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Homeschooling Student Performance

Why Homeschooling is on the Rise

By Autumn Burke

People might have their own preconceived ideas about who exactly homeschools. Homeschoolers at one time predominantly consisted of "white, middle-class, and/or religious fundamentalist families," but isn’t limited to this group any longer (Greene & Greene, 2007, p. 1). In fact, larger than the overall rate increases in the homeschool population the amount of African American homeschoolers has steadily grown in recent years ("Black", 2006, p. 1). You can understand why when looking at national statistics. A significant discovery in the study "Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America" stated that there was no difference in homeschooling scores based on the student’s race, and that scores for both minority and white students in grades k-12 averaged in the 87th percentile (Klicka, 2006, p. 1). This isn’t the case in public school systems where there is a steep contrast in scores between 8th grade white students averaging 57th percentile, while blacks and Hispanic students score in the 28th percentile in reading alone (Klicka, 2006, p. 1).

Statistics do not just speak favorably about minorities but all students who homeschool, regardless of their demographics. The study “Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America” completed in 1997, included 5,402 students that homeschool. The study verified that on average, homeschoolers were performing higher than their public school equivalent “by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects” (Klicka, 2006, p. 1). This seems to be the case in all studies performed on homeschoolers; however, due to the lack of standard test practices in each state and no unbiased collection of these scores, it is hard to determine the exact average score for homeschooling families.

In addition to flourishing standardized test scores, average homeschool students also have the benefit of being able to fulfill graduation requirements at 16 years old and going to college earlier due to the composition and flexible nature of homeschooling, (Neal, 2006, p. 2). Studies have also been made to compare homeschool and public school settings in cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders. The studies showed that homeschooling parents provided educational settings yielding more “academic engaged time (AET)” in comparison to the public school settings, making homeschooling more beneficial for the child’s development and learning (Duvall, 2004, p. 12).

Due to this increase in academic performance it is no wonder that colleges are attempting to recruit more homeschoolers because of their high test scores coupled with their self-discipline for completing work. In an article sent around to college personnel about the benefits of making special efforts to recruit homeschoolers Greene and Green say, “We believe that the homeschool population represents fertile ground for college enrollment efforts, consisting as it does of many bright students with a wide array of educational, personal, and family experiences” (1).

Next page - Homeschool Teacher Qualifications
Homeschool Student Socialization / In Conclusion

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