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Thread: Why do homeschoolers do better academically?

  1. #1
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    Why do homeschoolers do better academically?

    It is a statistical fact that homeschooled students on average, do better academically than publically schooled students.

    The stats as reported by the U.S. Dept. of Education:

    - Home school - average reading score (white) - 87 percentile; Public school - average reading score (white) - 61 percentile

    - Home school - average reading score (minority) - 87 percentile; Public school - average reading score (minority) -49 percent

    - Home school - average math score (white) - 82 percentile; Public school - average math score (white) - 60 percentile

    - Home school - average math score (minority) - 77 percentile; Public school - average math score (minority) - 50 percentile


    So the question is, why is this?

    I think there are 2 main reasons . . .

    1.) Homeschooled students get much more attention and personal help. This is the same effect a public school student gets when he/she receives private tutoring. They more easily develop academic confidence and skills. And no amount of after-school parental support can equal parents taking a daily hands-on role in their child's education as they learn.

    2.) Homeschooled students are able to work without the distractions and problems that come with a school system. Putting hundreds and sometimes thousands of kids together in one building for 7 hours a day 180 days of the year brings on all sorts of challenges and distractions. Also, the schedule is much more regimental compared to a homeschooled environment. Some might argue that is a good thing, but the stats speak for themselves. A home with parental support without hundreds of other kids around is more conducive to learning.
    “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” - Reagan

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  2. #2
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    I agree. I would also think the intellectual/academic status of the parent, along with the subject matter, and the parents ability to mentor, will also play a huge part on the end result of homeschooling. Some graduates may not score so high,

  3. #3
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    What about socially, do you have statistics for that? Are they really smart social misfits? Do they have social skills? Do they learn about interpersonal communication skills? How could they?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebrummer
    What about socially, do you have statistics for that? Are they really smart social misfits? Do they have social skills? Do they learn about interpersonal communication skills? How could they?
    EXACTLY.

    Waxy

    On edit: Not only that, but when it comes time to face the real world, social skills trump book smarts 95% of the time.

    Like my uncle always told me when I was in school - "A degree is just a ticket to the dance, who you take home depends on how well you dance once you're in the door."

  5. #5
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    Sinjin and I were just talking about this last night. We have these neighbors that have a 4 year old girl and let me tell you.. that little girl rules the roost! She is a brat with no manners, her parents I believe will be home schooling her.
    They plan on shielding her from the world, when she was born they got rid of their TV and any magazine subscriptions because they didn't want to expose her to the "world" as it were.
    My 2 year old has more of grip on life than this little girl does. I am with Waxy on this, Social skills are far too important in life.
    If you make wise choices where your children are schooled there should be no problems. My oldest son is in the public school system and has made it this far.
    When you say Hi to this little girl, she just stares at you like your an alien, she has been known to say snotty things to people that are being nice to her. I feel it's a lot to do with her parents (they are crazy IMHO) and the fact that she has no interaction with her peers. very sad
    I am willing to bet that they are priming her for her upcoming difficult teenage years, I am quite sure she will be rebellious.
    "The man who alters his way of thinking to suit others is a fool."
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyoshu
    I think there are 2 main reasons . . .

    1.) Homeschooled students get much more attention and personal help. This is the same effect a public school student gets when he/she receives private tutoring. They more easily develop academic confidence and skills. And no amount of after-school parental support can equal parents taking a daily hands-on role in their child's education as they learn.

    2.) Homeschooled students are able to work without the distractions and problems that come with a school system. Putting hundreds and sometimes thousands of kids together in one building for 7 hours a day 180 days of the year brings on all sorts of challenges and distractions. Also, the schedule is much more regimental compared to a homeschooled environment. Some might argue that is a good thing, but the stats speak for themselves. A home with parental support without hundreds of other kids around is more conducive to learning.
    You completely left out a third factor of self-selection. Simply put:
    a) smart parents are likely to recognize they can provide more individualized attention than an overworked teacher and are therefore more likely to home school than your average parent
    b) smart parents are more likely to succeed (i.e. many parents may try to home school but only the best, brightest and most determined stick with it long enough)
    c) parents with the financial resources to make homeschooling successful (i.e. one parent has the luxury of staying home while the other works) are more likely to be of higher intelligence
    d) smart parents are more likely to have smart children

    Until you can control for these influences your ability to generalize the statistics is very limited.


