Homeschooled Children

10 Reasons Why Homeschooled Children Are More Successful in Life

4 August 2022

8.4 MINS

Homeschooled children can enjoy a more holistic, grounded and in-depth education than their peers in school. Here are several factors behind their lifelong success.

Look across a spectrum of homeschooling success stories, and you’ll come across the words freedom and flexibility.

Homeschooled children tend to be more successful in life because home education is elastic.

This scholastic elasticity makes homeschooling a parental powerhouse packed with potential.

In practice, homeschool curricula and the entire home education pathway are completely customisable.

A variety of real-world options means there’s a wide range of educational opportunities available.

For homeschooled children, both the home and the world function as the classroom. The curriculum they learn is set through this lens.

The only limitations come down to whether the curriculum aligns with the educational outcomes homeschooling parents lay out for their kids.

Homeschooled children succeed because home education fosters:

1. Deeper Learning

Homeschooled students acquire core thinking and social skills through the interaction between knowledge and application, as well as content and communication.

Deeper learning, according to a Forbes featurette, ‘is education that motivates, inspires, challenges and empowers students.’

Homeschooling offers parent-educators the freedom and flexibility to facilitate ‘less as lecturers’ and more as ‘project managers.’

To expand on Forbes’ explanation, deeper learning ‘transforms students from passive recipients’ to active participants.

With the help of William and Flora Hewlett, The American Institute for Research defined deeper learning as developing “a keen understanding of academic content, and [the ability to] apply their knowledge to problems in the classroom, and on the job.”

To borrow from Open Colleges Australia, overlapping subjects and the home education environment encourage ‘students learn to self-direct their own education, and adopt what is known as ‘academic mindsets; i.e.: they learn to be lifelong learners.’

2. A Better Pace Than Formal Schooling

Homeschooling doesn’t have the frenzied back-and-forth of formal schooling. To add, there are fewer distractions, such as playground politics, peer pressure, and unhealthy classroom competition. This all means less stress, and more time for what matters.

Pace is a benefit of tailored learning. Children are nudged along, not dragged along. Homeschooling harnesses and invites wonder.

Discussing the pros and cons of homeschooling, Calvert Education, a leading provider in homeschool curricula, listed having the time to master a problem as being a reason why kids schooled at home excel.

For example, in public school, if a child hasn’t been able to keep up with the majority, the child is left behind, whereas when homeschooling,

‘If your child is struggling with a subject or a specific concept, you do not need to skip it and move on. Instead, you can work with your child until she/he has mastered the material.’

Conversely, Calvert added,

‘Homeschooling children can [also] move through educational materials at a faster pace than their peers.’

As Australian homeschooling curricula support group Euka wrote:

‘Homeschoolers don’t have to be tied to one particular grade level for all subjects. Each subject and lesson can move exactly at your child’s learning pace.’

3. Personalised Instruction

Homeschooling isn’t ‘set apart from the real world.’

Life lessons are an integral part of the curriculum. Another term for this is hands-on learning, or holistic education, defined as schooling that embraces connectivity.

One definition describes the holistic approach as ‘engaging students in projects that apply critical-thinking skills toward solving real-world problems.’

In their 2019 report on why homeschooled kids are more successful in life, The Conversation attributed success to:

‘Homeschooled children having the ability to learn in real-life contexts, as well as one-on-one mentoring, and healthier interactions with more informed older siblings.’

Age-appropriate tasks like cooking lunch, preparing dinner, budgeting for a grocery shop, or learning how to properly handle chemicals when cleaning, all fit within this learning window.

Citing data from the United States on why homeschoolers are more successful in life, Maths Australia hinted at this holistic element:

‘Homeschooled kids become adults who are independent thinkers. Accustomed to working outside an established system, they can become the innovators who find new and creative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.’

4. Better Preparedness for University

In 2010, CBS News ran an exposition on homeschooling and college. The report listed 8 core findings, all of which reflected well on homeschoolers being better prepared, not just for adulting, but college.

Quoting from a study by The Journal of College Admission, CBS said:

‘Homeschool students enjoy higher ACT scores, grade point averages and graduation rates compared with other college students.’

