]Over two decades of studies have shown that all types of home-based education, also known as ‘home schooling’ is associated with high academic achievement, healthy social, psychological, and emotional development, and success later in life for those who went through a home-based education system (Galloway & Sutton, 1999; Ray, 2005).
Homeschooling is growing in popularity. There is now an estimated 2.3 million children that receive a home-based education, and the numbers are continuing to grow every year. So, why is it that more parents are considering homeschooling? The reasons may vary from family to family, whether it’s because of religious reasons, family values, or a concern with their child’s current educational institution. Regardless, there are many evidence-based studies that are changing the way people look at homeschooling.
1. Customized Environment and Curriculum
With children at home, parents have the ability create a customized learning environment and curriculum, giving students a better chance to succeed. With lessons being taught under the supervision of family members, students are able to learn through customized instruction, which isn’t usually found in traditional schools. Home Schooling allows the students to spend more time on subjects they’re interested in, and it allows them to learn at their own pace. Studies show homeschooled students typically develop stronger family relationships, and are able to focus more on their studies knowing they’re doing so in a safe environment.
2. Better Academic Performance
Regardless of a household’s annual income, or the level of education the parents have, students who are homeschooled score above average on achievement tests. On standard academic tests, students who are homeschooled score 15 to 30 percentile points above students who are in public school.
When it comes to testing for college preparedness, students who were homeschooled performed above average on the ACT and SAT, and are receiving more and more recruitment opportunities by Universities each year. In fact, Stanford accepts one in 20 schooled applicants and one in five homeschooled applicants to be a part of their program every year.
Of all homeschooled children, 66.7 percent have been found to graduate from a four-year college, whereas those who went to a public school had a 57.5 percent graduation rate. In a 2009 study, conducted by the University of St. Thomas, students who received a home-based education had higher GPA scores than those who were not homeschooled, and outperformed in college preparedness tests for reading, science and English.
Roughly 80 percent of high school students admit they don’t enjoy school. This results in many high school graduates not having the motivation to continue education, while more homeschooled students reported to be more motivated to further their schooling.
3. Adulthood/Employment Advantages
Research shows that adults who received home-based education as a child, are more active in the community, compared to the general population. It also shows that more homeschooled kids went on to attend college, and did relatively better in college and in their professional life, than those who received a traditional education.
4. Social Involvement
While many parents might think their child’s social life would be compromised if they used a home-based education system, that’s simply not the case.
Brain Ray, President of the National Home Education Research Institute, notes that most homeschool students are involved in sports at some level, volunteer on a regular basis, and regularly interact with others through clubs and organizations. Ray said "Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in groups, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers."
Another advocate of homeschooling is Jeffrey Koonce, a school superintendent in Miller County, Missouri. Koonce wrote his doctoral dissertation on how homeschool students handle their transition to a public high school, and concluded that the majority of the time, children that were homeschooled were more mature and socially adept than their non-homeschooled peers. He adds, that the homeschooled children took on the "get real... get a life" mindset.
5. Safety, Health and Happiness
A study conducted by the National Jewish Health (NJH) in Denver, Colorado, revealed that children who are homeschooled, tend to be happier and healthier than others. Not only that, but they were also said to excel academically and socially. According to the study, it has to do with sleep, and how homeschooled children get more sleep than those who attend traditional educational institutes.
This study found that: 44.5 percent of students who attend traditional schools don't get enough sleep, 55 percent of teens who are homeschooled got the recommended amount of sleep per week, and only 24.5 percent of those who attend public and private schools got the recommended amount of sleep per week. Not getting enough sleep can lead to lower grades and behavioral problems in the classroom.
The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) study found that "Teens who are sleep-deprived or functioning with a sleep debt are shown to be more likely to experience symptoms such as depression, difficulty relating to peers and parents, and are more likely to use alcohol and other drugs."
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), have shown the most common reason parents are homeschooling their kids is because they want their children to learn in a safe environment. Flex ED, an online educational program, can help you do just that. By providing parents and students with online learning opportunities, we can help educate your child to the highest standards, and do so from the comfort of your own home.
To register your child for Flex ED’s online program, go to http://flexed.ca/register/.