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Study: Homeschoolers Outperform All Other Students on Standardized Test

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It's School Choice Week, a time for parents to discover options for giving their children a quality education, whether it's in traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, online academies, or homeschooling.

Numerous studies have shown that homeschooled students continue to academically outperform their private, charter, and public school counterparts.

One study about homeschoolers taking the Classic Learning Test, a standardized college entrance exam, reveals they are scoring higher than their peers in other educational settings. 

The tests, according to the CLT website, emphasize intellectual aptitude and achievement and are grounded in the liberal arts tradition.

The exam utilizes reading passages from classic texts written by individuals "whose writings have had a lasting influence on culture and society" rather than the informational passages and more contemporary writings often used in the SAT and ACT, according to The Daily Wire.

The outlet reports an analysis of the CLT results by Houston Christian University professor Lisa Treleaven found that homeschool students who took the exam earned mean scores of roughly 78 points, surpassing private school students, who earned mean scores of 75, and charter school students, who earned mean scores of 73. Public school students earned mean scores of 66, marking the lowest among the cohorts considered by the study.

slider img 2Treleaven wrote, "This is consistent with prior research findings of superior academic performance of homeschool students as compared to other school types."

The professor's 15-page study was based on the exam results of 12,000 students who took the CLT from 2016 - 2021. 

Classic Learning Test CEO Jeremy Tate who created the CLT in the fall of 2015, suggested to The Daily Wire that the freestyle structure of homeschooling may give an advantage over students enrolled in other schools. 

"Homeschooled students simply have more time for leisure reading," he told the outlet. "We forget that the word school derives from Greek scholē, originally meaning leisure. The connection between leisure and learning is profound. Factory model schooling is antithetical to leisure, but is common for homeschooled students who are given the time and space to immerse themselves in great literature."

In essence, homeschooling lets the children improve as per their nature and schedule. according to

Treleaven's analysis shows that homeschooled students significantly outdid their peers on the verbal and writing portions of the CLT.  But were about equal with private and charter school students' test scores on the quantitative portion of the test. 

The professor also called for more research on homeschool academic achievement. 

According to the National Home Education Research Institute, (NHERI) homeschooled children typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. 

Seventy-eight percent of peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement show homeschool students perform statistically significantly better than those in institutional schools, the NHERI stated in research facts posted on its website. 

Among the other facts presented by the institute:

  • Homeschooling is increasing among minority communities  
  • Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parent's level of formal education or their family's household income
  • 87% of peer-reviewed studies on social, emotional, and psychological development show homeschooled students perform statistically significantly better than those in conventional schools
  • Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges

More Parents Are Opting to Homeschool Their Children

As CBN News reported in 2022, in the wake of recent school violence and the "woke" movement, families across the nation are looking at the benefits of homeschooling their children like never before.

Actor and family advocate Kirk Cameron examined the rise in homeschooling's popularity in his documentary released in the summer of 2022 titled The Homeschool Awakening

The film features 17 different families from all kinds of backgrounds. Some of the children are opening businesses. Others are traveling the country with their parents and siblings, and other children are doing things like getting their pilot's license at age 17.

"Kids are learning outside with the entire world as their classroom together with their siblings and with their parents and with their grandparents," Cameron said. 

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The actor interviewed several parents for the film who once viewed homeschooling as weird. "I always viewed homeschooling as somewhat of a cult," one parent said. Others said they once thought of homeschoolers as "weird" or "abnormal."

And like those parents, Cameron admits he also once had a "healthy fear" of homeschooling.

"I thought homeschooling was like, you had to be a Quaker or you had to be Amish. I was saying, I mean, does my wife need to wear a floor-length, denim jumper, have a head covering and you know, where do we get the uniform?" he joked.

"And then I realized that I was just out of touch with this incredible robust community of people. There are experts and educational professionals creating curriculums that actually incorporate faith and what I'm learning is that parents are not stuck in a system that they're not happy with," Cameron said. 

The Lifemark star noted parents are waking up and holding their public schools more accountable.

"And if you look at the public education system, removing prayer from schools, removing God and the Bible from school and replacing those things with progressive ideas, like the Critical Race Theory, Gender Theory, and teaching children to decide whether or not they prefer to be a boy or a girl, to choose their own pronouns, and separating parents from their children's understanding of sexuality and when, and how they're exposed to explicit material, these are the kinds of things that parents are saying 'we're not down for this anymore,'" Cameron said.

He added perhaps the best part of homeschooling is God gets to stay in the classroom.

"We want our children to understand who they are, who God is, their place in the world, why they're here," Cameron said.

As CBN News reported in December of 2021, a boom happened in homeschooling in America as the number of children taught by their parents doubled after the COVID-19 lockdowns began. 

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the pandemic sparked new interest in homeschooling. By the end of 2020, more than 9 million Americans said they had attended homeschool at some point in their lives, according to

**Updated Jan. 26, 2024. Originally posted Dec. 20, 2022. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of