Homeschooling Educational Materials

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Market size - Homeschooling Educational Materials in the US.

The market size of homeschooling educational materials in the U.S. is estimated to be approximately $288.75 million, with the religious segment capturing an estimated market share of 37% or $106,873,500. You will find a deep dive of my findings below.

Methodology and Calculations

Homeschool market share

EdWeek's data analysis on the nation's homeschoolers indicated there were 1,689,726 homeschooled students enrolled in fall 2017. This same report stated this number represents 3.3% of the total number of enrolled students in grades preK-12 in the United States. To verify this percentage, I found the total number of students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools from The National Center for Education Statistics, which is 50.7 million. I then divided 1,689,726 by 50,700,000 to establish the percentage of homeschooled students is in fact 3.3%.

Religious and non-religious homeschool market shares

A 2016 report from Agile Education Marketing indicated that 38% of homeschool families opted to homeschool for religious reasons. A 2017 Research and Markets U.S. Homeschool Market Report stated that 36% of homeschool respondents said that providing religious or moral instruction was their primary reason for choosing homeschool. Therefore, for the purposes of this brief, I took an average of these two percentages and determined that about 37% (38 + 36 = 74, 74 / 2 = 37) of homeschool students follow a religious curriculum and purchase religion-based educational materials. This means that approximately 63% (100-37) of students follow a non-religious curriculum and purchase non-religion-based educational materials.

Total educational materials market size

The Simba Information PreK-12 Publishing Market Report provides data on all educational curriculum materials used to educate students in the United States. According to the table of contents, the report covers books, software, print supplements, manipulatives, videos, and magazines, which are essentially all the materials necessary for a school or homeschool to educate a child. This research report sets the total market size for educational materials in the U.S. in 2017 at $8.75 billion.

Homeschooling educational materials market size

Since there is no available research report that provides the homeschooling educational materials market size, I had to estimate it based on the available data. We know that the total market size for educational materials is $8.75 billion and that the homeschool market share is 3.3%. Therefore, we can estimate that homeschoolers use approximately 3.3% of the educational materials available for all preK-12 students. By multiplying $8.75 billion by 3.3%, we can say the homeschooling educational materials market size is about $288.75 million (8,750,000,000 x 0.033 = 288,750,000).

Religious and non-religious Homeschooling Educational materials market sizes

Knowing that the total homeschooling educational materials market size is approximately $288.75 million and that the religious homeschooling market share is 37%, we can calculate the approximate religious homeschooling educational materials market size to be about $106,873,500 ($288,750,000 x 0.37). Therefore, the non-religious homeschooling educational materials market size is about $181,876,500.

Conclusion

The total educational materials market size for U.S. preK-12th grade students is $8.75 billion. With the homeschool market representing a 3.3% market share, we have concluded the estimated market size of homeschooling educational materials in the U.S. is about $288.75 million. Approximately 37% of that belongs to the religious segment, leaving 63% to the non-religious segment.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Overview - Demographics of the families/parents that home-school in the US, and the types of products being purchased.

In 2016, there were 3.2 million children home-schooled in the U.S. with 57% being white, 43% had two parents with only one parent in the work force, and came from a suburban area. There has been an increase in the number of Hispanic children being home-schooled (15% in 2012 and 26% in 2016) and in the number of children whose parents have less than a high school degree (1% in 1999 and 15% in 2016). Homeschooling is a growing market with an annual value of $1 billion and predicted to grow to 2.5 billion in 2020. Parents spend, on average, $500-600 per year on their children’s education with the majority of their funds going to textbooks and basic school supplies.

Homeschooling in the U.S.

Homeschooling, which was once considered to be an 'alternative' method of education, is considered to be the fastest-growing educational option. During the last few years, it has experienced a growth spurt of 2-8% per annum. It was surveyed that a total of 3.4 million American adults have experienced at least one year of homeschooling; with the national average being that of 6-8 years. As of 2016, there were approximately 3.2 million children in the U.S. being home-schooled. If we add this total to the number of adults who have been home-schooled, we reached an approximated total of 5.7 million people in the United States who have been home-schooled at one point in their life.

A survey on educational methods is conducted every four years by the National Household Education Survey program (NHES), which is a branch of the National Center for Education Statistics. It is provided to the public by the Coalition of Responsible Home Education. The 2016 survey was conducted on a national level and was taken by children who were in grades that ranged from K-12 and ages that ranged from 5-17. The data was broken down into the following categories:

Race and ethnicity
Parents' educational level
Family income
Family characteristics
Region

These categories will be discussed in greater detail below.