USA Today backs this in a report from 2012, where they highlighted research showing that homeschoolers adjusted well to the academic rigours of college life.

According to the report, homeschoolers ‘generally scored slightly higher than the SAT average, often entered college with more college credits, ended up with higher grade point averages, than their formally schooled peers.’

Likewise, in discussing the relationship between homeschooling and college, the US government-funded Institute of Educational Services (IES/REL) shared a memorandum of nine credible sources, all of which point to homeschooled kids being better prepared for tertiary level education.

A 2012 report from International Social Science Review stated,

‘Their research revealed that homeschoolers achieve higher academic success in college and view their entire college experience more positively than traditionally educated students.’

Additionally, kids educated at home showed a higher college graduation rate. This could account for why NHERI (and others) reports an increase in ‘colleges actively recruiting homeschoolers.’

5. Improved Mental Health

Authors of the International Social Science Review, cited above, reported:

‘Research revealed homeschoolers had significantly lower levels of depression than those with no homeschooling background.’

Homeschooled children face fewer rules. They experience less pressure to perform on the playground and in the schoolroom.

For online learning group NISAI, students educated at home get better overall care. For instance, they argued, medical care for a child ‘struggling with anxiety, social anxiety, depression can be made a priority.’

Where a child is having a bad school experience, they argued, home education offers the child a way out. This can ‘reduce school-induced stress’, improving mental health.

Another reason for homeschoolers succeeding better in life is emotional maturity.

As NISAI stated, ‘parents can choose to avoid or reduce the emphasis on behaviour modification that is so prevalent in schools, helping children to develop intrinsic motivation, a common benefit of homeschooling.’

Other factors for success, explained Euka, include homeschoolers not having to rush around in the morning. They get longer sleep, better break times, healthier food, and more time for learning outdoors.

There isn’t any fuss over homework, a homeschooled child’s learning ‘environment is more relaxed,’ and through parent-facilitated self-learning, homeschoolers gain in the area of physical development, such as emotional maturity, and self-confidence.

6. Parental Involvement in the Learning Process

Better mental health and higher academic achievements come down to engaged parents cheering on their child’s academic performance.

A study from 2017 equated higher achievements with ‘higher level of parental input, along with guided instruction across meaningful learning experiences.’

Supporting this are comments from the founder of Enlightenment Academy, Dr Yelena V. Solodyankin, who plainly stated in an excellent essay on parents, homeschooling and online schooling: ‘Parental involvement is vital to children being successful.’

‘Research stated that parental involvement has a positive impact on their child’s learning,’ Solodyankin said. ‘Similarly, students viewed parents’ interactions as significantly motivational.’

This has proven true for teen prodigy Alena Analeigh Wicker, an adopted homeschooled student from Texas, who was accepted into medical school at age 13.

Wicker acknowledged both God’s grace and her mother’s input:

“I pray God blesses me so big you never ever have to want for anything in this earthly life. You sacrificed so much for me (people have no idea what we have been through) and here I am while it seems so far away the end of this college chapter is going by so fast. MOMMY I MADE IT!!!!”

Tipping her hat to homeschool, Analiegh said,

“You gave me every opportunity possible to be successful. You cheered me on, wiped my tears, gave me oreos when I needed comfort, you never allowed me to settle, disciplined me when I needed. You are the best mother a kid could ever ask for.”

7. More Time to Pursue Other Interests

Expert homeschool subsidiary group Calvert Education made a strong connection between the life success of homeschooled children and more time spent pursuing other interests.

The freedom and flexibility of homeschooling equate to more time spent with family. This translates into more time to explore talents, interests, and travel, as well as increased opportunities for more community activities.

Calvert asserted, ‘on average, homeschoolers participate more in their community, are less sedentary, and socialize with a wider mix of adults (especially professionals) than their public-school counterparts.’

Of 100 famous homeschoolers, around 80% of them credit homeschooling with giving them time to pursue their passions.

Such as Maria Sharapova. In order to ‘help her polish her tennis skills’, the Russian tennis champion took on homeschooling when she was 11.

