Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Statistically Speaking...

We all have our opinions of homeschooling, but what do the statistics tell us? How are homeschoolers doing compared to public and private schools, educationally and socially? Can homeschooled children go to college?

Well, let's take a look at some statistics and compare.

Click on the link to view the pdf to read some very encouraging statistics:

How do homeschool students score?
"A 1997 study by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) found that home educated students excelled on nationally-normed standardized achievement exams. On average, home schoolers outperformed their public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects." (from pdf document above)

What about socialization?
As the information in the pdf posted above states, most homeschoolers are involved in a variety of activities outside the home. My children spend a significant time around other children so I am not concerned about them feeling isolated. We spend time around other people at church, at the YMCA, and my daughter takes ballet with other little girls her age and we frequently get together with friends for play dates. I also hope to get my kids into scouting as well (Brownies and Cub Scouts).

Can homeschooled kids go to college?
This was a big question of mine. Here's some information that I found from The Frasier Institute (an independent non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada):

"Post-secondary institutions that welcome home
schooled students are increasing. According to the National
Association for College and Admission Counseling
in the United States, the percentage of
American colleges with formal policies for assessing
home educated students rose from 52 percent in 200 to
83 percent in 2004 (Chandler, 2007). In the absence of
school transcripts, some American colleges offer applicants
the option of submitting standardized test scores,
letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of their
written work. Also, many home schooled students are
writing the General Educational Development tests, a
high school equivalency exam, in order to demonstrate
their academic progress to the 75 percent of American
universities accepting such students. In recent years,
home schooled students are gaining admission and
scholarships to the most prestigious universities. At the
end of the last decade, over 700 post-secondary institutions
across the United States, including Harvard University,
Yale University, Stanford University, MIT,
Rice University, and the Citadel, admitted home
schooled students (Leung, 2000). Total numbers of applications
to these institutions have also increased. For
instance, Stanford University received 36 applications
from home-educated students seven years ago, but the
number had climbed to 104 this year, while Virginia’s
College of William and Mary saw an increase from 49
to 67 in the past two years. (Chandler, 2007), September
2000 saw the opening of Patrick Henry College, in
Virginia, the first university established especially for
home schooled children. (See Cooper, 2005, for more
on this.)The welcoming attitude of post-secondary institutions
to home schooled students recognizes that
they “bring certain skills—motivation, curiosity, the
capacity to be responsible for their education—that
high schools don’t induce very well” (Jon Reider, Stanford
University admissions official, quoted in Clowes,
2000). Related to that, home schoolers have become
highly sought-after armed forces recruits (HSLDA,
-click here to read the full report.

Not bad, eh?

Homeschooling may be awesome, in my opinion, but I do not believe it is for everybody. All families are different and have different needs. I believe that it is the right choice for my family and although these statistics do not guarantee that my children will be intellectual geniuses, they do offer me encouragement by showing the success of other homeschooled families. I'm excited to see where our journey will take us!

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