Seeking best Anti-Homeschool information/research, etc. - Mothering Forums
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Learning at Home and Beyond > Seeking best Anti-Homeschool information/research, etc.
SaveTheWild's Avatar SaveTheWild 12:36 AM 06-18-2011

I am planning to start homeschooling with my dd next year.  I have done a lot of reading about homeschool and am feeling confident with my decision, but the reading I have been doing is from a decidedly pro-homeschool perspective.

 

Does anyone know of good material/articles/research that focuses on the cons to homeschooling.  Not just articles ranting about socialization issues, but real research or scholarly materials?  I always feel best about a decision when I read the best arguments for both sides and make sure that I am comfortable with the cons.

 

Any guidance would be much appreciated!

 

 

Thanks!



PGTlatte's Avatar PGTlatte 05:49 AM 06-18-2011

No, I have never seen an article about how bad homeschooling is that I could take seriously - because they were written by "education experts" whose careers were forged in the public education system, who have no experience whatsoever with homeschooling.  I have never seen one based on measurable results that came to reasonable conclusions that homeschooling is not a good plan. 

 

 


pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey 06:07 AM 06-18-2011

I don't think there are any.

 

http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/home-schooling/ 

 

The teacher's union is opposed to home schooling ... shocking.  Also many public school devotees want us in the public schools to help pull up the quality of the parents and kids in the school -- a civic responsibility argument, similar to the argument that it's wrong to use private schools because you should be devoting your parenting energy to improving the public schools for everyone .  It's similar to ... when I mentioned to my extremely politically liberal friend that with the hard economic times, perhaps they should consider reserving free pre-K for the kids that would benefit from the program (the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum) she said they want the kids of more successful parents mixed in with the other kids to role-model. 

 

 


pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey 06:10 AM 06-18-2011

Oh, there's also the "homeschooling should be illegal because we can't tell if the  kids are being abused at home" (forget about how many kids are abused at school) and "homeschooling doesn't produce uniform and obedient citizens" (countries that ban it).


limette's Avatar limette 12:15 PM 06-18-2011
Like pp's said, I don't think there are any. When dh opposed homeschooling I asked him to do his own research to support his anti homeschooling opinion. It had to be legitimate info though, not just other people's opinions.

He couldn't find any.
frugalmum's Avatar frugalmum 12:38 PM 06-18-2011

I looked for the same info when I was struggling with my decision.  I wanted to hear the other side of the argument.  But as other posters have said, there really isn't any good, solid evidence out there that homeschoolers suffer socially or academically-- in fact all the statistics are far in the opposite direction.

 

I have encountered one adult who regretted being homeschooled-- his parents were very strict and controlling, he feels he was deprived of a normal life.  But who knows what would have happened if he'd been in school, he could have had a whole other set of problems.  Sometimes I feel angry at my parents for not "rescuing" me from school and HSing me, but again, maybe it wouldn't have worked out.  Even some of the weird/ very introvert HSers I've encountered may not have been any different were they in school, maybe they'd be even worse off.  It's really impossible to know.

 

The unions are against HSing because it takes money out of the system and (they won't often admit this) removes many of the best and the brightest from the classrooms.  Teachers know very well that even 1 very bright child in a classroom can change the entire dynamic and "lift" the other students up.  With millions of bright children, with the much coveted invested parents, opting out of the system, the system suffers.  So I guess you could take a social responsibility argument against HSing (which I've seen some on MDC do).  The socialization argument about HSing is pretty stupid as we all know, and the child abuse thing is even more stupid.


frugalmum's Avatar frugalmum 12:44 PM 06-18-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post

I don't think there are any.

 

http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/home-schooling/


 


from that article:

 

 

Quote:
But such studies have drawn intense criticism from some educational researchers. For example, the students in Rudner's study were predominantly white and Christian and, critics argue, did not accurately represent the overall population of home-schooled students (Welner, 1999).
 

huh.gif Good grief, what are they implying... that minorities or non-christians should be expected to do worse??  The arrogance of the ed. establishment is astounding.

 


SaveTheWild's Avatar SaveTheWild 02:56 PM 06-18-2011


Quote:

Originally Posted by frugalmum 
View Post

Good grief, what are they implying... that minorities or non-christians should be expected to do worse??  The arrogance of the ed. establishment is astounding.

 


Well, I am actually fine with that criticism.  If you are trying to effectively compare acheivement outcomes you have to compare "similar" populations.  Unless the purpose of the study was to track performance differences between non-christians and christians and/or whites vs. other ethnicities, then those things need to be controlled for.  Just like you need to control for socio-economic data.

