Homeschooling Comes of Age

Homeschooling Comes of Age(full text)

by Patricia M. Lines The Public Interest July 1, 2000

General discussion of historical and current state of homeschooling in the US.

on test scores of homeschoolers (from the article):

When people ask--How well do homeschoolers do?--they usually want to know about test scores. Of course, many homeschoolers reject this criterion, since their mission is to impart not simply skills but a particular set of values. That said, virtually all of the reported data show that homeschooled children score above average, sometimes well above average. Self-selection may affect this result, just as it affects other aspects of homeschooling research. Further, even where state law requires testing, substantial numbers of homeschoolers do not comply. Still, the available evidence suggests steady success. For example, Alaska, which has tested children in its homeschooling program for several decades, finds them, as a group, above average. In a very different study, commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a conservative Christian organization, Lawrence Rudner of the University of Maryland collected and analyzed results from the 12,000 students nationwide who had used the Bob Jones University testing services. The homeschooled children placed in the 62nd to 91st percentile of national norms, depending on the grade level and test subject area. Of course, we don't know how these same children would do in school. But there is certainly no evidence to suggest that homeschooling harms academic achievement. (emphasis added)

on whether parents need to have a certain educational attainment (from the article):

Significantly, a handful of studies suggest that student achievement for homeschoolers has no relation to the educational attainment of the homeschooling parent. This is consistent with tutoring studies that indicate that the education level of a tutor has little to do with the achievement of a tutored child. (emphasis added) One explanation might be that the advantages of one-to-one learning outweigh the advantages of professional training.