How do home-schooled kids do as adults?

Really well, according to a study of Canadian home-schooled adults:

Despite what many might believe, a vast majority of home-schooled children say they have plenty of opportunities for socialization with other children and, as adults, come to excel in all measured areas of adult life, according to a new study.

The study, released this month by the Canadian Centre for Home Education (CCHE), surveyed young adults in Canada whose parents responded to a 1994 study on home education. Ranging in age from 15 to 34, the study’s participants answered questions on a variety of topics with comparable data from Statistics Canada.

The results, according to CCHE, were “astounding.”

“In terms of income, education, entrepreneurial endeavors, involvement in their community, and all the other characteristics measured, home-educated adults not only excel, but also make meaningful contributions to their communities,” commented CCHE president Paul Faris. “They are the type of neighbors we all want.”

When measured against the Canadian average, home-educated adults were more socially engaged and almost twice as likely to have voted in a federal election.

Average income, meanwhile, was higher with more sources of investment income and self employment, and no cases of government support as the primary source of income.

Home-educated adults were also happier in their work and their lives in general, with 97.2 percent saying they were fairly or very happy with their lives, compared to 95.4 percent of all Canadians surveyed in the General Social Survey of Canada of 2003.

“Overall, homeschooling graduates appear to be very content with the education they received, as well as being happier and more satisfied with their work and life than similarly aged Canadians, and, indeed, young citizens of other countries,” researchers noted in their report, titled “Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults.”

When reflecting on the value of being home educated, most study participants felt that it was an advantage in their adult life.

Go here for the full study.

Why do you think home-schooled kids have these advantages when they grow up?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Emmanuel Hechon

    Hi,

    Is not one of the backside of outhome schooling that we learn to the children that to socialize is to be with people from the same age than ours instead of to deal with different people (the adults in this case)?

    Grace to you,

    Emmanuel

  • Emmanuel Hechon

    Hi,

    Is not one of the backside of outhome schooling that we learn to the children that to socialize is to be with people from the same age than ours instead of to deal with different people (the adults in this case)?

    Grace to you,

    Emmanuel

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    I homeschooled my children until they were in 9th grade. One of the things my kids noticed immediately upon getting to public high school was the pressure to conform to the status quo. My kids, while being homeschooled, felt entirely free to pursue interests because they wanted to, as opposed to doing it to “fit in.” I wonder if the adults who were home schooled fare differently because they were freer to grow without fear of recrimination from their friends, and were thus able to develop with more confidence.

    We attend a church where there are significant numbers of homeschooled kids who mingle with students from other schools. I have seen over and over again the age integrated education makes kids feel more confident.

    Thank you very much for sharing this story.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    I homeschooled my children until they were in 9th grade. One of the things my kids noticed immediately upon getting to public high school was the pressure to conform to the status quo. My kids, while being homeschooled, felt entirely free to pursue interests because they wanted to, as opposed to doing it to “fit in.” I wonder if the adults who were home schooled fare differently because they were freer to grow without fear of recrimination from their friends, and were thus able to develop with more confidence.

    We attend a church where there are significant numbers of homeschooled kids who mingle with students from other schools. I have seen over and over again the age integrated education makes kids feel more confident.

    Thank you very much for sharing this story.

  • EconJeff

    I think the methodology of the study is a bit flawed. Comparing to the general population is interesting, but really isn’t relavent. They should be comparing to people with similar socioeconomic backgrounds (in addition to being in a similar age bracket).

    The economics literature on intergenerational transmission of skills, human capital, caste, and social mores generally indicates a high link between parents and children. I would guess families who put a high value on the things commonly taught and emphasized in homeschools are simply passing along those values. The question is would they have passed on those values without homeschooling? This study does not answer that.

    On their own, however, the results do indeed indicate the type of neighbors I would want to live near.

  • EconJeff

    I think the methodology of the study is a bit flawed. Comparing to the general population is interesting, but really isn’t relavent. They should be comparing to people with similar socioeconomic backgrounds (in addition to being in a similar age bracket).

    The economics literature on intergenerational transmission of skills, human capital, caste, and social mores generally indicates a high link between parents and children. I would guess families who put a high value on the things commonly taught and emphasized in homeschools are simply passing along those values. The question is would they have passed on those values without homeschooling? This study does not answer that.

    On their own, however, the results do indeed indicate the type of neighbors I would want to live near.

  • http://pollywogcreek.blogspot.com Patricia (Pollywog Creek)

    We have recently completed 23 years of homeschooling our 3 youngest children from kindergarten through high school. In answer to your last question, it is my belief that the advantage comes from the fact that homeschoolers live in the real world rather than the artificial society created by institutional education for the majority of their formative years. Our children grew up in the real world of jobs and homemaking and raising children and caring for the elderly and community involvement.

    Of our 3 homeschooled children, 1 went on to graduate from Kings Point as Regimental Commander (leader of the Academy student body), 1 worked as an intern teaching middle school band students while he was in high school and was the 1st paid worship intern at church, and the other has been active in politics since she was 10ish, was (still is) U.S. Congressman Tom Rooney’s point person overseeing his campaign in our county at the age of 17 and is now doing the same for U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio. She will be 19 in March.

    Thanks for sharing this study with us.

  • http://pollywogcreek.blogspot.com Patricia (Pollywog Creek)

    We have recently completed 23 years of homeschooling our 3 youngest children from kindergarten through high school. In answer to your last question, it is my belief that the advantage comes from the fact that homeschoolers live in the real world rather than the artificial society created by institutional education for the majority of their formative years. Our children grew up in the real world of jobs and homemaking and raising children and caring for the elderly and community involvement.

    Of our 3 homeschooled children, 1 went on to graduate from Kings Point as Regimental Commander (leader of the Academy student body), 1 worked as an intern teaching middle school band students while he was in high school and was the 1st paid worship intern at church, and the other has been active in politics since she was 10ish, was (still is) U.S. Congressman Tom Rooney’s point person overseeing his campaign in our county at the age of 17 and is now doing the same for U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio. She will be 19 in March.

    Thanks for sharing this study with us.

  • Debb c

    Responding to EcoJeff at 3. in My experience homeschoolers come from a wide range of socioeconomic groups. I have home schooled for 15 years and in two states. during that time on the economic level I have met families homeschooling while living off slightly more than minimum wage and I have met homeschoolers who complain that there homes are only worth a little over $250,000. Socially the gulf is nearly as wide with parents being everything from janitors to executives in large companies.
    In other word homeschoolers come from all levels of society so comparing to society as a whole is a fair comparision.

