Monday, August 31, 2009

Tell All Tuesday:Homeschooling Works!

We've talked before about how to deal with homeschool critics, and it's still a very important topic because come on-no one homeschools unopposed. There's always the Buttinski that makes it their personal mission to deter, undermine, or attempt to entirely prevent you from homeschooling....such is life. Still no matter how much you want to go all Maury-Povich-DNA-Test-Baby-Mama on them, it's important to come up with a calm, intelligent response when dealing with a Mr/Ms Know-It-All. It helps if you have research studies to back yourself up with.

Too bad the last homeschooling research study was done more than ten years ago. Even though it was an excellent study, people tend to look at old information as if it were no information at all. Good thing the HSLDA (that's the Homeschooling Legal Defense Association) commissioned another research study! The study included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known tests—California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year. If you're anything like me, you're going to want to email these results to your personal Buttinski right away!

According to the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics homeschooled children tested far above their publicly schooled peers on achievement tests:

National Average Percentile Scores
Subtest Homeschool Public School
Reading 89 50
Language 84 50
Math 84 50
Science 86 50
Social Studies 84 50
Corea 88 50
Compositeb 86 50
a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.

What's more, factors that usually "make or break" students in the public school arena showed little influence over homeschooled kids core scores-

$34,999 or less—85th percentile
$35,000–$49,999—86th percentile
$50,000–$69,999—86th percentile
$70,000 or more—89th percentile

Parental Spending
Spent $600 or more on the student—89th percentile
Spent under $600 on the student—86th percentile

Even the education level of the childrens' parents, while more noticeable, still did not produce the huge gaps seen in publicly schooled children
Neither parent has a college degree—83rd percentile
One parent has a college degree—86th percentile
Both parents have a college degree—90th percentile

So basically-no matter how much or how little a homeschooling parent spends, no matter what the parent's income or education level, homeschooled kids will rock the socks off you.

Academically speaking, of course.

I certainly think that's worth telling all and telling everybody about!

A big thank you to Jenny for bringing this study to my attention!


Debbie said...

I wish there was more support for homeschooling. I think we should just be happy and accepting that there are different avenues open to different people. When we pit ourselves against each other, animosity grows.

MrsM said...

Debbie-Thank you for your comment. I do unequivocally support a parent's right to choose what they feel is the best interest of their child(ren)in all cases-including but not limited to their education. However, while I whole-heartedly accept people's right to make their own choices without interference, I do not feel obligated to agree or otherwise play nice with the choices they make-be it public school or anything else.

I am perfectly content to do my own thing and for others to do whatever they want so long as it doesn't violate the rights of an unwilling person, but when asked my opinion or expressing it in an appropriate venue I don't feel the need to support something I am against just because some people choose to do it.

Jenny said...

You're welcome! Isn't it a wonderful survey?!

Samantha said...

I was homeschooled 8th through 12th grade, and my grades were superb (with the exception of math). I took 2 years of Latin & passed both years with a 105. I passed both years of Biology with a 100, and instead of taking the SAT I took the ACT and was a junior in college level on EVERYTHING except for math. Math never has been one of my strong points.

My grades were actually worse when I was in Public School. I don't think that I will homeschool, although I am definitely not opposed to it, but I haven't decided if I want to put Bree in a Public school either. I still have a few years to figure that all out, so we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

But even people right down to my Grandparents were opposed to my Mom homeschooling us. Their reasonings were that we wouldn't have any contact with kids our age. We did join a homeschool co-op group that met twice a week, and we were taught by other mothers. It was a nice change of scenery each week.