Is Home-schooling Good or Bad?

Home-schooling has always been critiqued because people think that homeschooled kids grow up less intelligent and unable to socialize. The home-school movement has re-emerged since the 1970s and the two myths above have been brought up by home-schooling critics.

Today, it is accepted that home-schoolers, on average, outperform their public school peers. The most recent study, “Homeschool Progress Report 2009,” conducted by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, surveyed more than 11,000 home-schooled students. It showed that the average home-schooler scored 37 percentile points higher on standardized achievement tests than the public school average.

The Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned a study in 2003 titled “Homeschooling Grows Up,” conducted by Mr. Ray, to discover how home-schoolers were faring as adults. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.

There is now we have a new longitudinal study titled “Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults” from the Canadian Centre for Home Education. This study surveyed home-schooled students whose parents participated in a comprehensive study on home education in 1994. The study compared home-schoolers who are now adults with their peers.

When measured against the average Canadians ages 15 to 34 years old, home-educated Canadian adults ages 15 to 34 were more socially engaged (69 percent participated in organized activities at least once per week, compared with 48 percent of the comparable population). Average income for home-schoolers also was higher, but perhaps more significantly, while 11 percent of Canadians ages 15 to 34 rely on welfare, there were no cases of government support as the primary source of income for home-schoolers. Home-schoolers also were happier; 67.3 percent described themselves as very happy, compared with 43.8 percent of the comparable population. Almost all of the home-schoolers — 96 percent — thought home-schooling had prepared them well for life.

Both “Homeschooling Grows Up” and “Fifteen Years Later” amply demonstrate home-school graduates are active, involved, productive citizens. Home-school families are leading the way in Canadian and American education, and this new study clearly demonstrates home-school parents are on the right path.

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