    Whistler

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistler
    You completely left out a third factor of self-selection. Simply put:
    a) smart parents are likely to recognize they can provide more individualized attention than an overworked teacher and are therefore more likely to home school than your average parent
    b) smart parents are more likely to succeed (i.e. many parents may try to home school but only the best, brightest and most determined stick with it long enough)
    c) parents with the financial resources to make homeschooling successful (i.e. one parent has the luxury of staying home while the other works) are more likely to be of higher intelligence
    d) smart parents are more likely to have smart children

    Until you can control for these influences your ability to generalize the statistics is very limited.


    Whistler
    That is exactly what sinjin said last night!
    "The man who alters his way of thinking to suit others is a fool."
    (Donatien Alphonse François comte de Sade)
    Marquis de SADE

  8. #8
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    Some probably do better becaues they get 1 on 1 teaching, more time to study, and they don't have to take any of the standardized tests that Public School students do.

    My professor runs a Public School, since he's the administrator of burlington, and he says that after 9th grade, people just "surface" and join public school, and he never even know they existed. They don't have to go through the same tests and procedures as do others.

    They have more freedom, less distractions


    I know many homeschool people that fool around all the time. THey work like 2 hours a day and then play videogames all day.


    I read that the numbrt 1 reason why parents choose home schooling is not for superior education, but for superior moral education and relgious teaching.


    Like someone said above, they also cherry-pick students, so there are fewer people total, and the ones that do stay home, many times, are already smart, so it doesn't bring down the average.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistler
    You completely left out a third factor of self-selection. Simply put:
    a) smart parents are likely to recognize they can provide more individualized attention than an overworked teacher and are therefore more likely to home school than your average parent
    b) smart parents are more likely to succeed (i.e. many parents may try to home school but only the best, brightest and most determined stick with it long enough)
    c) parents with the financial resources to make homeschooling successful (i.e. one parent has the luxury of staying home while the other works) are more likely to be of higher intelligence
    d) smart parents are more likely to have smart children

    Until you can control for these influences your ability to generalize the statistics is very limited.


    Whistler
    IMHO, this point is the #1 reason for the stats being what they are.

    Waxy

  10. #10
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    You never who you're gonna meet in life and how they could change you life. Closing your child off is a great way of restricting their ideas and creativity and essentially the course of their life.

    From an eductational point of view, no matter how many books your read, if you don't hear the other side of the anything you are only learning half the material. (i.e. Creation or evolution) Sometimes it is not important what you learn but what how you think. In order to stir up the thought process, you need conflicting ideas. Where do you get those? from other people who differ from you. Homeschool can't teach that.

    Homeschool hinders the way you think and the way you communicate to others and that's what makes the difference in life. A lot of people have a B.S. degree. Why one engineer is in a cubical and the other is designing a racecar has nothing to do with a higher educational degree.

  11. #11
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    I have spoken fairly extensively with my brother in law (a science teacher) about the whole home schooling thing. His plan with his children is to keep them in public school until high school, then pull them out and home school them. The stats regarding homeschooling are, as stated in the original post, are fairly heavily weighted in favor of home schooling.

    I have questions regarding socialization issues in this. On the other hand, I have some question regarding how much of the social situation in current public schools I would really want my kids exposed to.

    For this queastion, I turned to my sister, a psychologist, and apparently a good one (though my opinion of psychology as a field is pretty low as a whole). She claims that although there is a lot of debate regarding the issue, she has yet to see any real evidence that homeschooling retards social development. Apparently most people who home school their children generally also enroll them in youth programs, church programs, etc... so the children learn to interact on a social level. Her opinion is that they probably end up better adjusted from a social standpoint in the long run, since the social structure at you raverage high school is so far removed from reality that whether you expose your children to it or not is frankly irrelevent as far as their long term social development goes.