  • Debb c

    Responding to EcoJeff at 3. in My experience homeschoolers come from a wide range of socioeconomic groups. I have home schooled for 15 years and in two states. during that time on the economic level I have met families homeschooling while living off slightly more than minimum wage and I have met homeschoolers who complain that there homes are only worth a little over $250,000. Socially the gulf is nearly as wide with parents being everything from janitors to executives in large companies.
    In other word homeschoolers come from all levels of society so comparing to society as a whole is a fair comparision.

  • WebMonk

    Econ, that was my very first thought when I read through the article. I have the study up on another tab right now checking it out to see if the Christian Post article was just sloppy and the study did actually do a proper comparison.

    Debb, while homeschoolers certainly do come from all levels, we do not come from all levels equally. If we have 10% from poverty levels, 20% from lower, 30% mid, 30% upper, and 10% uber-rich, and 70% have two-parent homes then we need to be compared to a similar break-down.

    Comparing that homeschooler mix to the population at large (20% poverty, 30% lower, 30% mid, 10% upper, 10% wealthy, 45% two-parent homes – for example) will give you a skewed result.

    Sure, homeschoolers come from all levels, but we don’t come equally from all levels. That’s why comparisons need to be drawn from an equal mix taking economic and social differences into account.

  • WebMonk

    Econ, that was my very first thought when I read through the article. I have the study up on another tab right now checking it out to see if the Christian Post article was just sloppy and the study did actually do a proper comparison.

    Debb, while homeschoolers certainly do come from all levels, we do not come from all levels equally. If we have 10% from poverty levels, 20% from lower, 30% mid, 30% upper, and 10% uber-rich, and 70% have two-parent homes then we need to be compared to a similar break-down.

    Comparing that homeschooler mix to the population at large (20% poverty, 30% lower, 30% mid, 10% upper, 10% wealthy, 45% two-parent homes – for example) will give you a skewed result.

    Sure, homeschoolers come from all levels, but we don’t come equally from all levels. That’s why comparisons need to be drawn from an equal mix taking economic and social differences into account.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    EconJeff does have a point about one socioeconomic bracket; most homeschooled kids (but not all) come from intact families, which will skew results a lot. Statistically, though, they actually tend to come from slightly poorer, but better educated, families than average.

    He asks a great question as a result; would the known differences have been passed on without homeschooling? My answer is “not as much.” If I give a third to half of my children’s waking hours to those who disagree with me on virtually everything, it will have an effect–instead of training them in that which is good and right, I would be spending that time deprogramming them.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    EconJeff does have a point about one socioeconomic bracket; most homeschooled kids (but not all) come from intact families, which will skew results a lot. Statistically, though, they actually tend to come from slightly poorer, but better educated, families than average.

    He asks a great question as a result; would the known differences have been passed on without homeschooling? My answer is “not as much.” If I give a third to half of my children’s waking hours to those who disagree with me on virtually everything, it will have an effect–instead of training them in that which is good and right, I would be spending that time deprogramming them.

  • WebMonk

    I finished going through the study, and I’m not clear if the study compared them to the general population, or to an equivalent population make-up.

    The study seems to use the terms “general population”, “comparable population”, and “peers” interchangeably. And when the term “comparable” was used, it seemed to mean that it was just taking the age range into account: 15-34 year olds.

    Something else I noticed is that there were definite “lumps” in the age distribution of the study participants. 40% of the participants were in the 21-24 age range while only 20% of the general population is in that same age range. Similarly, less than 5% of homeschooled people were in the 31-34 range, while 20% of the general population is in that range.

    A LOT of factors, such as job happiness, social involvement, income, schooling, etc, change significantly as people age.

    Another item of interest was that the study mentioned it pulled especially heavily from church-related homeschooling groups, but they compare to the population at large which is most definitely NOT church-oriented. Those comparisons are completely useless. They need to be compared to people who grew up in the same sort of church-centric atmosphere, but were not homeschooled.

    Parental education levels were quite different too – the homeschooled people had parents who were significantly better educated than the general population. I could never tell that this was taken into consideration either.

    How much all this skewing of the comparisons affect things, and in what directions? Impossible to know for sure. Some things I suspect wouldn’t be changed much if proper comparisons were made, while in other cases, the comparisons given are pretty much useless.

  • WebMonk

    I finished going through the study, and I’m not clear if the study compared them to the general population, or to an equivalent population make-up.

    The study seems to use the terms “general population”, “comparable population”, and “peers” interchangeably. And when the term “comparable” was used, it seemed to mean that it was just taking the age range into account: 15-34 year olds.

    Something else I noticed is that there were definite “lumps” in the age distribution of the study participants. 40% of the participants were in the 21-24 age range while only 20% of the general population is in that same age range. Similarly, less than 5% of homeschooled people were in the 31-34 range, while 20% of the general population is in that range.

    A LOT of factors, such as job happiness, social involvement, income, schooling, etc, change significantly as people age.

    Another item of interest was that the study mentioned it pulled especially heavily from church-related homeschooling groups, but they compare to the population at large which is most definitely NOT church-oriented. Those comparisons are completely useless. They need to be compared to people who grew up in the same sort of church-centric atmosphere, but were not homeschooled.

    Parental education levels were quite different too – the homeschooled people had parents who were significantly better educated than the general population. I could never tell that this was taken into consideration either.

    How much all this skewing of the comparisons affect things, and in what directions? Impossible to know for sure. Some things I suspect wouldn’t be changed much if proper comparisons were made, while in other cases, the comparisons given are pretty much useless.

  • WebMonk

    I keep noticing more and more issues. There is no race comparison at all, and that is a HUGE factor since homeschool families are wildly skewed from normal on race. And, of course, the economic status of the homeschooling families isn’t brought up. Those two factors along would probably be enough to invalidate the study as having precise information about the details of homeschooled people in Canada.

    Bike, do you know where you might have some information about the economic distribution of homeschoolers? You mentioned that homeschoolers tend to be poorer than average, but at least here in the states, it’s almost exactly average.

    Homeschoolers tend to have fewer at the extreme ends of the economic spectrum than the general population, but on average their income is just barely higher than average, probably within the boundaries of error. (source: NCES 2001-033)

  • WebMonk

    I keep noticing more and more issues. There is no race comparison at all, and that is a HUGE factor since homeschool families are wildly skewed from normal on race. And, of course, the economic status of the homeschooling families isn’t brought up. Those two factors along would probably be enough to invalidate the study as having precise information about the details of homeschooled people in Canada.

