by Eliyahu Tulshinski, americasfrontlinenews.com
Much more ‘excited by life’ and happier learning; much higher SATs, college GPAs, and graduation rates
Should every homeschooling family with three children be given a million-dollar mansion and another million dollars to invest in their children’s financial portfolios?
Let the money go where it works?
New York City public schools now spend $57 billion (including its capital building budget) to “educate” just over 1 million children – that’s $52,096 per student, per year, for a total of $677,248 for each child from K-12, not counting additional tens of thousands of dollars in Head Start funding for at least 8 hours each day, year round, of ”educational enrichment” programming from 0-5 years of age for participating children.
All this money has only worsened sky-high illiteracy rates.
While homeschooling parents can obviously do with a lot less than $677,248 per child, as they currently receive no support at all, they do have significant expenditures in terms of lost work opportunities, software and textbook expenditures, and participation fees in organized extracurricular activities like art, music, sports and dance that would be free in a government school.
Already doing well
How are the approximately 4 million homeschooled children doing in the absence of government resources?
Anecdotally, well known individuals have reached the heights of achievement both academically and socially after a homeschool education, including Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court justice, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, entertainer Whoopi Goldberg, athletes Venus and Serena Williams, and singer and actress Christine Aguilera.
In a more scientific analysis, the Washington Times reported on the students’ shockingly high level of academic success:
The study included almost 12,000 home-school students from all 50 states …
Five areas of academic pursuit were measured …
In the core studies (reading, language and math), the average home-schooler scored at the 88th percentile.
The average public school student taking these standardized tests scored at the 50th percentile in each subject area …
the average home-school test results continue to be 30-plus percentile points higher than their public school counterparts. [Emphasis added].
Jaida, a 15-year-old homeschooled student, used the raw data of the study cited by the Washington Times to create charts for these percentile rankings of students currently being homeschooled.
Jaida added charts demonstrating the success of homeschooled students later in life, when they reached the age for higher education, demonstrating significantly higher GPAs and graduation rates. The national GPA average is 3.
Research also reveals that homeschooled children do much better on their SAT standardized exams, outscoring government schooled children by 70 points in critical reading and 48 points in writing.
Missing out on life?
Jaida also reported on a major issue in the homeschooling debate which was not addressed by the Washington Times – socialization. Many parents send their children to government schools, despite the violence, wasted time and exposure to values with which they disagree, out of fear that their children will “miss out on life” and be stifled working from home.
Just the opposite turns out to be the case – homeschooled children are far more excited about life and satisfied doing school work.
The Coalition for Responsible Home Education independently researched homeschooling and came to the same conclusion:
The research we have so far suggests that homeschool graduates who attend college generally fare well both socially and academically.
Dispelling homeschooling myths
Detractors of homeschooling have attempted to discount this success with claims that the over-achievement is due to socioeconomic factors.
The Washington Times article pointed out that high-income levels cannot explain this success:
Household income had little impact on the results of home-school students: Children of parents with an income between $35,000 and $49,000 scored at the 86th percentile, whereas children of parents with an income over $70,000 scored at the 89th percentile.
A study commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) similarly found that:
Homeschoolers are still achieving well beyond their public school counterparts—no matter what their family background, socioeconomic level, or style of homeschooling…
Homeschoolers’ median family income closely spanned the nationwide median
Another myth credits ethnicity with the higher success rate. Proving that it is the homeschooling itself, and not ethnicity, behind the success, a 2015 study found,
Black homeschool students to be scoring 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public school students.
Additionally, a government study revealed that,
41% of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and others (i.e., not White/non-Hispanic).
Homeschool World boasts that already 15 years ago homeschoolers, then a very small percentage of students nationwide, began dominating academically:
2007 is definitely the year of the homeschooler. Homeschoolers walked away with top honors in four major academic competitions: The National Geographic Bee, the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, and the first GSN National Vocabulary Championship.
While homeschoolers represent only 3% of the student population, they average 25% of the contestants annually at the Scripps spelling bee, … and 66% of the USA Math Olympiad.
Why so successful?
If it’s not the socioeconomic status of the children that bring their success, what is it?
The Washington Times offers this suggestion:
Most home-school students are directly taught by their parents, who love their children enough to make the sacrifice to stay at home to make sure their child is taught in a safe and loving learning environment.
Second, one-on-one instruction emphasizes the best interests of the child rather than the best interests of the group.
In a sentence, home-schooling is a recipe for academic success.
Education expert Samuel Blumenfeld opined,
Government education is the true linchpin of the entire big-government totalitarian philosophy.
Homeschoolers have shown that they can do without it. Hopefully, more parents will come to the same conclusion.