    Personally, I will be sendign my children to a private school (I don't really see an option in this, since the record of public schools is so terrible from an educational standpoint). The downside is that this is that it required that I join a church, since the only private schools in my area are catholic schools, and there is a 4 YEAR list to get in. You get kind of prefered status if you are a member of the catholic church (you can get your kids in quicker).

    I think that people that have the time, resources, and intelligence to homschool their children should probably do it. The benifits from an academic standpoint are great, and I believe that the benifits form a social standpoitn are also better.

    I personally only know one family that homeschools, they have two daughters, one is 14 and one is 16. While I will be the first to admit that those girls do not act like "normal" high school kids, since most "normal" high school kids act like XXXXXX, I fail to see the problem. Theya re both enrolled in various youth activities and volunteer activities, so they get plenty of socialization, but they lack the belligerent, know it all attitude that most high school kids seem to have (whether they know it or not). They have TABLE MANNERS. They are actually pleasant to be around, as opposed to most high school kids that I know, who are little monsters.
    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. —Samuel Adams

  12. #12
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    I would like to know why you would call someone who is home-schooled sheltered. Sure many home-school parents may shelter their kids, but we have a home-schooled kid in our neighborhood and he plays with us when we get out of school and has just as much social skills as the rest of us. Anyway I think there's another factor.

    Public schools spend so much time learning for the tests. They learn so that they can pass one particular test. Because of NCLB we do MSA (Maryland School Assessments, the test for NCLB) practice so we will do better. Things like bubbling, guessing, and other non-acedemic stuff. Homeschool kids are able to just learn the topic without worrying about tests. I seriously think that I could teach all my first-semester classes in 5-6 weeks (the semester is 18 weeks). And this would be me teaching. We spend so much time taking and preparing for tests that if we were to concentrate on just learning the topic it would go much quicker. This is also why I would guess private schools do better than public schools, but that could also be because of more money.

    Anyway, I'd like to know why you think home-schooled kids would have less social skills than public school kids. I agree they are important, but school isn't the only place to meet and interact with people. Actually I know that home-school kids can also take a lot more "field trips" places and get hands-on learning experience and interact with other people. Imagine instead of a textbook going to a meuseum to learn many topics in history. You would also get a lot more social skills in public than just sitting at desks all day. Yes I agree social skills are important, but I disagree that home-school kids get less social skills overall.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socialist
    I read that the numbrt 1 reason why parents choose home schooling is not for superior education, but for superior moral education and relgious teaching.
    This is probably true. However, I don't think that's a bad thing. What parent doesn't want to be the main moral voice in their child's world? That's the way it should be.

    The comments from everyone else seem to mostly be concerned with socialization. I agree this can be an issue--I think this problem can be dealt with by the parents involving the children in venues that provide socialization.

    For that matter, the parents that do homoschool for religious reasons probably often have their kids involved in church, which definitely usually provides a venue for socialization.
    “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” - Reagan

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading."
    - C. S. Lewis

    "I suffer more harassment as a former homosexual than I ever did as an out and proud homosexual." - Greg Quinlan, PFOX

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyoshu
    This is probably true. However, I don't think that's a bad thing. What parent doesn't want to be the main moral voice in their child's world? That's the way it should be.

    The comments from everyone else seem to mostly be concerned with socialization. I agree this can be an issue--I think this problem can be dealt with by the parents involving the children in venues that provide socialization.

    For that matter, the parents that do homoschool for religious reasons probably often have their kids involved in church, which definitely usually provides a venue for socialization.

    Socialization maybe, reality, no. Studies show that faith based activities tend to twist and curb reality.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by joebrummer
    Socialization maybe, reality, no. Studies show that faith based activities tend to twist and curb reality.
    I would have to disagree with this one. I take place in several church sponsered activities, despite the fact that my belief in god is sketchy at best. Most church related activities have nothing to do with religion, and with the excpetion of a possible prayer at the beginning or end, religon is rarely discussed.
    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. —Samuel Adams

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