    Bike, do you know where you might have some information about the economic distribution of homeschoolers? You mentioned that homeschoolers tend to be poorer than average, but at least here in the states, it’s almost exactly average.

    Homeschoolers tend to have fewer at the extreme ends of the economic spectrum than the general population, but on average their income is just barely higher than average, probably within the boundaries of error. (source: NCES 2001-033)

  • WebMonk

    And homeschooling is trending strongly toward the upper income populations – the percentages of homeschoolers in higher income families has been increasing while, obviously, it has been decreasing in lower income families.

    Source: NCES 2009-081

  • WebMonk

    And homeschooling is trending strongly toward the upper income populations – the percentages of homeschoolers in higher income families has been increasing while, obviously, it has been decreasing in lower income families.

    Source: NCES 2009-081

  • Carl Vehse

    From the discussions it can be extrapolated that a truely valid study would require a collection of parents with identical twins, from which the parents send one to a public school and the other is home-schooled. In this way nature and nurture are the same for both twins except for the different schooling.

    This experimental scenario is unlikely.

  • Carl Vehse

    From the discussions it can be extrapolated that a truely valid study would require a collection of parents with identical twins, from which the parents send one to a public school and the other is home-schooled. In this way nature and nurture are the same for both twins except for the different schooling.

    This experimental scenario is unlikely.

  • DonS

    While perhaps we don’t know how much this study validates homeschooling as a superior education choice (though, anecdotally, those of us who do it know that it clearly is), can we at least agree that the study validates the homeschooling option as one that will not ruin our next generation?

  • DonS

    While perhaps we don’t know how much this study validates homeschooling as a superior education choice (though, anecdotally, those of us who do it know that it clearly is), can we at least agree that the study validates the homeschooling option as one that will not ruin our next generation?

  • EconJeff

    Actually, there are a number of economic studies of the impact of education using twin studies, although I do agree with you, Carl, that splitting the education of twins randomly would be difficult!

    There are other ways to get at the answer, though. For example, there may be an instrumental variable that is correlated with being homeschooled but not with the outcomes of interest that might be use (no, I can’t think of one).

    Even a simple ordinary least squares regression with a 0/1 indicator of homeschooling, however, would control for some of the issues raised above. Sure, the results would still be biased, but I think it would be a much better estimate than the comparisons in the report. Still, this would require an appropriate comparison group with common overlap of the variables of interest.

    If this was paired with a follow-up of other families who did not homeschool, you could form a two-period panel data set and include individual and family fixed effects to control for innate ability or family resources. This would be a fairly valid approach. Again, you need to have the right comparison group.

    DonS is right, though, this supports the hypothesis that homeschooling doesn’t ruin our next generation, but it is far from definitively answering the question what impact it does have.

  • EconJeff

    Actually, there are a number of economic studies of the impact of education using twin studies, although I do agree with you, Carl, that splitting the education of twins randomly would be difficult!

    There are other ways to get at the answer, though. For example, there may be an instrumental variable that is correlated with being homeschooled but not with the outcomes of interest that might be use (no, I can’t think of one).

    Even a simple ordinary least squares regression with a 0/1 indicator of homeschooling, however, would control for some of the issues raised above. Sure, the results would still be biased, but I think it would be a much better estimate than the comparisons in the report. Still, this would require an appropriate comparison group with common overlap of the variables of interest.

    If this was paired with a follow-up of other families who did not homeschool, you could form a two-period panel data set and include individual and family fixed effects to control for innate ability or family resources. This would be a fairly valid approach. Again, you need to have the right comparison group.

    DonS is right, though, this supports the hypothesis that homeschooling doesn’t ruin our next generation, but it is far from definitively answering the question what impact it does have.

  • Steve

    It seems that this entire argument puts homeschooling “on the dock.” I would submit that this group of people will render much better societal results because they are to a much greater point being obedient to Biblical principles. Please ponder these words from Deuteronomy 6; “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” While the situation changes God and his principles do not.

    These parents take the charge to teach Godly principles to themselves and do not relegate it to those of different belief systems and will not teach the same principles to children or anyone else.

    We can argue and as some countries are doing, outlaw God’s charge but we will do so to our own national peril. Reading of other items in this blog will prove the point exquisitely.

    Most readers will probably believe I have missed the point, and perhaps I have. Or perhaps the point made in this post should be seen through and the actual problem identified, addressed, and its solution supported.

  • Steve

    It seems that this entire argument puts homeschooling “on the dock.” I would submit that this group of people will render much better societal results because they are to a much greater point being obedient to Biblical principles. Please ponder these words from Deuteronomy 6; “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” While the situation changes God and his principles do not.

    These parents take the charge to teach Godly principles to themselves and do not relegate it to those of different belief systems and will not teach the same principles to children or anyone else.

    We can argue and as some countries are doing, outlaw God’s charge but we will do so to our own national peril. Reading of other items in this blog will prove the point exquisitely.

    Most readers will probably believe I have missed the point, and perhaps I have. Or perhaps the point made in this post should be seen through and the actual problem identified, addressed, and its solution supported.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    WebMonk, NHERI (linked from http://www.hslda.org) has some information that corresponds to this as well. They’ve done studies of current homeschoolers that indicate the higher than average education and slightly lower than average income.

    Regarding race, NHERI finds interestingly little correlation of race to anything among homeschoolers. This is a result verified by other correlations which find that when you account for family status–more or less whether Mom and Dad are married and one of them is working–that you don’t find much of a correlation to anything to race.

    (NHERI also finds little correlation of homeschooling success to prosperity/income or educational status of the parents….educating a child is, in many ways, not rocket science, to put it mildly)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    WebMonk, NHERI (linked from http://www.hslda.org) has some information that corresponds to this as well. They’ve done studies of current homeschoolers that indicate the higher than average education and slightly lower than average income.

    Regarding race, NHERI finds interestingly little correlation of race to anything among homeschoolers. This is a result verified by other correlations which find that when you account for family status–more or less whether Mom and Dad are married and one of them is working–that you don’t find much of a correlation to anything to race.

    (NHERI also finds little correlation of homeschooling success to prosperity/income or educational status of the parents….educating a child is, in many ways, not rocket science, to put it mildly)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well, I think we can all agree that homeschoolers (@6, 8, etc.) do well when it comes to analyzing the rigorousness of studies on homeschooling! :)

    And while I certainly understand DonS’s defensive posture (although I think it’s unnecessary in this particular circle), it’s comments like Steve’s (@14) that rankle me: “[Homeschooling] parents take the charge to teach Godly principles to themselves and do not relegate it to those of different belief systems.” Um, see, parents with kids in public school also teach their children Godly principles, too, you know? Let’s not confuse lauding homeschooling with ripping on those who are not homeschooled, let’s?

