podcastED: Homeschool research group president shares personal, professional experience

On this episode, reimaginED senior writer Lisa Buie talks with Brian Ray, a co-founder and president of the National Home Education Research Institute, a national nonprofit that conducts and collects research about home-based education and publishes the Home School Researcher.

The institute has hundreds of works documented and cataloged on homeschooling, many of which are staff produced. Additionally, Ray publishes research and testifies in hearings about his research.


“Home-based education was the norm over the past millennia. Nobody bothered asking parents 300 years ago, ‘What about socialization?’ Simply because most of us today experienced institutional schooling, we think the norm is best and we think the norm brings the best results, but that is fallacious thinking. The norm does not necessarily give you the best.”

Brian Ray


  • How Ray’s Catholic education influenced his support of education choice
  • Why he transitioned from zoology to education
  • His first encounter with homeschoolers and why he and his wife chose home-based education for their eight children
  • The vast diversity among homeschoolers
  • The need for research on homeschooling
  • Ray’s most interesting findings and why homeschooled children academically outperform their district school peers
  • Why critics are wrong about homeschooling, especially when it comes to children’s socialization



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BY Lisa Buie

Lisa Buie is senior reporter for reimaginED. The daughter of a public school superintendent, she spent more than a dozen years as a reporter and bureau chief at the Tampa Bay Times before joining Shriners Hospitals for Children — Tampa, where she served for nearly five years as marketing and communications manager. She lives with her husband and their teenage son, who has benefited from education choice.