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Highlights from TOS Magazine Reader Survey 2007

  • 2010 8 Mar
Highlights from TOS Magazine Reader Survey 2007

In 2007, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine conducted a survey to better understand the homeschool population in general, and TOS readers specifically. We really wanted the answers to several basic questions pertaining to "who we are," "what our families look like," and "how we tend to educate our children." When our survey was launched, 4,681 individuals took the time to respond to our questions. Below you'll find a glimpse of just some of the nuggets resulting from that effort. 

Homeschool Parents' Profile 

Ninety-seven percent of homeschooling families have two-parent households. 

In 98% of the homeschools, the mom is the primary educator. In 1%, the dad fulfills that role.  Grandparents or others teach the ones who remain. 

In 34% of homeschools, the primary educator earned a bachelor's degree as his or her highest level of educational attainment; 32% have an associate's degree or have earned some college credits; 9% earned a master's or doctorate degree; 14% have a high school diploma or GED; less than 2% did not graduate from high school. 

The primary home educator tends to be older than one might expect: 22% fall in the 25-34 age range; 56% are 35-44; 20% fall between 45-54; 2% are older than 55. 

As the second generation of homeschooling families emerges, 5% of respondents report that they were personally homeschooled when they were children. 

Financial Considerations 

Thirteen percent of homeschooling families report their gross family income as less than $30,000; 27% report between $31,000 and $50,000; 25% claim between $51,000 and $70,000; 22% earn between $71,000 and $100,000; 13% report over $100,000. 

Twenty-five percent of homeschooling moms also have a part-time job; 4% have a full-time job in addition to homeschooling. 

When the father is the primary educator, he is more likely to be juggling home education and career. Thirty-five percent of these fathers have a full-time job; 3% have a part-time job. 

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the homeschool community. Thirty-three percent of homeschool families have at least one parent who is self-employed; 15% of homeschooled children are either involved in their family's home-based business or own their own business. 

Education Practices 

Fifty-two percent of respondents describe themselves as operating on a traditional school schedule (roughly September-June); 41% use a year-round schedule; the other 7% use another system. 

Fifty-four percent of respondents say that they plan to homeschool through high school; roughly 1% plan to stop home education by the time the student reaches high school. Surprisingly, 20% plan to homeschool beyond high school into vocational training or college. About 24% are undecided at this point. 

Only 19% of homeschoolers are currently educating just one child; 36% are teaching two children; 24% are currently educating three; 20% are teaching four or more. 

Eighteen percent of homeschoolers describe their educational approach as traditional; 12% use the classical method; 10% prefer a Charlotte Mason approach, whereas 7% primarily use unit studies; roughly 4% use a child-directed or unschooling approach; 40% combine methods in an eclectic approach. The rest use other methods. 

Nearly 100% of homeschool families have at least one computer in the home. Ninety-one percent use a PC, while 3% prefer a Mac; roughly 6% use both. 

Extracurricular Activities 

Ninety-two percent of respondents say that they regularly attend church. 

Seventy-three percent incorporate travel into their homeschool experience. 

Sixty-three percent of homeschooling families have at least one family member who plays sports: 65% of these participate in a community league; 21% are in a church league; 17% are in a homeschool league; 8% play on either a public or private school team. 

Sixty-five percent have at least one family member who studies music; 46% have at least one family member who takes private instrumental lessons. 

Twenty-three percent have at least one family member who studies dance. 

Twenty percent report that at least one family member studies drama. 

Support Systems 

Fifty-two percent of homeschooling families describe the attitude of their relatives toward homeschooling as supportive; 37% describe it as neutral; 17% describe it as disapproving. 

Seventy-six percent feel that that the people in their church agree with or support homeschooling. 

Sixty-five percent feel that the attitude of their pastor toward homeschooling is supportive; 33% feel that it is neutral; 3% feel that it is negative. 

Seventy-three percent of homeschooling families belong to a homeschool support group or cooperative. However, only 39% regularly attend.