    I think WebMonk and EconJeff have addressed the major points on this study, so I’ll just note that the claim that “home-educated adults were also happier in their work and their lives in general”, comparing as it does a 97.2% happiness rate for homeschoolers to a 95.4% rate for all Canadians, probably falls within the margin of error (I looked, but couldn’t find one). That is to say, well, at least they’re not less happy than most Canadians!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well, I think we can all agree that homeschoolers (@6, 8, etc.) do well when it comes to analyzing the rigorousness of studies on homeschooling! :)

    And while I certainly understand DonS’s defensive posture (although I think it’s unnecessary in this particular circle), it’s comments like Steve’s (@14) that rankle me: “[Homeschooling] parents take the charge to teach Godly principles to themselves and do not relegate it to those of different belief systems.” Um, see, parents with kids in public school also teach their children Godly principles, too, you know? Let’s not confuse lauding homeschooling with ripping on those who are not homeschooled, let’s?

    I think WebMonk and EconJeff have addressed the major points on this study, so I’ll just note that the claim that “home-educated adults were also happier in their work and their lives in general”, comparing as it does a 97.2% happiness rate for homeschoolers to a 95.4% rate for all Canadians, probably falls within the margin of error (I looked, but couldn’t find one). That is to say, well, at least they’re not less happy than most Canadians!

  • DonS

    Steve @ 14: You most assuredly have not missed the point! Your post is well stated, and is the reason why our family and every other homeschooling family I know takes full responsibility for the education of their children. It is our charge from God, and we are solely accountable to ensure that our children are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is difficult for me to see how you can do that as effectively when you consign them to secular public school for at least eight of their fourteen waking hours each week day. None of us need studies to validate that we are doing the right thing. We see the results, and the blessing of God on our children.

    Would that the faddish global warming studies were subjected to one-fourth the scrutiny that this particular homeschooling study has been subjected to by the worthy contributors to this blog. :-)

  • DonS

    Steve @ 14: You most assuredly have not missed the point! Your post is well stated, and is the reason why our family and every other homeschooling family I know takes full responsibility for the education of their children. It is our charge from God, and we are solely accountable to ensure that our children are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is difficult for me to see how you can do that as effectively when you consign them to secular public school for at least eight of their fourteen waking hours each week day. None of us need studies to validate that we are doing the right thing. We see the results, and the blessing of God on our children.

    Would that the faddish global warming studies were subjected to one-fourth the scrutiny that this particular homeschooling study has been subjected to by the worthy contributors to this blog. :-)

  • DonS

    tODD — Interesting… My post @ 17 crossed with your post @ 16, yet they are amazingly parallel from opposed points of view. It is particularly interesting that you chose to characterize my comment @ 12 as defensive, while your comment @ 16 is at least equally defensive concerning non-homeschooling options.

  • DonS

    tODD — Interesting… My post @ 17 crossed with your post @ 16, yet they are amazingly parallel from opposed points of view. It is particularly interesting that you chose to characterize my comment @ 12 as defensive, while your comment @ 16 is at least equally defensive concerning non-homeschooling options.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@18), of course I’m assuming a defensive posture. This blog is riddled with homeschoolers, and, you may have noticed, run by a man who teaches at a college that is also riddled with homeschoolers. I’m in the minority here — you’re not. Which is why I find it odd for you to be on the defense here.

    And I liked homeschoolers more before this thread, when I was reminded of how equally pompous they can be, even while decrying the slurs leveled at them by those who don’t homeschool (“antisocial”, etc.).

    I’m so glad to know that, should I choose to send my child to a public school, Don would look down his nose at me, what with it being difficult for him to see how I can raise my child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as effectively when I consign him to secular public school.

    That’ll teach me to think nicely of homeschoolers.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@18), of course I’m assuming a defensive posture. This blog is riddled with homeschoolers, and, you may have noticed, run by a man who teaches at a college that is also riddled with homeschoolers. I’m in the minority here — you’re not. Which is why I find it odd for you to be on the defense here.

    And I liked homeschoolers more before this thread, when I was reminded of how equally pompous they can be, even while decrying the slurs leveled at them by those who don’t homeschool (“antisocial”, etc.).

    I’m so glad to know that, should I choose to send my child to a public school, Don would look down his nose at me, what with it being difficult for him to see how I can raise my child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as effectively when I consign him to secular public school.

    That’ll teach me to think nicely of homeschoolers.

  • Joe

    We homeschool and I will admit that I think it is a better way to educate a child, but I don’t think that makes it the only right way. And, I certainly don’t believe my children recieve a larger portion of God’s blessings – this is not something my works can win for them.

  • Joe

    We homeschool and I will admit that I think it is a better way to educate a child, but I don’t think that makes it the only right way. And, I certainly don’t believe my children recieve a larger portion of God’s blessings – this is not something my works can win for them.

  • ELB

    At the heart of the matter is the question of who has the primary moral responsibility for the children. Is the state primarily responsible, or in a backup role?

    In this article
    http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/district-1269895-school-county.html

    the family is presumed to have harmed the children by homescooling due to the absence of registration. I suspect events like this account for some defensiveness on the part of homeshooling parents.

    And, yes, we do have an obligation to obey the government when they require registration. The problem is the mindset that puts such confidence in the state.

  • ELB

    At the heart of the matter is the question of who has the primary moral responsibility for the children. Is the state primarily responsible, or in a backup role?

    In this article
    http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/district-1269895-school-county.html

    the family is presumed to have harmed the children by homescooling due to the absence of registration. I suspect events like this account for some defensiveness on the part of homeshooling parents.

    And, yes, we do have an obligation to obey the government when they require registration. The problem is the mindset that puts such confidence in the state.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 19: Homeschoolers are typically subjected to attack by the public school establishment. Why? We take away ADA (average daily attendance) funds from them by not enrolling our children in their schools. And because, in general, the public school bureaucracy thinks it can raise our children in a more enlightened way than we ignorant parents can. We just discussed last week the fact that homeschooling is illegal in Germany, and apparently also in Sweden. We fought hard for 25 years for the right to homeschool, and so we tend to be defensive about being able to continue to do so without undue government interference. My defensive posture is directed to outside forces, not the homeschoolers who “riddle” this blog.

