Okay, Ruth, now that I know you're an economist, your cocuonsilns surprise me less. I think you're off base because I don't think that people homeschool to maximize their family's economic utility as expressed in some combination of parental earnings + acquisition of the valuable but intangible good of an education for the family's children. I think most people homeschool for non-economic reasons.- About educational quality: you seem to be assuming that education is a product which, while differing in quality depending on the source, is uniform in its essentials. Kind of like chocolate: on the one end of the spectrum, cheap Hershey's knockoffs sold in the dollar store; on the other hand, beautifully crafted artisanal chocolate bars from boutique geographically identified cocoa beans, all with similar flavor intentions, and up and down being the only directions on the spectrum to travel. I don't think education is like chocolate. I think it's more like sushi, mangoes, chocolate, asparagus, bread and butter, and tripe; an essential necessity which can be obtained in many different forms, each with their own possible quality spectrum, and hard to compare across forms.To put that more succinctly: there are extremely expensive and desirable private schools in my city. Given unlimited funds, I still wouldn't send my kids to one of them, because that's not the education I want them to have. They may be the most excellent possible mango, but I want sushi for my kids. Other people I know some of them would look at my kids' sushi and say that miserable mess doesn't meet any of the criteria I have for good bread and butter! Okay, have I drawn that analogy out too far? Moving on.- You're right that parents who do want a prep school-type education for their children may find that they can supply it more cheaply at home, if the homeschooling parent's earning potential is not significantly greater than the children's tuition would be. But you're missing the idea that maximizing educational quality is not every homeschooler's primary reason for homeschooling. Hardcore academic homeschoolers are in the minority. Many, many people choose homeschooling instead because they value a particular kind of family life and a particular kind of relations between parent and child. They also want their kid to have a good education, typically, but the family aspects are the primary motivation for homeschooling. For these people, private schooling will not be substitutable for homeschooling. - Private school is also not substitutable for homeschooling if your primary motivation is to be in control of your child's education, or able to radically customize your child's education. Which, again, is a huge motivation among many homeschoolers.I think you're analyzing the data set you found with the tools of your discipline, which, you know, is a thing we do. But the tools of your discipline only interface with a small piece of the picture.