October 28, 2020

The Academic and Social Benefits of Homeschooling

From the James G Martin Center for Academic Renewal

Homeschooling works. The roughly 2 was gmillion children who currently learn at home join a millennia-old practice supported by many government officials, scholars, college officials, and employers.

While mainstream America has embraced homeschooling as a viable and positive educational option—and as 55 million K-12 students and their parents have been thrust into “crisis-teaching at home”—the angst of some academics over homeschooling has abruptly emerged.

Professors Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard University and James Dwyer of William and Mary School of Law organized a summer meeting to “focus on problems of educational deprivation and child maltreatment that too often occur under the guise of homeschooling, in a legal environment of minimal or no oversight.” In a highly controversial article in Harvard Magazine, Erin O’Donnell advanced Bartholet’s arguments in favor of a homeschooling ban.

Yet, what does the evidence tell us about homeschool educational and social outcomes? Is there any sound corpus of evidence that homeschooled children are actually educationally deprived or maltreated? And what worldview drives anti-homeschoolers such as Bartholet and Dwyer?

Most reviews of homeschooling research reveal generally positive learning outcomes for children.

Joseph Murphy and Brian Ray provide quite optimistic reviews, while other appraisals present positive, albeit more tentative, conclusions. A one-of-its-kind review of only peer-reviewed research by Ray revealed that 11 of the 14 peer-reviewed studies on academic achievement found that homeschool students significantly outperformed conventionally schooled children. Both of the publicly available state-provided data sets showed higher-than-average test scores for homeschooled children.

A similar pattern emerges for the social, emotional, and psychological development of the homeschooled.

The clear majority of peer-reviewed studies show that homeschoolers often have better parent-child relationships and friendships than conventionally schooled children. Homeschoolers are happy, satisfied, and civically engaged.

A growing body of research indicates that graduates of home-based education excel. Eleven of the 16 peer-reviewed studies on success into adulthood (including college) showed that homeschoolers had better results for political tolerance, college GPA, and college retention than students in conventional schools. After reviewing the relevant literature, Gloeckner and Jones concluded that the “comparative results of the studies reported in this review, combined with the data collected from college admission officers provide evidence that homeschooling is an effective alternative path to college for the children of many families.”

Homeschoolers are not being educationally deprived, maltreated, or abused. On the contrary, the research literature suggests that rates of abuse (e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect) are lower among homeschoolers than institutionally schooled children.

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2020/05/the-academic-and-social-benefits-of-homeschooling/?fbclid=IwAR1Tgh6MMbbf_rTI_QfB6qYGtAnpITmLpHzdzboUDZ_fyjC3s3OUDxTa2bI

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