    I don’t look down my nose at you for utilizing the public school. I do think it is a lot harder to undo what the public school often does to your children, and then also to teach them the things of the Lord in the limited amount of evening and weekend time you have, and that is the simple reason we chose to home school. However, we know many fine families who have raised fine children who were public schooled, because they were exceedingly vigilant about monitoring what their children were being taught and correcting those teachings consistently, as well as being extremely involved in their childrens’ schools. Home schooling is not for everyone. But it is for us.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 19: Homeschoolers are typically subjected to attack by the public school establishment. Why? We take away ADA (average daily attendance) funds from them by not enrolling our children in their schools. And because, in general, the public school bureaucracy thinks it can raise our children in a more enlightened way than we ignorant parents can. We just discussed last week the fact that homeschooling is illegal in Germany, and apparently also in Sweden. We fought hard for 25 years for the right to homeschool, and so we tend to be defensive about being able to continue to do so without undue government interference. My defensive posture is directed to outside forces, not the homeschoolers who “riddle” this blog.

    I don’t look down my nose at you for utilizing the public school. I do think it is a lot harder to undo what the public school often does to your children, and then also to teach them the things of the Lord in the limited amount of evening and weekend time you have, and that is the simple reason we chose to home school. However, we know many fine families who have raised fine children who were public schooled, because they were exceedingly vigilant about monitoring what their children were being taught and correcting those teachings consistently, as well as being extremely involved in their childrens’ schools. Home schooling is not for everyone. But it is for us.

  • jbo

    homeschooling parents must have the discipline and patience to put a regimented, whole approach practice in place rather than just “what a book says” approach and “whenever i get to it” approach. this is why homeschooled students are “successful”. self regulation is the demonstrated and prized value rather than just the knowledge that is being learned. Those that don’t demonstrate this skill (self regulation) must rely on others to (attempt) to instill this in their children. Which doesn’t typically work because parents deprogram their kids when they get home by way of few rules, varying requirements, no chores, etc…whereas homeschooling parents recognize and therefore make the school an extension of the home. Once again, this is a skill of self regulation rather than just the manifestation of the type (or locale) of the education itself.

  • jbo

    homeschooling parents must have the discipline and patience to put a regimented, whole approach practice in place rather than just “what a book says” approach and “whenever i get to it” approach. this is why homeschooled students are “successful”. self regulation is the demonstrated and prized value rather than just the knowledge that is being learned. Those that don’t demonstrate this skill (self regulation) must rely on others to (attempt) to instill this in their children. Which doesn’t typically work because parents deprogram their kids when they get home by way of few rules, varying requirements, no chores, etc…whereas homeschooling parents recognize and therefore make the school an extension of the home. Once again, this is a skill of self regulation rather than just the manifestation of the type (or locale) of the education itself.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 20: To clarify, I did not say that my children receive a larger portion of God’s blessing because we homeschool. But, even in Lutheran theology, are blessings from God not bestowed on those who receive the Gospel? And is not our teaching of the things of the Lord an important way in which our children receive the Gospel? That is what I was referring to. Not a blessing received because of the hand of man.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 20: To clarify, I did not say that my children receive a larger portion of God’s blessing because we homeschool. But, even in Lutheran theology, are blessings from God not bestowed on those who receive the Gospel? And is not our teaching of the things of the Lord an important way in which our children receive the Gospel? That is what I was referring to. Not a blessing received because of the hand of man.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    As with Todd, my opinion here would not be exactly popular, but I think for a valid study one would need to look for a study that is independant. And that is statistically rigorous, as EconJeff points out. As an ex-homeschooler, I’d be the first to admit that although homeschooling can be advantageous, homeschoolers can be (not all, before you stone me) notoriously self-congratulatory etc. This of course comes from the time when they HAD to defend themselves all the time, so it is understandable.

    For the record, I’ve been involved with all 3 options: Home, Private and Public (ie Government). My conclusion: It all depends on who does it, not which system. Who the parents are, what the private school board looks like, which school division / province etc etc. I know homeschoolers who do well, and others who are doing, to put it politely, not so well. I know Private schools that are exemplary, and others who are fiefdoms of pastoral personalities or legalistic, fundamentalistic sects, even cults. And obviously the same for public schools. For instance, here in Saskatoon, there are 2 school divisions – Catholic and Public (but both are publically funded). Some of my Lutheran friends place their children in the Catholic division, for very good reasons (in the public shool division, they sing “O Evergreen” instead of “O Christmas Tree”, so as not to offend. If I lived I the city, I would have done the same. As it is, the rural school division my kids go to are fine with the Lord’s prayer etc.

    All to say that there are no silver bullets, or golden solutions, or sure things, or failproof methods (you get the idea…).

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    As with Todd, my opinion here would not be exactly popular, but I think for a valid study one would need to look for a study that is independant. And that is statistically rigorous, as EconJeff points out. As an ex-homeschooler, I’d be the first to admit that although homeschooling can be advantageous, homeschoolers can be (not all, before you stone me) notoriously self-congratulatory etc. This of course comes from the time when they HAD to defend themselves all the time, so it is understandable.

    For the record, I’ve been involved with all 3 options: Home, Private and Public (ie Government). My conclusion: It all depends on who does it, not which system. Who the parents are, what the private school board looks like, which school division / province etc etc. I know homeschoolers who do well, and others who are doing, to put it politely, not so well. I know Private schools that are exemplary, and others who are fiefdoms of pastoral personalities or legalistic, fundamentalistic sects, even cults. And obviously the same for public schools. For instance, here in Saskatoon, there are 2 school divisions – Catholic and Public (but both are publically funded). Some of my Lutheran friends place their children in the Catholic division, for very good reasons (in the public shool division, they sing “O Evergreen” instead of “O Christmas Tree”, so as not to offend. If I lived I the city, I would have done the same. As it is, the rural school division my kids go to are fine with the Lord’s prayer etc.

    All to say that there are no silver bullets, or golden solutions, or sure things, or failproof methods (you get the idea…).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@22), “I don’t look down my nose at you for utilizing the public school.” So glad to hear it. Except that you wrote that, “It is our charge from God, and we are solely accountable to ensure that our children are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is difficult for me to see how you can do that as effectively when you consign them to secular public school.” (Emphasis mine.)

    I thank God my parents were not so short-sighted in seeing how they could teach me about God, in spite of my public schooling, as it were.