In a 2002 interview with Trans-World Sports, a then 14-year-old Sharapova commented,

“I really enjoy what I’m doing. Some people enjoy going to school and being with their friends, but I really enjoy traveling and being successful. Not a lot of people get to experience that.”

Thanks to the flexibility homeschooling provides, Sharapova’s sporting career flourished, landing her a ‘grand-slam’ win at the age of 17.

8. Better Developed Social Skills

Busting the myth of under-socialisation, psychologist Richard Medlin, PhD found that ‘homeschooled children have exceptional social skills.’

According to Dr Medlin’s findings in 2006, ‘the social skills of homeschoolers scored consistently higher than those of public-school students.’

Contra to myths about socialisation, homeschoolers are more grounded in social settings because they are often interacting with people outside the monotone caste system of age, gender, and demographic found in formal schooling.

See also a Discovery Institute study sourced by Family Education, which ‘scored’ those educated at home as “well adjusted.” According to this study, ‘the homeschooled demonstrated fewer behavioural problems.’

Here’s why: in general, homeschooled kids have improved relationships with their families. This leads to a ‘different form of socialisation,’ which results in greater stability, better self-confidence, and sharper relational skills.

Children schooled at home are not conditioned to be strangers to their parents or anyone not in their assigned “class.”

This concept of the world system driving a wedge between parents and their children is partially addressed by Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon in their 1989 book Resident Aliens.

An important additional point here is that homeschoolers are not being distracted, nor raised by their peers on a poorly supervised playground.

See the core theme of peer governance vs parental guidance, in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

9. Superior Work Ethic

From experience, I can state that homeshooled children acquire a more employable work ethic.

This is because homeschoolers are community-oriented. The skills learned in the home education environment grow homeschoolers into self-motivated, team-oriented, task-focused employees, who can work independently, and use their own initiative.

For instance, a lengthy co-authored piece from the James Martin Centre on homeschooling asserted in 2020 that homeschooled kids are more self-motivated, and are more likely to be self-employed.

Homeschooling, its authors rightly argued,

‘Is a form of free enterprise. It costs taxpayers less than public schooling and its graduates are well-equipped to be the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders, parents, householders, creators, and everyday citizens.’

Author and college graduate Christiana Somerville, writing for Hip Homeschool Moms, observed from her own experience, that ‘bosses who have previously hired homeschooled employees are eager to hire more of them.’

Somerville, herself a homeschool success, said one reason for this is: ‘Homeschoolers often “can do” more than their public schooled peers, simply by virtue of their opportunities.’

10. Strength of Character

Strength of character is another reason homeschooled kids are more successful in life.

American Consumer Affairs magazine explained that ‘more family time’ allowed parent-educators time to properly instil resilience in their children.

Greater family bonding created ‘greater stability during difficult times.’

Home-taught children do not have their lives disrupted by unnecessary conflict, or having to navigate fashionable social pressures. There are no class structures, nor rank and file compliance.

Consistency, coupled with stability, builds a solid foundation for adulthood. For example, homeschooled kids are more likely to question a peer’s motivations.

In other words, for the responsibly homeschooled child, there is no real issue with bad company corrupting good character.

These 10 reasons why homeschooled kids are more successful in life explain why Elon Musk, one of the world’s most successful men is homeschooling his school-aged kids through Ad Astra.

They are why Dave Ellis, an aerospace engineer and veteran homeschooler, exclaimed when refuting an anti-homeschooling hit piece from Harvard: ‘The evidence of homeschool success is overwhelming.’

This evidence is why The Conversation held nothing back when in a 2019 article they rebuked an Australian government for suppressing data showing homeschooled kids fared better than their formal schooling counterparts.

The online news magazine’s academic contributors accused ‘the NSW government of purposefully omitting any evidence which suggests “school failure and home education success.”

As an educational choice, homeschooling is unmatched in its power to give children the best possible healthy, educational experience imaginable.


Photo by Gustavo Fring.

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One Comment

  1. Heidi 10 September 2022 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Great points raised here with appropriate evidence. Thank you.

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