April 29, 2017

Homeschooling is the smartest way to teach kids in the 21st century

Alison Davis doesn’t see homeschooling as some strange alternative to traditional school.

If anything, says the mum from Williamstown, New Jersey, when it comes to raising her two children, she’s doing the sensible thing.

“You’re not going to be put in a work environment where everybody came from the same school and everybody is the same age,” she tells Business Insider. “In my opinion, the traditional school atmosphere is not the real world at all.”

Homeschooling, she says, that’s the real world.

Davis’ satisfaction with keeping her kids out of local public and private schools is one shared by a growing pool of parents around the US. Recent data collected by the Department of Education reveals homeschooling has grown by 61.8% over the last 10 years to the point where two million kids — 4% of the total youth population — now learn from the comfort of their own home.

Contrary to the belief that homeschooling produces anti-social outcasts, the truth is that some of the most high-achieving, well-adjusted students are poring over maths problems at their kitchen table, not a desk in a classroom. According to leading pedagogical research, at-home instruction may just be the most relevant, responsible, and effective way to educate children in the 21st century.

Personalisation is key

In his 2015 book “Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education,” veteran teacher and beloved TED speaker Ken Robinson emphasises that students learn best at their preferred speeds and in their preferred manner. “All students are unique individuals with their own hopes, talents, anxieties, fears, passions, and aspirations,” he writes. “Engaging them as individuals is the heart of raising achievement.”

Robinson wasn’t referring to homeschooling directly, but he might as well have been. No form of education is designed to foster more personalised tutelage.

While traditional schools try their best to tailor lesson plans to individual students, teachers often still end up teaching to the middle. There are simply too many kids learning at different speeds for teachers to give each of them exactly what they need. Homeschooling, meanwhile, is personal by design.

Davis says her son Luke struggled early on with reading. Even into the second grade, he didn’t enjoy it and found it overwhelming. In any other school, teachers may not have been able to spend the necessary time helping Luke become a stronger reader because they had 20 other kids to worry about. That’s not the case in the Davis household.

“I could take that extra time with him,” Davis says. Plus, reading time became more than just a push toward literacy; it was Mummy-Luke bonding time — something no school could compete with. “Now he devours books in like a week’s time or less,” she says.

The long-term effects of personalisation are equally massive. According to a 2009 study of standardised testing, homeschoolers scored in the 86th percentile. The results held true even when controlling for parents’ income level, amount of education, teaching credentials, and level of state regulation. Research also suggests that homeschooled kids get into college more often and do better once they’re enrolled.

No, homeschooling doesn’t create recluses

The biggest stereotype surrounding homeschooling is that constant one-on-one teaching deprives kids of the socialisation they need to thrive. Not so. Homeschooled kids are just as likely to play soccer and do group projects as any other students.

Davis’ family is heavily involved in their local church, so Luke and his older sister Amanda both have friends in the choir. They both play an instrument, so they have friends in a homeschooler orchestra. They hang with kids on their block. Amanda has a pen pal who lives in Arizona. As far as childhood goes, theirs is pretty run-of-the-mill.

It’s not just that homeschooled kids enjoy the upside of normal school, though; they also get to enjoy the absence of its many drawbacks — namely peer pressure and cliques. On several occasions, Alison says, other kids have expressed jealousy that Luke and Amanda get to learn at home, away from the social hierarchies of normal school.

“They’re like, Aw man, I wish I got be homeschooled,” she says. “I’ve been very surprised by it.”

Of course, some parents do struggle to help their kids make friends.

Earlier this year, I interviewed an extremely bright 7-year-old named Akash who lives in San Angelo, Texas. He’s homeschooled because a child psychologist who studied him when he was a toddler told his parents it was probably the smartest option.

Akash’s best friend — maybe his only friend — is his big sister, Amrita. Most of the kids in his nearby homeschoolers’ association are either too old or too dissimilar in personality for his parents to schedule regular playdates, even though Akash is silly and outgoing.