 

Interesting that there really isn't much available.  I find it surprising that there aren't any good studies.  I guess there isn't a lot of motivation to find out the impacts, or maybe there just werren't enough folks doing it in the past to make it reasonably representative of the general public. 


PGTlatte's Avatar PGTlatte 06:04 PM 06-18-2011

That article does not offer any evidence of any problems with homeschooling....only concerns about how "under regulated" it is and the idea that this is a problem. 


fyrebloom's Avatar fyrebloom 05:31 PM 06-19-2011

So I know of NO negative studies but this article lists standardized test results of home school kids by socio-economic level and shows that even among the least educated poorest homeschoolers, test results are still better then in the public schools.

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/30/home-schooling-outstanding-results-national-tests/


Daffodil's Avatar Daffodil 05:44 PM 06-19-2011

You might want to ask this in the Learning at School forum, since anyone who is aware of good research-based arguments against homeschooling is more likely to have decided to send their kids to school.


SundayCrepes's Avatar SundayCrepes 11:35 PM 06-19-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrebloom View Post

So I know of NO negative studies but this article lists standardized test results of home school kids by socio-economic level and shows that even among the least educated poorest homeschoolers, test results are still better then in the public schools.

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/30/home-schooling-outstanding-results-national-tests/


Thanks for sharing this. I have shared it with our 3 homeschool groups and via facebook.

 


Wild Iris's Avatar Wild Iris 09:06 AM 06-20-2011

If I understand your request correctly, you might want to look at social science research that relies on collected data, quantitative data, and not anecdotal evidence. Certainly, test scores are once piece of data. Another might be the number of students reentering public school needing remediation or gifted classes. Finding the data will be challenging. The resistance to study and evaluate homeschool students is huge. I proposed researching homeschooling as topic and potential  thesis paper, but I found little faculty support, so I dropped the topic. By the way, I find most arguments against homeschooling are anecdotal and reactionary.


Lillian J's Avatar Lillian J 10:38 AM 06-22-2011

What you're looking for is hard to find because of the fact that there simply isn't much in the way of negatives to be found. It's almost like asking for negative data on people giving up smoking or negative data about exercise. The fact that you're having so much trouble finding an opposing side speaks for itself. But here's the best collection of data I've seen so far:

 

 

Abstract:      
Homeschooling is a time-honored and widespread practice. It often presents, however, a conflict between the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and the State's right to impose regulations in the interest of ensuring an educated citizenry. The Supreme Court has made it clear that any regulation impacting this constitutional right must be "reasonable." The courts have therefore generally resolved homeschooling cases by examining whether state regulation of homeschooling places an unreasonable burden on the rights of parents. The courts, however, have altogether failed to address another, more fundamental question: whether the state regulation in fact advances the State interest. A regulation that fails this criterion cannot be "reasonable." Using the vehicle of a recent California appellate court case, in which the court initially upheld a regulation prohibiting parents from homeschooling their children unless they first obtained a state teaching credential, we show how recent social science research should impact the analysis. Instead of assuming away the issue of whether the regulation in fact advances the State interest, we show that this type of empirical research will allow courts to be able to answer this threshold question.

 

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

 

 


frugalmum's Avatar frugalmum 01:15 PM 06-22-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrebloom View Post

So I know of NO negative studies but this article lists standardized test results of home school kids by socio-economic level and shows that even among the least educated poorest homeschoolers, test results are still better then in the public schools.

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/30/home-schooling-outstanding-results-national-tests/



An earlier study found virtually no difference between different races of homeschoolers... it was one of the older HSLDA studies.  Which is another reason the "white christian" edweek comment shocked me-- if they had looked into the issue they would have found minority homeschoolers outperform traditional schoolers as well.  And as far as what influence religion could have on one's abilities... I'm not even sure what they were trying to imply with that.  It's not like all Christian homeschoolers are even the same denomination.

 

In looking for homeschool negatives, you're not going to find any in terms of hard data on socializing or academic performance.  All the studies on these issues have been positive for HSing.  You could ask for anecdotal input in the school section here or another board.  For me the only negatives of homeschooling are the tremendous sense of pressure on the mom (me) and the constant worry they are not up to par, or are missing out on something in school, since that is the social norm.  Family criticism has been rough to deal with too.


Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 09:32 PM 06-22-2011
Not all home schoolers have their kids take standardized test, even in states that require them. When you look at test scores for home schooled kids, it's a self selecting group. Parents can just not do those test if they believe their children will do poorly.