    “However, we know many fine families who have raised fine children who were public schooled, because they were exceedingly vigilant about monitoring what their children were being taught and correcting those teachings consistently, as well as being extremely involved in their childrens’ schools.” Well, you did say one thing right. Except that you can write it even shorter: “We know many fine families who have raised fine children, because they were exceedingly vigilant about monitoring what their children were being taught and correcting those teachings consistently, as well as being extremely involved in their childrens’ education.” See? That’s the formula for success. Not the venue. (And a hat tip to The Scylding @25.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@22), “I don’t look down my nose at you for utilizing the public school.” So glad to hear it. Except that you wrote that, “It is our charge from God, and we are solely accountable to ensure that our children are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is difficult for me to see how you can do that as effectively when you consign them to secular public school.” (Emphasis mine.)

    I thank God my parents were not so short-sighted in seeing how they could teach me about God, in spite of my public schooling, as it were.

    “However, we know many fine families who have raised fine children who were public schooled, because they were exceedingly vigilant about monitoring what their children were being taught and correcting those teachings consistently, as well as being extremely involved in their childrens’ schools.” Well, you did say one thing right. Except that you can write it even shorter: “We know many fine families who have raised fine children, because they were exceedingly vigilant about monitoring what their children were being taught and correcting those teachings consistently, as well as being extremely involved in their childrens’ education.” See? That’s the formula for success. Not the venue. (And a hat tip to The Scylding @25.)

  • DonS

    tODD @ 26: I agree with the Scylding’s comments. And I’ve got no heartburn with what you said in your post. I never intended to imply that homeschooling was the only right way, but rather to explain our decision process, and that, for us, it made sense to use all 14 waking hours each day, rather than just 6.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 26: I agree with the Scylding’s comments. And I’ve got no heartburn with what you said in your post. I never intended to imply that homeschooling was the only right way, but rather to explain our decision process, and that, for us, it made sense to use all 14 waking hours each day, rather than just 6.

  • WebMonk

    Bike, I used to work for HSLDA, and I’m well aware of what they have said (in passing along NHERI’s studies) and what they don’t say.

    Dr. Ray and NHERI do almost perpetual studies and none of them for the last 20 years found that the economic status of homeschool families differed significantly. If you want to check NHERI’s site yourself, you can find the latest data for free (sorry, I’m don’t want to post my login information to let you access their older information) at http://www.nheri.org/Latest/Homeschooling-Across-America-Academic-Achievement-and-Demographic-Characteristics.html

    NHERI does a very good job in most of their studies checking for skewing factors. As far as I can tell, CCHE’s study has done almost nothing to avoid skewing factors.

    As far as race goes, the proportion of homeschoolers among non-white groups is VERY different to that among white groups. I don’t know what the stats are in Canada, but I am sure distinct differences exist there as well.

    That fact that this Canadian study doesn’t bother to check for race means that most likely their homeschool study group was very heavily white, compared to the general population.

    There are very definite race differences, and if the heavily white group of homeschoolers in the study are compared to the more diverse general population without recognizing those racial population differences, all the results are going to be VERY skewed.

  • WebMonk

    Bike, I used to work for HSLDA, and I’m well aware of what they have said (in passing along NHERI’s studies) and what they don’t say.

    Dr. Ray and NHERI do almost perpetual studies and none of them for the last 20 years found that the economic status of homeschool families differed significantly. If you want to check NHERI’s site yourself, you can find the latest data for free (sorry, I’m don’t want to post my login information to let you access their older information) at http://www.nheri.org/Latest/Homeschooling-Across-America-Academic-Achievement-and-Demographic-Characteristics.html

    NHERI does a very good job in most of their studies checking for skewing factors. As far as I can tell, CCHE’s study has done almost nothing to avoid skewing factors.

    As far as race goes, the proportion of homeschoolers among non-white groups is VERY different to that among white groups. I don’t know what the stats are in Canada, but I am sure distinct differences exist there as well.

    That fact that this Canadian study doesn’t bother to check for race means that most likely their homeschool study group was very heavily white, compared to the general population.

    There are very definite race differences, and if the heavily white group of homeschoolers in the study are compared to the more diverse general population without recognizing those racial population differences, all the results are going to be VERY skewed.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    “no significant difference” and “slight” would be virtually equivalent, no, Webmonk? :^)

    And while I’ll grant that the samples for both CCHE and NHERI are disproportionately white, other work I’ve seen (cited by Walter Williams) finds that many “racial” differences virtually disappear when one corrects for family status. I’d thought I’d seen it from HSLDA as well.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    “no significant difference” and “slight” would be virtually equivalent, no, Webmonk? :^)

    And while I’ll grant that the samples for both CCHE and NHERI are disproportionately white, other work I’ve seen (cited by Walter Williams) finds that many “racial” differences virtually disappear when one corrects for family status. I’d thought I’d seen it from HSLDA as well.

  • Steve

    tODD,
    I apologize for having to “post and run” and yet now need to get with my family for supper. I am very thankful DonS has had the opportunity to carry the argument. My submission would be that homeschooling is one of priority. We will do what we feel we must; that covers everything from worshiping God to what we’re having for dinner. In the current discussion we have discussed all of the reasons why or why not homeschoolers do better/worse that their counterparts. The priority for me is God gave me a family, he made me responsible for my wife and our two beautiful little girls, 2 years and 2 weeks. The whole reason I chose Deuteronomy earlier is that I take that passage very seriously and that my family’s education is only one part of that, a very critical part of it and if they ever have a chance at obeying God there is no way I personally could ever delegate that to a world’s system of education. It will be me standing before God and I, not anyone else, will give account as to how I educated and reared them.

  • Steve

    tODD,
    I apologize for having to “post and run” and yet now need to get with my family for supper. I am very thankful DonS has had the opportunity to carry the argument. My submission would be that homeschooling is one of priority. We will do what we feel we must; that covers everything from worshiping God to what we’re having for dinner. In the current discussion we have discussed all of the reasons why or why not homeschoolers do better/worse that their counterparts. The priority for me is God gave me a family, he made me responsible for my wife and our two beautiful little girls, 2 years and 2 weeks. The whole reason I chose Deuteronomy earlier is that I take that passage very seriously and that my family’s education is only one part of that, a very critical part of it and if they ever have a chance at obeying God there is no way I personally could ever delegate that to a world’s system of education. It will be me standing before God and I, not anyone else, will give account as to how I educated and reared them.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Steve (@30), again you miss my point. Go back and read my comment (@16) … heck, I’ll copy the relevant section for you right here: “parents with kids in public school also teach their children Godly principles”.