But even for kids who do struggle, trends suggest the Internet is making it easier. A Pew survey from last year revealed that 55% of all teens say they regularly spend time with friends online or through social media, and 45% say they meet through extracurriculars, sports, or hobbies, which suggests classrooms aren’t the only way to make friends.
Read more at https://www.businessinsider.com/why-kids-should-get-homeschooled-2016-8#KuPvto74MgLXWPsz.99

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Head Start Programs Are Setting Children Up for Failure

In recent years, support for preschool education has grown by leaps and bounds. After all, who wouldn’t want to help adorable little kids get an early jump on success?

But the enthusiasm for Pre-K dampened a bit with the release of two studies, one from 2012 which studied children in a Head Start program and another from 2016 which studied children in Tennessee’s statewide preschool program. The Head Start study found that its children were more inclined to behavioral problems than those who did not participate. The Tennessee study, on the other hand, found that participants did worse academically several years into school than those who had not participated.

The news that these Pre-K programs may hurt rather than help was not received favorably by preschool advocates. And according to a recent Brookings Institute article by scholars Dale Farran and Mark Lipsey, Pre-K advocates have done their best to discredit these studies.

But as Farran and Lipsey explain, the attempts to dismiss these findings “are based on incorrect and misleading characterizations of each study.”

 For starters, the Head Start study is dismissed on the grounds that some participants ended up in the wrong study group. But according to Farran and Lipsey, such occurrences happen in many scientific studies, and as such, are controlled for in the final statistics. The authors caution that this does not change the fact that children who participated in the Head Start program exhibited more aggressive behavior, the most concerning factor of the study.

Secondly, Farran and Lipsey explain that the Tennessee study is dismissed on the grounds that it is not a “high-quality” program such as those in major cities like Boston and Tulsa. However, when sample sizes are taken from each of these programs, Farran and Lipsey note that there is no major difference between the academic outcomes of each program. In other words, similarity in outcomes demands that those who dismiss the Tennessee preschool program as being low quality will also have to dismiss the programs they hold up as models.

Read more here: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/are-pre-k-advocates-overlooking-its-problems

 Is it possible that young children would learn more and have greater long-term success if they weren’t subjected to the classroom at such early ages?

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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Why Dr. Gordon Neufeld Believes Children Learn More At Home

This TED video is a must for every parent to watch  – I highly recommend it

Learning follows attachment

Why Dr. Gordon Neufeld Believes Children Learn More At Home.
In his recent Rethinking Education TED Talk ‘Relationship Matters’, Dr Gordon Neufeld, Developmental and Clinical Psychologist explores the role close and connected relationships play in our children’s ability to learn.


Neufeld explains that children learn more in the first four years of life informally than in all the rest of their formal education put together! This is because children are naturally curious, exploratory and playful when they are learning within nurturing relationships. Neufeld explains how a child’s emotional well being and their cognitive capacities emerge as a result of their close attachments to us.

Read more here: http://rethinkingparenting.co.uk/dr-gordon-neufeld-believes-children-learn-home-school/

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online:http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events:http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

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2015 Homeschooling Statistics in NZ

 

Map of New Zealand

The 2015 Home Schooling Statistic for 2015 are now on the MoE website.

Homeschooling

“This index page provides links to data on homeschooling.

“As at 1 July 2015, there were 5,558 home schooled students recorded in the Ministry of Education’s Homeschooling database. These students belong to 2,916 families and represent 0.7% of total school enrolments as at 1 July 2015. Out of the 5,558 homeschoolers 66.5% were the aged 12 or under, 66.6% had been home-schooled for less than 5 years, and only 4.4% had been home-schooled for 10 years or more.

“European/P?keh? students are more likely to be homeschooled than any other ethnic group with 81.5% of all homeschoolers identifying as European/P?keh? compared to 52.3% of the total school population. Only 7.6% of homeschoolers identify as M?ori compared to 23.6% of the total school population, 2.0% of homeschoolers identify as Pasifika compared to 9.8% of the total school population, and 2.1% of homeschoolers identify as Asian compared to 10.6% of the total school population. The ethnicity of 2.7% of homeschoolers is unknown.

“The chart below provides a number of downloads relating to the number of students in Homeschooling.”

