The Home School Legal Defense Association released the results from a comprehensive homeschool study that included 11, 739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who had taken the California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year.
Here are the questions I posed in my post:
1. How do homeschooled children do in comparison to their non-homeschooled peers on standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT?
2. Are the homeschooled children who excel academically excelling because "homeschooling works" or because they are just bright and would succeed in any setting?
3. How do you go about ensuring that your homeschooled children are academically comparable to the rest of the population?
Now, here are the results of the study:
Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students.
National Average Percentile Scores Subtest Homeschool Public School Reading 89 50 Language 84 50 Math 84 50 Science 86 50 Social Studies 84 50 Corea 88 50 Compositeb 86 50 a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.
In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts-moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009).
In addition, I appreciated how factors such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income were taken into account and that none seemed to have extreme bearing on the student's performance.
This information increases my confidence because it provides some degree of concrete statistical evidence that says: Homeschool works. Period.
What did you think about the study?
Click here to read Voddie Baucham's blog post in response to this research.