Racial and Ethnic Demographics of Homeschooling Families

The survey found that the number of children home-schooled in 2016 belonged to the following demographics:

Black: 8%

When the data is compared to the data collected during the 2012 survey, there is a sharp drop in white children being home-schooled and a significant increase in Hispanic children who are being home-schooled. Here are the demographics from the 2012 survey for comparison:

Black: 8%

The survey also found that out of the total number of students, the following percentages were home-schooled i.e. out of the total number of white students, 3.8% were home-schooled:

Demographics of Parents' Level of Education for HomeSchooling Families

The survey found that the parents' level of education made little difference whether the child was home-schooled or went to regular school. Here are the educational demographics for parents whose children were home-schooled:


Here are the educational demographics for parents whose children were not home-schooled:


The survey found that between 1999 and 2016, there was a large increase in the number of children being home-schooled whose parents have less than a high school diploma. In 1999, it was 1%, in 2016, it was 15%.

The survey found that out of the total number of students, the following percentages were home-schooled i.e. out of the total number of children whose parents had a bachelor's degree, 3.6% were home-schooled:

Demographics of Family Income for HomeSchooling Families

The survey found that children from disadvantaged households were more likely to be home-schooled than children from advantaged households. Here are the family income demographics for children who were home-schooled:

Between poverty and 200% of poverty: 36%
At or above 200% of poverty: 45%

The survey found that of the total students at each income level in relation to the poverty line, the following percentages were home-schooled i.e. out of the total number of students below the poverty line, 3.9% were home-schooled:

Demographics of Family Characteristics for HomeSchooling Families

The survey found that children with two parents were more likely to be home-schooled than children with one parent, or nonparental guardians. Here are the number of parents demographics for children who were home-schooled:


The survey also found that children with two parents and only one parent in the work force had a higher chance of being home-schooled. Here are the demographics of parents in the work force for home-schooled children


They survey found that the number of children in the family also affected whether a child was home-schooled or not. Here are the demographics of family sizes for children who were home-schooled:


Regional Demographics for Home schooling Families

The survey found that children from the suburb were the most likely to be home-schooled. Here are the regional demographics for children who were home-schooled:

City: 29%
Town: 10%

The survey found that out of the total number of students, the following percentages were home-schooled i.e. out of the total number of students from the Midwest, 2.2% were home-schooled:

Spending Demographics for Homeschooling Families

Homeschooling is a growing, lucrative market with an annual market value of $1 billion and a projected growth of $2.5 billion by 2020. The typical homeschooling parent is a higher earner with two or more children and will spend approximately $500-600 per year on their children’s educational needs. Homeschooling is no longer only for the religious. In a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, 91% of parents chose to home-school because of concern over the school’s environment while 48% believed that their children could receive a better education at home. Only 38% said they chose homeschooling for religious reasons.
However, this also means that homeschooling is not always affordable. According to a survey conducted, the top Homeschooling Resources are as follows:
Educational games and Textbooks: 18%
Printable materials found on the Internet: 17%
Online curriculum: 16%
It should be noted that while the parent must pay for textbooks and materials, they will also have to pay for test prep and tests themselves, extracurricular activities, as well as everyday items such as desks, pens, pencils, tape, staplers, paper, dry erase markets and white board, notebooks, erasers, globe, calculator, scissors, glue, science equipment, etc. Some of these are one-time purchases and others are frequently replaced.
A projected estimate of the yearly costs for a homeschooling parent is as follows:
Textbooks: $1,125
Membership into a homeschooling org. $175
Annual homeschooling conventions for parents $100
Home library $100
School supplies: $150
Extracurricular activities $80
Miscellaneous $300
Total $2,030
After an exhaustive search, we confirmed that there are no preexisting reports on the amount of money home-schoolers spend on religious materials. Instead, we calculated how much is spent by home-schoolers who home-school for religious reasons. This was 38% of the 3.2 million home-schoolers. So
(0.38)*(2.3 million) = 874,000
This means 874,000 children are home-schooled for religious reasons and approximately 1.4 million are home-schooled for other reasons.
To find out how much was spent by each category, we took the average of the yearly money spent and multiplied it by the number of home-schoolers. So:

($500)*($600)/2= $550

That means $550 is spent yearly by home-schoolers. To find out how much is spent by religious home-schoolers we did the following:
(874,000)*($550) = $480,700,000
So, religious home-schoolers spend approximately $480 million per year. To find out how much is spent by non-religious home-schoolers we did the following:
(1.4 million)*($550)=$770 million

So, non-religious home-schoolers spend approximately $770 million a year.

