PURCELLVILLE, Virginia, August 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) –  Today, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) released a new study: the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics, conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, which surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students for the 2007-08 academic school year. The results were consistent with previous studies on homeschool academic achievement and showed that homeschoolers, on average, scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized achievement tests.

"These results validate the dedication of hundreds of thousands of homeschool parents who are giving their children the best education possible," said Michael Smith, president of HSLDA.

The Progress Report drew homeschoolers from 15 independent testing services and is the most comprehensive study of homeschool academic achievement ever completed.

While the academic results are impressive, the study also showed that the achievement gaps common to public schools were not found in the homeschool community.

Homeschooled boys (87th percentile) and girls (88th percentile) scored equally well; the income level of parents did not appreciably affect the results (household income under $35,000: 85th percentile - household income over $70,000: 89th percentile); and while parent education level did have some impact, even children whose parents did not have college degrees scored in the 83rd percentile, which is well above the national average for public school students. Homeschooled children whose parents both had college degrees scored in the 90th percentile.

"Because of the one-on-one instruction homeschoolers receive, we are prepared academically to be productive and contributing members of today's society," said Smith.

The average public school spends nearly $10,000 per child per year whereas the Progress Report shows that the average homeschool parent spends about $500 per child per year.

"Homeschooling is a rapidly growing, thriving education movement that is challenging the conventional wisdom about the best way to raise and educate the next generation," said Smith.

There are an estimated 2 million homeschooled children in the U.S. today, which is about 4% of the school-aged population, and homeschooling is growing at around 7% per year.

More details on the Progress Report