Homeschooling Students Time Series Downloads: File Type & Size 

The concern we have had every year when the statistics are released is the same again this year with about a 1,000 children beginning home education and about 1000 finishing home education each year. These are the statistics that are of concern: “21.6% had been in homeschooling less than a year, 36.4% had been in homeschooling for 1 – 5 years”

Homeschooling Turnover

“Between 1 July 2014 and 1 July 2015 there was an overall net increase of 3 students; 1,032 students entered into homeschooling and 1,029 students finished homeschooling.

“The average age of the 1,032 students entering into homeschooling was 8 years old, 86.6% were aged 12 or under and 1.0% were age 16 or above. Of the students entering homeschooling during the year ending 1 July 2015, 75.0% identified as European/P?keh?, 10.1% identified as M?ori, 3.4% identified as Pasifika, 2.9% identified as Asian, and 2.1% of homeschoolers ethnicity were unknown.

“The average age of the 1,029 students finishing homeschooling was 14 years old, 38.4% were aged 12 or under, and 24.5% were 16-years old or above. Of the students finishing homeschooling during the year ending 1 July 2015, 21.6% had been in homeschooling less than a year, 36.4% had been in homeschooling for 1 – 5 years, and 12.5% had been in homeschooling for 10 years or more. The average time spent in homeschooling of leaving students was 4.4 years.

“The chart below provides a number of one-on-one dimensional tables relating to student numbers.”

Homeschooling One-on-One Table Downloads:File Type & Size 

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

 

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NCHENZ Survey – please consider filling it out

From NCHENZ – National Council of New Zealand

The NCHENZ would like to hear from all Home Educators not just members.

The 2015 Home Education Survey

February 2015

As you may remember we ran our first Home Education survey in November 2013.  We chose to do this because there were very few studies of home education carried out in New Zealand and therefore very little understanding of the breadth and depth of the community.  This continues to be the case. (From HEF: The Home Education Foundation via TEACH Bulletin did a few survey’s back in the ’80s and ’90s but there have been none in the last 15 or so years except for NCHENZ’s survey back in 2013.)

We are once again hoping to gain a good overview of our existing NCHENZ members; your aims, your concerns and, of course, some basic statistics.
The gathered results may be used to promote the positive aspects of home education, as well as to dispel any myths or misunderstandings held by others in the wider community.  It also informs the direction and issues the NCHENZ committee address within our advocacy role.

Please note that this survey is anonymous.  We are not collecting any identifiable information about respondents with one specific exception which will become clear when you reach the end of the survey.  In this instance it is totally voluntary to answer this question.
Individual responses within the survey will not be shared.  Collated information can and may be shared.  Please see how the 2013 information has been handled by clicking on this link to the Survey Summary pdf file.

As you are not identifiable, we ask that you respect the intent of the survey, and fill it in as accurately and fairly as possible.
The survey should take you approximately five to ten minutes to complete and, hopefully, the questions are self-explanatory.  Please complete it at one sitting as it is not possible to return to alter your responses should you exit part way through. The survey will be available until 7pm on the 22nd February, after which time we will be closing it to further entries.

You are welcome to forward this email on to home educating friends who are not currently members of NCHENZ for them to contribute to the survey.  There is a link at the bottom of this email that allows you to do this.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please feel free to contact us by email.

On behalf of the National Council of Home Educators New Zealand,

NCHENZ Executive Committee


In the early days of Home Education in New Zealand Craig organised a number of surveys through Keystone and TEACH Bulletin. It was good to get as many home educators as possible to answer the surveys. These surveys were very helpful.

I don’t think any surveys have been done for at least 15 years now except for the NCHENZ 2013 survey.

There have been a couple of indepth studies done in the last 10 years.

Beyond Homeschooling NZ 2013 by Jenny Barkley

and

PhD study on Home Education in New Zealand

It would be wonderful if as many people as possible filled out this anonymous survey being done by NCHENZ.

TEACH magazine surveys are not online at the moment

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Please share this information – thanks

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Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading

Red Tape Cluster Buster Meetings and the Scoping Survey: http://hef.org.nz/2014/next-steps-deadline-8-december-2014/

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