    Taking seriously one’s parental responsibility to “train up a child in the way he should go” is not unique only to homeschoolers — nor do all homeschoolers meet this duty merely by definition.

    You said, “I personally could [n]ever delegate that to [the] world’s system of education,” but who here is suggesting that spiritual upbringing be delegated to public schools? Not me. That will be the job of me, my wife, and our church.

    I do wonder about what you’re teaching your children, though, by stating that “if they ever have a chance at obeying God,” it’s going to be because of what you did. That’s … an interesting way to put it, at best.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Steve (@30), again you miss my point. Go back and read my comment (@16) … heck, I’ll copy the relevant section for you right here: “parents with kids in public school also teach their children Godly principles”.

    Taking seriously one’s parental responsibility to “train up a child in the way he should go” is not unique only to homeschoolers — nor do all homeschoolers meet this duty merely by definition.

    You said, “I personally could [n]ever delegate that to [the] world’s system of education,” but who here is suggesting that spiritual upbringing be delegated to public schools? Not me. That will be the job of me, my wife, and our church.

    I do wonder about what you’re teaching your children, though, by stating that “if they ever have a chance at obeying God,” it’s going to be because of what you did. That’s … an interesting way to put it, at best.

  • Ryan

    Parents who are involved in their children’s lives generally have children who do well. Period. I did Public School, loved it, would not trade that education for the world.

    Why we are going to homeschool:

    1. My daughter, unlike me, is kinesthetic to the max, she is movement incarnate. The few classroom type situations we have put her in have labelled her a troublemaker, unable to take direction, and caused her, at 3 and 4 years old, to respond she is a bad child and not smart. I will not let a certain format for education crush her spirit, she learns just fine – just not in the environment in which I thrived.

    2. I prefer the classical model to many other models that are current in education (I am trained as a HS teacher). I can live with other ones to an extent, would like to see a great books club – but see #3

    3. The district we live in, which is small town rural, is embarrassingly poor academically. I went to one of the top schools in my state academically, the difference in what I see is to say the least – stark. There are no private school options. (Change it you say? I’m an outsider in small town, if you don’t know what this means don’t try to respond)

    4. Socialization.

    As a pastor religion is a big issue for me, but not when it comes to homeschooling. Public, Private, or Home – the Small Catechism, devotions, prayer, and vigorous theological discussion will occur and I encourage all parents, regardless of school choice to take an active role in their child’s education and Christian upbringing – it is their duty.

  • Ryan

    Parents who are involved in their children’s lives generally have children who do well. Period. I did Public School, loved it, would not trade that education for the world.

    Why we are going to homeschool:

    1. My daughter, unlike me, is kinesthetic to the max, she is movement incarnate. The few classroom type situations we have put her in have labelled her a troublemaker, unable to take direction, and caused her, at 3 and 4 years old, to respond she is a bad child and not smart. I will not let a certain format for education crush her spirit, she learns just fine – just not in the environment in which I thrived.

    2. I prefer the classical model to many other models that are current in education (I am trained as a HS teacher). I can live with other ones to an extent, would like to see a great books club – but see #3

    3. The district we live in, which is small town rural, is embarrassingly poor academically. I went to one of the top schools in my state academically, the difference in what I see is to say the least – stark. There are no private school options. (Change it you say? I’m an outsider in small town, if you don’t know what this means don’t try to respond)

    4. Socialization.

    As a pastor religion is a big issue for me, but not when it comes to homeschooling. Public, Private, or Home – the Small Catechism, devotions, prayer, and vigorous theological discussion will occur and I encourage all parents, regardless of school choice to take an active role in their child’s education and Christian upbringing – it is their duty.

  • Steve

    tODD,
    Thanks for seeing past my lack of proofreading and getting what I was intending. Question for you; what does that parent with the child in the public system do when that system spends hours daily teaching the child things that counter the dad, mom, and church? would it not be better not to have to “undo” in order to let the parents and church “do”? By the way I do agree with your statement about who will raise your children because realistically it is me, my wife, and our church who is rearing our children. There is enough “world” to counter as it is without having error fed to them in an education.

    I am also glad you keyed in on my “ever have a chance at obeying God” phrase too. I don’t mean to say I have a corner on the market of training Godliness, but I am going to use the verse you used of “train up a child in the way he should go.” That responsibility is given to the parents, and you would probably also agree with me that the Dad is made responsible for the home. (In no way do I intend any disrespect for single parent households-that is a complete other discussion) All I am saying there is that it is my responsibility before God, as it is yours and all the other dad’s out there, to rear our children in the most Godly way possible. We baptized Mary the first Sunday after Christmas, one of the responsibilities we took was keep her faithful in the Lord’s Word and Sacrament.

    God can cause faith to grow in anyone, but he put two children in my quiver for a reason, he expects me to follow His guidance, which includes protecting them from the world, the flesh and the devil; hence Deuteronomy 6, which the public school system and many private school systems simply will not attempt to accomplish.

  • Steve

    tODD,
    Thanks for seeing past my lack of proofreading and getting what I was intending. Question for you; what does that parent with the child in the public system do when that system spends hours daily teaching the child things that counter the dad, mom, and church? would it not be better not to have to “undo” in order to let the parents and church “do”? By the way I do agree with your statement about who will raise your children because realistically it is me, my wife, and our church who is rearing our children. There is enough “world” to counter as it is without having error fed to them in an education.

    I am also glad you keyed in on my “ever have a chance at obeying God” phrase too. I don’t mean to say I have a corner on the market of training Godliness, but I am going to use the verse you used of “train up a child in the way he should go.” That responsibility is given to the parents, and you would probably also agree with me that the Dad is made responsible for the home. (In no way do I intend any disrespect for single parent households-that is a complete other discussion) All I am saying there is that it is my responsibility before God, as it is yours and all the other dad’s out there, to rear our children in the most Godly way possible. We baptized Mary the first Sunday after Christmas, one of the responsibilities we took was keep her faithful in the Lord’s Word and Sacrament.

    God can cause faith to grow in anyone, but he put two children in my quiver for a reason, he expects me to follow His guidance, which includes protecting them from the world, the flesh and the devil; hence Deuteronomy 6, which the public school system and many private school systems simply will not attempt to accomplish.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hi. Are you a homeschooler who finds himself typically subjected to attack by the public school establishment? Do you find yourself trying to talk to people who are not homeschoolers? Do you find yourself, instead of making winsome arguments, instead making notoriously self-congratulatory comments about how superior your choice is to that made by the person you’re talking to?

