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. Students were considered to be homeschooled if their parents reported them being schooled at home instead of a public or private school, if their enrollment in public or private schools did not exceed 25 hours a week, and if they were not being homeschooled solely because of a temporary illness.
Major findings from the Parent-NHES:1999 indicate:
- In the spring of 1999, an estimated 850,000 students nationwide were being homeschooled. This amounts to 1.7 percent of U.S. students, ages 5 to 17, with a grade equivalent of kindergarten through grade 12. Four out of five homeschoolers were homeschooled only (82 percent) and one out of five homeschoolers were enrolled in public or private schools part time (18 percent).
- A greater percentage of homeschoolers compared to nonhomeschoolers were white, non-Hispanic in 1999-75 percent compared to 65 percent. At the same time, a smaller percentage of homeschoolers were black, non-Hispanic students and a smaller percentage were Hispanic students.
- The household income of homeschoolers in 1999 was no different than nonhomeschoolers. However, parents of homeschoolers had higher levels of educational attainment than did parents of nonhomeschoolers.
- Parents gave a wide variety of reasons for homeschooling their children. These reasons included being able to give their child a better education at home, for religious reasons, and because of a poor learning environment at school.