CONCLUSION

Homeschooling is a fast-growing market that is no longer just for the religious or the predominantly white. There are signs that homeschooling is becoming an option for all sections of society with 26% of the home-schooled children being of Hispanic descent as well as 15% of the home-schooled children having whose parents who have less than a high school degree. At the same time, the homeschooling market is becoming a lucrative market with parents spending an average of $500-$600 dollars a year on their children’s education.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Trends - US Homeschooling Educational Materials Market

While there are no exact figures for the numbers of homeschoolers in the United States, experts do agree that the quantity is rising. There are between 1.5-2.5 million estimated homeschoolers in America, with an average spend per year of $600. Families usually have a slightly higher education and income level than normal.

Despite pre-conceived notions of homeschoolers, the majority actually do not do so for religious reasons. Only 38% of families homeschool for religious reasons, and most homeschooling families are reactive (rather than planned/proactive), directly contributing to the growth of homeschooling in America.

Several trends dominate presently for the homeschool educational materials market space, including: online/digital curriculum, avoiding common core, programming, the rise of homeschooled high schoolers and curriculum that sparks excitement. I explored market research reports, reputable press sources, academic articles and other reliable sources to piece together the top themes in curriculum trends in homeschooling over the past two years. There is, quite frankly, not a lot of targeted information specifically regarding curriculum trends in the public domain, but by using a variety of articles and information, I was able to piece together some common themes.

Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.

online curriculum buying and digital curriculum

According to Shake Insights, most homeschooling families purchase their curriculum online which then supply the physical materials like textbooks, workbooks, tests, etc. Along with this, parents are shopping for multimedia and technology-enhanced curriculum, such as videos, games and apps to complement offline work.

Time4Learning identifies that some parents want to take it a step further and have a software-based curriculum that is almost completely digital. This offers families automatic recordkeeping, hands-off grading, along with the benefits of a digital education that makes learning feel more like a game than work. Digital solutions are also more easily customized, with parents easily being able to tweak lesson plans and subjects covered to fit their child's individual learning needs.

Along with this, homeschooling curriculum is already trending towards wider technological trends. High-tech developments like AR, VR and gamification are increasingly popular among home-based learners. This goes along with the general trends towards parents wanting an omnichannel approach to learning, as discussed above.

avoid common core

While 'common core' may be a buzzword in the classroom setting, homeschool materials are advised to stay away from this standard. Shake Insights states that most parents are confused by common core, and it may have even been the reason they started homeschooling. The Federalist cites the roll-out of common core as one of the drivers of homeschooling rates increasing across the US, with parents viewing it as "dumbing down the school systems".

Instead, families value efficacy, value for money by encompassing multiple subjects and age ranges, and data security in their educational materials purchases.

programming

With STEM education growing more and more popular, programming is starting to become a "core" subject for many homeschoolers, sitting right up there with math, English and science in importance. 90% of American parents agree that their kids should learn programming. As many adults outside of the tech industry may not have programming basics themselves (unlike math, English and science), homeschool programming curriculum really does have to stand-alone as a learning tool. As students grow in ability, parents may need to consider online classes that offer live support from qualified experts.

There are a variety of curriculums to teach programming. From turn-key solutions to game-based curriculum, kids can learn programming from a very early age.

homeschooled high schoolers

More curriculum providers are recognizing that kids of all ages homeschool, and responding to the market gap in high school curriculum. Providers are encouraged to market their products with set 'credits', and as the quantity and quality of high school homeschool curriculum increases, so does the number of teenager homeschoolers.

In the past, parents may have been intimidated by preparing their children for higher education, especially meeting their state's requirements for graduation and building a transcript that the children can show college admissions. However, homeschool companies have responded to this with tools like Teascript, which helps parents accurately track and record their high schooler's progress in an official transcript format.

curriculum that sparks excitement

While not specifically detailed in any one source, one common theme in my research was parents wanting curriculum that was exciting, interesting and engaging. Parents are no longer looking for plain workbooks and lesson outlines, but want material that children enjoy and help them learn almost without even realizing it. The popularity of online tools like Educaplay speak volumes that parents are always looking for ways to further engage their children with learning materials.

conclusion

To wrap it up, several key trends have been identified in the US homeschool educational materials market space. Parents are buying the majority of their content online, and also increasingly searching for digital or mixed-digital solutions. Curriculum providers are encouraged to stay away from the common core, and instead focus on high-tech, exciting and engaging solutions that are smarter and more automated forever. There are also specific increases in both high schooler-focused materials and teaching programming.
Sources
Sources