One child fatality is one too many.
Are homeschooled students safe? The research says yes.
There is credible evidence that homeschooled children are as safe or safer than their peers according to the U.S. national average.
Child Fatality Counts:
Preschool (age 0 – 5)
School Age: Not Homeschooled
School Age: Homeschooled
What is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is parent-directed, family-based education. Parent-directed means the parents have deliberately chosen to take responsibility for the education of their children, controlling both the education process and the curriculum (course of study). Family-based means the center of educational gravity is the home, with other resources being secondary.
Parents may choose to partner with other homeschooling parents in cooperatives or support groups to provide portions of the education. They may also choose to have others assist in the education process (such as grandparents, older siblings or tutors like music teachers).
What is not Homeschooling?
Any program where parents delegate the control or direction of education to others or where the primary instructional time is spent outside the family is not homeschooling.
Voluntarily taking government funding is not homeschooling because parents, by receiving the money, legally give up their authority over the education of their children and transfer that authority to the government — even if the government has not yet exercised control. Parents violating requirements for the use of disbursed funds can have the expenditures disallowed under government authority.
Truants are not homeschooling because they are not receiving an education.
Homeschooling Backgrounder’s definition of homeschooling is about the essence of what makes a homeschooler a homeschooler. In some government jurisdictions, homeschooled students are defined by law for local purposes. Our definition is generalized so as to be applicable across the globe.
Four Fast Facts
Homeschoolers are diverse
Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities make up 41% of homeschooling families. Many African American parents homeschool to 1) Protect their children, especially their boys, from low expectations and being labeled as “trouble makers”, and 2) Give their children a sense of their historic cultural roots.
Homeschoolers are educated well
Oregon homeschooled students, on average, score 29 percentiles higher than the national average. Arkansas homeschooled students score 11 percentiles higher.
Homeschoolers are educated equitably
There are proportionately just as many well-served homeschool students as there are well-served public school students. And there are proportionately just as many ill-served public school students as there are ill-served homeschool students.
Homeschoolers are as safe or safer from child abuse
The best data available indicates homeschooled children have a child abuse rate the same or lower than the national average. There are no credible studies showing homeschoolers have a higher than average child abuse rate.