Article on homeschooling

by | Homeschooling | 5 comments

Profound shift in kind of families who are homeschooling their children

Two questions about this article:

1) Where are they getting this data — were you asked or do you know anyone who was asked the question in paragraph #4?
2) Do you see anything wrong with the data in paragraph #7?


  1. Megan Volmer

    Okay, I am not a homeschooled kid that had logic, but to me it was confusing in the seventh paragraph how they compare the percentage of folks making over 50k with the percentage of folks making under 50K. It seems that they should say 36.7% earned more than 50k and now 60 % make more than 50K.

    Also I just used an inflation calculator 50K in 1999 is 66K in today’s dollars. Makes me think of the book, How to Lie with Statistics.

    I was never contacted regarding the survey and I am pretty sure none of my homeschooling friends were. I am the only one in my church and I really know few people who homeschool. We are part of a large homeschool group, but with some little people who take naps we stick pretty close to home.

  2. Megan Volmer

    I just re read the article and thought I would add an additional 2 cents. The article makes it sound like homeschooling is in the domain of the white and wealthy, but even if the data is correct, to me it seems that the wealthy (or those making over 50K or whatever their criteria may actually be the ones that are late to jump on the homeschooling bandwagon. Yes, still a higher percentage homeschool for “religious reasons”, but my guess is that 30 years ago about 99% homeschooled for religious reasons. Homeschooling is more socially acceptable than in years past – perhaps the wealthy were waiting for social acceptance before entering into the arena.

    Just a few thoughts.

  3. Heather D

    Home schooling has grown most sharply for higher-income families. In 1999, 63.6% of home-schooling families earned less than $50,000. Now 60.0% earn more than $50,000.

    Ah, I see the problem. However you phrase it, even accounting for inflation, the data is stating that a higher percentage OF HOMESCHOOLERS are now higher-income. (Percentage of ‘high-income’ within the group ‘homeschoolers’).

    But the first sentence says that homeschooling has increased AMONG HIGH-INCOME families. (Percentage of ‘homeschoolers’ within the group ‘high-income’)

    Imagine your Venn diagrams and you’ll see that’s two different comparisons.

    Just because the ratio of high-income to low-income homeschoolers has increased doesn’t mean that the ratio of homeschooler-to-public-schooler has changed at ALL within high income families.

    For instance, it’s theoretically possible that there are fewer low-income homeschoolers, and the same amount of high-income homeschoolers, so that would account for the shift in ratio.

    It’s incorrect to say there’s a “sharp increase among high-income families”. Maybe there is, but you can’t determine that from the data quoted. Maybe it’s just a tiny increase…

    Say, for instance, that there are only 3 homeschoolers in the USA. 10 years ago, 2 were low-income, 1 was high-income. This year, 1 is low-income, 2 are high-income. That’s a change from about 60% low to 60% high.

    But say that there are 1,000,000 high income families. The shift among high-income families is only 1/1,000,000. Hardly a “sharp increase”.

    Obviously these numbers are way exaggerated to prove the point. That statement can’t follow from that data.

    Thanks, this was fun! 🙂

  4. Dana

    Stray thought, but wondering how much the existence of a “homeschool market” plays into this. There are increasing opportunities for earning money from home as a homeschool mom. Not sure that existed as much in ’93.

  5. Perla Sarmiento de Adams


    I do not see anything wrong with this data.‎

    Really I do not find a reason why somebody wealthy and well educates will prefer to ‎send his children to a public school. I do not find a reason why a white American will ‎prefer send his children to practice English with Hispanic classmates. So it sound right to ‎me that each time more white, wealthy, and well educated people is choosing ‎homeschooling their children.‎

    Can somebody tell me what motivates a white, well educate and wealthy parent to send their children to the ‎public school? ‎

    If the data is wrong I saw at least two options:‎

    White, wealthy and well educated parents prefer public school. Does that sound right? ‎
    ‎ ‎
    Or maybe white wealthy and well educate people prefer private schools, and non-white ‎emigrants (people from Honduras, Bangladesh, China, etc), with lowers incomes and ‎with poor education prefer homeschooling. If that is the case, who is in the public schools ‎right now?‎

    I wish have the tool to make a questioner between the 10,000 member of the Facebook ‎Group. My hypothesis is that most of them are white, well educate and with incomes of ‎‎$50K or more.‎


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