    Then may I recommend to you Ryan’s comment (@32) (and, at least in part, that written by The Scylding @25) as an example of how to talk about homeschooling.

    Because the rest of those here ostensibly promoting homeschooling have largely done it a disservice today in my opinion. Those two comments manage to point out what is good about homeschooling in a way that doesn’t make me want to punch anyone. As it were.

    A friendly tip from the non-homeschooling world.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hi. Are you a homeschooler who finds himself typically subjected to attack by the public school establishment? Do you find yourself trying to talk to people who are not homeschoolers? Do you find yourself, instead of making winsome arguments, instead making notoriously self-congratulatory comments about how superior your choice is to that made by the person you’re talking to?

    Then may I recommend to you Ryan’s comment (@32) (and, at least in part, that written by The Scylding @25) as an example of how to talk about homeschooling.

    Because the rest of those here ostensibly promoting homeschooling have largely done it a disservice today in my opinion. Those two comments manage to point out what is good about homeschooling in a way that doesn’t make me want to punch anyone. As it were.

    A friendly tip from the non-homeschooling world.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, full props to EconJeff and WebMonk for their uncompromising (albeit, in EconJeff’s case, over-my-head technical) assessment of this study.

    I appreciate that WebMonk — who I presume is something of a proponent of homeschooling — expects quality and rigor in any argument made in favor of homeschooling, so as to best lend it actual credence, as opposed to “the data can be made to make things look good, I suppose.”

    Another friendly tip from the non-homeschooling world.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, full props to EconJeff and WebMonk for their uncompromising (albeit, in EconJeff’s case, over-my-head technical) assessment of this study.

    I appreciate that WebMonk — who I presume is something of a proponent of homeschooling — expects quality and rigor in any argument made in favor of homeschooling, so as to best lend it actual credence, as opposed to “the data can be made to make things look good, I suppose.”

    Another friendly tip from the non-homeschooling world.

  • WebMonk

    Yup, I was home schooled and all my siblings were home schooled. I’m planning on home schooling my kids.

    I was in a really easy-going school district, my parents’ families and friends were very supportive and never gave us any hassle. It wasn’t until I was in 10th or 11th grade that I started realizing that not all home schoolers have it so easy.

    Especially, after working for HSLDA and having a front row seat to abuses home schoolers have faced, I am very sympathetic to feelings of defensiveness. (and even more so after a friend had to go to court for years to keep their kids because they home schooled)

    It may come to a shock to you tODD, but there are still cases of CPS going in to homes to take kids away from families strictly because of home schooling. When you have a population which is still experiencing even a little of that sort of persecution, defensiveness is almost a must-have.

    Things have been getting better, and home school CPS investigations and attempted child-takings are less frequent and are often nipped in the bud, but 30 years ago it was still a distinct possibility that a person could lose their kids if they were in a “tough” state or school district.

    When you’re looking at having your kids taken away, you grab for EVERYTHING that might help, and don’t worry too much about the fine details of precision and accuracy.

    Now we have a bit more breathing room, at least here in the US, and I don’t mind holding sloppy researchers’ feet to the fire. (as if my comments here actually do that!)

    There are a lot of good studies, including ones done by non-home school advocates, that pretty consistently show home school students out perform public school equivalents ON AVERAGE, even taking family, socioeconomic, and other factors into account. However, the amount of improvement isn’t as dramatic as some of the older studies claimed (ie. 50% better academic scores). It’s still there though, but more like 10-20%. (and even the best studies have limitations that can’t be overcome or are extremely prohibitive to overcome)

    Obviously there are lots of discussions about why there is an academic improvement. Parental involvement is a key factor in all aspects of a child’s growth, and some say it’s because of the extra involvement. Some say it’s because home schooling is so much more flexible and can be custom-made for each child’s needs. Some, that the one-on-one factor is the issue. Others, the socialization is the factor. Etc, etc.

    The reasons are multitudinous, and most of them are outside what rigorous studies can investigate. Some of those reasons are perfectly open to people who go to public school, or use tutoring, or online schools, or private, or, or….

    And it always needs to be remembered that those are AVERAGES – individual results are not particularly affected by the average.

    And I realize I’m rambling. I’ll shut up now.

  • WebMonk

    Yup, I was home schooled and all my siblings were home schooled. I’m planning on home schooling my kids.

    I was in a really easy-going school district, my parents’ families and friends were very supportive and never gave us any hassle. It wasn’t until I was in 10th or 11th grade that I started realizing that not all home schoolers have it so easy.

    Especially, after working for HSLDA and having a front row seat to abuses home schoolers have faced, I am very sympathetic to feelings of defensiveness. (and even more so after a friend had to go to court for years to keep their kids because they home schooled)

    It may come to a shock to you tODD, but there are still cases of CPS going in to homes to take kids away from families strictly because of home schooling. When you have a population which is still experiencing even a little of that sort of persecution, defensiveness is almost a must-have.

    Things have been getting better, and home school CPS investigations and attempted child-takings are less frequent and are often nipped in the bud, but 30 years ago it was still a distinct possibility that a person could lose their kids if they were in a “tough” state or school district.

    When you’re looking at having your kids taken away, you grab for EVERYTHING that might help, and don’t worry too much about the fine details of precision and accuracy.

    Now we have a bit more breathing room, at least here in the US, and I don’t mind holding sloppy researchers’ feet to the fire. (as if my comments here actually do that!)

    There are a lot of good studies, including ones done by non-home school advocates, that pretty consistently show home school students out perform public school equivalents ON AVERAGE, even taking family, socioeconomic, and other factors into account. However, the amount of improvement isn’t as dramatic as some of the older studies claimed (ie. 50% better academic scores). It’s still there though, but more like 10-20%. (and even the best studies have limitations that can’t be overcome or are extremely prohibitive to overcome)

    Obviously there are lots of discussions about why there is an academic improvement. Parental involvement is a key factor in all aspects of a child’s growth, and some say it’s because of the extra involvement. Some say it’s because home schooling is so much more flexible and can be custom-made for each child’s needs. Some, that the one-on-one factor is the issue. Others, the socialization is the factor. Etc, etc.

    The reasons are multitudinous, and most of them are outside what rigorous studies can investigate. Some of those reasons are perfectly open to people who go to public school, or use tutoring, or online schools, or private, or, or….

    And it always needs to be remembered that those are AVERAGES – individual results are not particularly affected by the average.

    And I realize I’m rambling. I’ll shut up now.

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