Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Happens to Home Educated Adults?

Many adults who are considering home educating their children are concerned often because they hear others (whose kids are schooled) how necessary it is for success in life.  I've shared profiles of unschooled adults here on The Innovative Educator which show a positive picture of what home educated children grow up to be.

Some of those posts are bulleted below:
I recently came across this study of home educated kids as adults:
Ray, Brian D. (2004a). Home educated and now adults: Their community and civic involvement, views about homeschooling, and other traits. Salem, OR: National Home Education Research Institute

The study reveals that home educated kids fair better as adults when it comes to
  • Learning habits and attitudes
  • Civic Engagement
  • College Admission
Learning Habits
Participants were asked about their reading habits in relation to news, magazines and books.  Then they were asked about their level of confidence in following government issues.  The homeschooled adults were 30% more likely to have read a book in the previous six months and 10% more likely to regularly read a magazine.  When asked if they agreed with the statement “I feel politics and government are too complicated to understand” only 4% of homeschooled adults agreed compared to 35% of the general population.

Civic Engagement 
Participants were asked about their levels of civic engagement in select tasks.
  • homeschoolers almost twice as likely to be involved in regular community service
  • homeschoolers vote 60% more often than the general public
  • homeschoolers are twice as likely to have been involved in a boycott or protest

College Admissions  
The study looked at the perceptions of college admission officers on how homeschooled adults compared to traditionally schooled adults.   Zero respondents answered somewhat less or far less academically successful.  Overall just under 1/2 of the respondents deemed homeschooled applicants to be more academically successful than their traditionally schooled peers.

If you are or are considering opting out of a traditional school education, these are some facts that might help reassure you and others, that for the most part home educated kids are growing up to be above average adults.  Check out the entire study for details.


  1. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  2. What a useful post! I appreciate this info a lot, and will probably end up referencing it constantly.

    You're always writing the posts that I wish someone would write, Lisa. Thanks!