Comparing home schoolers who take the test to all children in school is comparing apples to oranges.
onatightrope's Avatar onatightrope 09:41 PM 06-22-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Not all home schoolers have their kids take standardized test, even in states that require them. When you look at test scores for home schooled kids, it's a self selecting group. Parents can just not do those test if they believe their children will do poorly.

Comparing home schoolers who take the test to all children in school is comparing apples to oranges.


Yep.  The truth is that homeschoolers don't have to submit to being part of a group to which researchers have access, and, by and large, they opt not to.  Any research that shows homeschoolers doing better academically is questionable because we don't know whether or not it's a representative group of homeschoolers.  All you can prove is that homeschoolers who choose to allow their test scores to be part of these studies do quite well.  

 

But, in the end, that doesn't matter because if you choose to homeschool, you'll be right there with your children, and if homeschooling seems to be a bad fit, you can stop.  The schools will be there.

 


domesticidyll's Avatar domesticidyll 10:49 PM 06-22-2011

OP, you might simply try reading some of the current theory on classroom teaching and some of the textbooks and curricular standards your district/state use to see what the assumptions and beliefs are about learning, and how it translates into practice. Ask to see homework packets and big projects if you have friends or neighbors with kids in school; ask if you can sit in on a morning at school; go to your local school's open house night. As others have said, a large-scale randomized trial really isn't possible. And even if you could measure an average outcome, I suspect it would have little relation to an individual child's experience; there is so much variation from school to school (and from family to family of homeschoolers). We did a year of public kindergarten, and I'm amazed by the variety of experiences I've read about here, some of which dovetail with my son's experience, and many of which absolutely do not. Studies on a large population are not going to capture the specificity of your own child's time in school if you go that route. The things were positive about DS's year, and the things that were ultimately dealbreakers, were so individual to that school and to my child. But understanding the ideas that are in current practice in your own district (big focus on writing as much and as early as possible, math drills, positive reinforcement behavior charts, experiential science, absolute need to get the lowest level kids up to speed, belief that gifted kids need breathing room were some of the defining aspects of DS's year) gives you a set of ideas to hold up to your vision of what a homeschooling year could be.

 

Heather


SaveTheWild's Avatar SaveTheWild 11:57 PM 06-22-2011

Thanks for the responses so far.  So many great points. 

 

I agree, domesticidyll, that I really need to compare how I would homeschool with what my own child's school options are here.  Data is certainly not going to provide those kinds of answers.


Wild Iris's Avatar Wild Iris 02:14 PM 06-26-2011

I came across this article you might find interesting (note source & point of view): Home Schooling


umbrella's Avatar umbrella 04:28 PM 06-26-2011
That would be like finding compelling arguments against a kid being with a sahm, instead of a daycare. Sure, an individual circumstance may have issues, but an argument against the lifestyle choice itself, generally speaking, how would one even make that argument?

The thing with homeschoolers is that they are a self-selected group, choosing that lifestyle. That fact alone makes a Huge difference. If no schools were available at all, or available only to the wealthy, and now the default is that parents must homeschool whether they want to or not, THEN you would be more likely to come up with or find negativity that people could aim to pin to the method or lifestyle.
SaveTheWild's Avatar SaveTheWild 06:30 PM 06-26-2011

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wild Iris View Post

I came across this article you might find interesting (note source & point of view): Home Schooling


 Interesting opinion piece, thanks.  I definitely agree with the writer that it is unfortunate there isn't more and more reliable data available.  I don't think it does "homeschoolers" any good to use narrow studies to make broad points (e..g about academic performance of homeschoolers), but there isn't much else to point to. 
 

 


riversmommy's Avatar riversmommy 06:51 PM 06-27-2011

I'm curious about what an anti-homeschooling article would look like. Is it about test scores? A measurable inability to procure employment in later life? What exactly would we expect to find in an article like this?

 

I recently read that "no educational system is perfect". I think that's true. As homeschoolers, I'm hoping it's okay to accept that. There will be some gaps in our kids education. There will be some issues. There will be bumps in the road. Our kids might resent us as parents for decisions we made from the best of our knowledge. In my mind, the cons or arguments against homeschooling are about the same as those for public school. But the list of homeschooling pros is sooooo long! :)

 

BTW, I was homeschooled. I have plenty of "anecdotal evidence"! lol

 


SaveTheWild's Avatar SaveTheWild 10:43 PM 06-28-2011


Quote:

Originally Posted by riversmommy View Post

I'm curious about what an anti-homeschooling article would look like. Is it about test scores? A measurable inability to procure employment in later life? What exactly would we expect to find in an article like this?


