Homeschooled Students Survey Results... 'Better in Almost Everyway'
Homeschooling has been misunderstood and maligned for many years, but critics are running out of bad things to say about this educational option in the face of mounting evidence of the advantages. Homeschooled students out-perform their public school peers academically in most areas and have for a long time.
This has left defenders of the educational status quo able only to criticize more intangible things like socialization and such.
While most homeschooling parents (my wife and I included) actually consider the reduced “socialization” homeschooled children receive an advantage, (less exposure to immoral practices and peer pressure by their classmates, less exposure to institutional derision of religious values, etc.), considerable evidence has been compiled which shows no dearth of real socialization either.
Our oldest, my daughter, has been involved in Girl Scouts since she was five, group activities with other homeschooled students, Sunday School, AWANA, swimming lessons, marital arts, playing with neighbor children, and so forth–and our family is no exception among the homeschool community.
But since homeschooling in any sizable number has only been around since the 1970s or 1980s, there hasn’t been much actual research that shows how these children do once they become adults. As the Washington Times points out, the 2003 study titled “Homeschooling Grows Up” has until now been the only study of adults who were homeschooled.
But the Times reports there is now a study from Canada on adults who were homeschooled called “Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults.”
The article has this to say about the study:
"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."
The report says there was a 1994 study of homeschooled children, and about 800 families indicated they would be interested in participating with a follow-up study. A total of 285 of those families were recently located with 281 agreeing to participate in the new study. Researchers received 226 completed surveys back representing people from 128 families. Respondents were between ages 15 and 34, with the median age being 23.
These are some of the findings:
* Homeschooled students were more likely than the same age group of the general population to have attained undergraduate degrees, and were equally likely to have attained a graduate degree
* Homeschooled students were more likely to be involved in political civic participation
* Less likely to be in unions
* More likely to be involved in sports
* More likely to be involved in cultural activities
* Far more likely to be involved in religious activities
* Roughly equally involved in community and service activities
* For sources of income, homeschooled students were much more likely to be self employed and making money from investments, and less likely to be employed by the government
* Homeschooled students were more likely to be satisfied with their work (96% versus 88%)
* Homeschooled students were more likely to have read a newspaper, magazine or book in the last 12 months
* More likely to have visited a zoo, professional concert, historic site, conservatory or nature park, an art gallery or museum, or a classical music performance
* Were more likely to have married, were less likely to be divorced or living in “shack up” arrangements * Were less likely to have 1-2 children but more likely to have 3 or more children
* Most believed homeschooling prepared them well for further education, with the overwhelming majority believing it prepared them well for life and gave them an advantage
* Few believed it limited their educational or employment opportunities.
Isn’t it interesting that these grown-up homeschooled students are doing better than their peers in almost every area, and were educated for a fraction of the cost?
Such results throw a bucket of cold water on all the liberal and union clamoring for more money to be thrown at our failing public education system.
In fact, if our leaders truly cared more about the welfare and success of America’s children than they care about power, politics and union backing, they would not only open up school choice to all of America’s students, they would include homeschoolers in those tax rebates or other forms of school choice empowerment.
Of course, when you’re dedicated to shielding a failing Big-Government edifice, the thought of allowing homeschool parents to spend more than peanuts on their children’s education (and how much more they might excel with more funds) probably scares the daylights out of them.
Bob Ellis - December 17, 2009 - source NoOneHasToDieTomorrow