PURCELLVILLE, VA, Mar 24 ( – The largest study ever conducted on home schooling in the United States, involving over 20,000 home school students was released yesterday showing exceptional achievement at all grade levels for home schoolers. The study published in the March issue of the refereed journal, Educational Policy Analysis Archives, was conducted by Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation at the University of Maryland and commissioned by the Home School Legal Defence Fund (HSLDF).

Using nationally standardized tests, the study found that “On average, home school students in grades 1 to 4 perform one grade level above their age-level public/private school peers on achievement tests.” In grade 5 the home schooling group does even better and the gap between home school students and public/private school students widens, leaving behind the non-home schooled.

Another interesting find in the study shows a vast difference in the amount of time home school students spend watching television. The study found across the nation almost 75% of grade four students watch more than one hour of television per day but for home schoolers in grade four that number falls to below 35%.

The HSLDF notes that home schooling has been rapidly growing abroad and in the United States,  with estimates of U.S. home school students ranging from 700,000 to 2 million.

See the study here.