An answer to questions such as: how imporant/relevant is a child's need for affiliation, what is the importance of meaningful peer interaction in the learning process (i.e. what is the effect on learning of having others learning along with you)?  Yes things like test scores, but also, how satisfied with their education they are, how sucessfully they were able to perform in college and post-graduate degrees, etc.

 

A tall order, for sure, but in the ideal world that kind of research would be available.


riversmommy's Avatar riversmommy 10:59 AM 06-29-2011
I can see how that information might be desirable to you. But it's not really possible. It's like defining success. It means different things to each individual. Also, I think it's important to note that homeschooling does not equal lack of affiliation. It also does not equal learning alone. Homeschooling is not really something that can be tested or quantified. It's a life choice encompassing the whole family, the whole child, the whole community. It will be questioned constantly, your children will be(at times) scrutinized and teased for being "hometeached", and there will be good days and bad days. But it IS a choice! It may be frustrating to be making that choice with no research-based evidence, but I think I wouldn't want my life to be a part of that research. (I just had a very funny little vision of my life being evaluated and examined in a research paper; charts for successful social interactions, graphs for number of times in a year I was quizzed by well-meaning people about random things, and percentages/success rates for who I am as a person.
Then, the final analysis- TA-DAH! This is your life! You dun good! )

I'm sorry I ranted there. My intention is only to encourage each other to define success and failure on our own terms. Our children will become amazing people if we continually stay attuned to them and help them get to where they want to be. School or not, I think this is the crux of it.
Dia's Avatar Dia 03:44 PM 06-29-2011

Hey OP, 

 

I think it's awesome that you're so carefully considering this. I know this is not really your question, but would you be at all interested in hearing a perspective from someone who was homeschooled throughout her childhood?


be11ydancer's Avatar be11ydancer 10:49 PM 06-29-2011

I don't know about evidence against homeschooling but I did stumble across this blog today: http://gaither.wordpress.com/

 

The blogger is an author who recently published a book about the history of homeschooling.  His posts center around research, academic advice, nothing political or over opinionated.  It's a good, intelligent read.


SaveTheWild's Avatar SaveTheWild 09:05 AM 06-30-2011

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dia View Post

Hey OP, 

 

I think it's awesome that you're so carefully considering this. I know this is not really your question, but would you be at all interested in hearing a perspective from someone who was homeschooled throughout her childhood?


Absolutely interested!

 


Dia's Avatar Dia 07:31 PM 07-03-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveTheWild View Post

Quote:


Absolutely interested!

 


Okay!

 

I was homeschooled my whole life, until my junior year of high school. At that age I entered a public school. Here are my thoughts, you may take them or leave them :)

 

1. First of all, on the positive side, I know for a fact I had a superior education. I have heard it said that within the public school setting, each student can only progress as fast as the slowest kid in the classroom, and I do believe to some extent this is true. Having an individulaized education, tons of one on one attention, is amazing. I am grateful for that. In fact, once I began high school in the PS setting, I was bored. I couldn't believe how easy it was. 

 

I went on to excel academically in college, getting scholarships, etc. I attribute homeschooling to this to a degree, no doubt.

 

2. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't miserable being homeschooled. I knew many HS'd kids who were happy though. I was not one of them. I was lonely and most of all felt really different and isolated from a normal "kid" experience. I begged my parents my whole childhood to allow me to go to school. There was a lot of pain, and a lot of tension between us, because of this. It was unnecessary. When I finally won this battle, and was allowed to attend school, my life changed for the better.

 

My mom has since said that she regretted homeschooling me, in hindsight, because she saw how I isolated I was. Hey, I don't blame her, everyone makes the best choices thay can at the time. 

 

As I said I know some kids are happy with homeschooling, but I think it's a unique things - what I want to say is, be sensitive to your kids, everyone is different and I think it works better for some kids than for others. 

 


Lillian J's Avatar Lillian J 11:40 AM 07-04-2011


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dia View Post

 

As I said I know some kids are happy with homeschooling, but I think it's a unique things - what I want to say is, be sensitive to your kids, everyone is different and I think it works better for some kids than for others. 

 


I'd like to offer an article I wrote in which my homeschooled son describes how well it's worked out for he and some of his friends:  Homeschooling - It's a Wonderful Life!


The article is a few years old - there would be a lot more to say, if he wrote it today, about interesting lives they're living.   :)   Lillian


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