooling biases. For example, it is incumbent in the agendas of organizations such as teacher's unions to minimize the number of homeschoolers for political reasons. School systems don't want the number of homeschoolers to be known accurately in the event that these numbers would detract from the funding made available to their schools, which is often based on the total size of the populations they serve. School systems can see homeschoolers as a threat to their funding sources.
However, there is considerable quantitative and qualitative evidence that the number of homeschoolers is significant and continues to increase at a dramatic and increasing rate.

There have many attempts to calculate the number of homeschooled students in the United States. For the reasons mentioned previously, the results of these studies vary widely. The U.S. Census Bureau (Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics by Kurt J. Bauman) estimated that 791,000 children were homeschooled in 1999. Today, as a general idea, most agree that the number of homeschooled children in the United States is somewhere between 900,000 and 2,000,000. Those with a pro-homeschool view would like to lean toward the higher end of the range while those with an anti-homeschool bias would tend to lend credence toward the lower end of the range.

Regardless of the estimated total homeschool population, most experts (pro- or anti-homeschool) agree that homeschooling is increasing in popularity at an extremely high rate; many estimates place the growth rate between 7% and 15% per year (Reaching the Homeschool Market by Mark Lardas in Tdmonthly magazine, October 2003).

In addition to the quantifiable evidence of the growth of homeschooling, there is significant anecdotal evidence that the homeschool movement is large and continuing to increase in influence. For example, the number of publishers and retailers whose business is related to homeschool continues to increase. Businesses that provide discounts and other incentives to students are more frequently including homeschoolers in their definition of student (examples include Apple Computer and Microsoft). The number of homeschool associations, Web sites, and other resources for homeschoolers continues to increase dramatically. And, while not so long ago it was unusual to hear about homeschooling either personally or via the media, it is a topic that seems to pop up regularly now.

Although the exact number of homeschoolers isn't clear, what is clear is that the number of homeschoolers is significant and continues to grow at a brisk pace. As more people discover its benefits, we can expect this trend to continue.


Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.

st. patrick’s day

Celebrate the
luck of the Irish
with recipes
and activities.



10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks