Does homeschooling work? That’s a question that I’m often asked as a homeschool mom, and a question that many of my fellow homeschooling moms are asking themselves. Homeschooling is a relatively new educational option, and is unique to North America. As a homeschool graduate myself, I have my own experience to testify that homeschooling does work.
I homeschooled grades 1-12 at home in Alberta. I then went on to earn a B.A. in English at a local community college. I graduated with a four-year degree at the top of my class, earning the Governor General’s Award. I worked for my dad’s energy company during university and for the Alberta Government as an editor after graduation. A few years later, I completed a second B.A. in Writing at the University of Victoria. But is my experience unique? Not really.
“Does Homeschooling Work?” is a question that The Old Schoolhouse Magazine asked. Here’s the answer they found.
(This is the shortened version of an article by Donna Rees, reprinted with permission of TOS.)
Does Homeschooling Work?
With more than 2 million students busy doing schoolwork at home this fall, perhaps we should ask this question: How are those homeschool graduates faring? Does homeschooling work? Are homeschool graduates thriving in excellent colleges, universities, the military, and the labor force?
The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “Yes!”
“Homeschooling high school is no longer uncharted territory . . . . There are a multitude of homeschooled graduates who are bearing fruit in the workplace, in the military, in their families, and in colleges across the country,” states the Home-School Legal Defense Association. Dr. Brian Ray of NHERI summarized the status of homeschool grads with these words: “Homeschool graduates are just as or more likely to go on to college as the general population, more satisfied in their work, happier with their lives overall, and more involved in civic affairs.”
Homeschool graduates are proving that schooling at home works, and more and more families are opting to make the sacrifices required to educate their children at home—an investment of time, energy, and resources that is earning huge dividends.
Homeschoolers typically score above average on SAT and ACT tests. Colleges, who appear to be waking up to the fact that homeschool grads make outstanding candidates for admission, consequently are recruiting them with zeal. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine featured an article in their Fall 2009 issue titled “We Love Homeschoolers! Prominent Colleges Jump on the Bandwagon,” which discussed the current trend among colleges nationwide to actively recruit homeschool graduates. Author Claire Novak cited “the desirability of students schooled in an untraditional learning environment” as one of the factors that’s gotten the attention of schools.
Apparently some of the $26.7 billion that homeschooling is saving working taxpayers can benefit homeschool graduates in the form of financial aid. According to Christine Field of Homeschool Legal Advantage, “The Department of Education has made it clear that homeschooled graduates are to be treated equally for purposes of admission or financial aid” and have backed up that stand with the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998.
Zan Tyler, who began homeschooling back in 1984, when it wasn’t such a popular choice, has observed that parents are successfully preparing their sons and daughters—academically, spiritually, and socially—to take the world by storm. Many institutions of higher education are taking notice, courting their registration in dual-enrollment programs and offering scholarships and other incentives to lure homeschoolers in their direction.
Let’s face it: Homeschooling is one big success story. It’s no wonder that more and more families are joining their ranks.
Academic Achievements for Homeschoolers
Although academic achievement is a high priority among homeschoolers, the influence of homeschooling parents reaches beyond academic topics. Kelly Bagdanov, veteran home educator of 24 years, described it this way:
“We need a vision for what education can be. We need to move beyond meeting minimum requirements or keeping up with relatives’ expectations. We need to throw off the mediocre . . . to pursue the excellent. Our goal should be far beyond reaching graduation; it must be to inspire our children to be men and women of integrity, curiosity, strength, and courage.”
As the homeschooling movement continues to expand, and as the graduates from among their ranks assume positions of leadership and responsibility in the United States [and Canada], our nation will be watching. Most citizens would agree that our nation desperately needs leaders: men and women of integrity, curiosity, strength, and courage. The fact that homeschooling is the fastest-growing form of education in our country may just offer our nation that hope we’re looking for.
The full-length article by Donna Rees (Managing Editor at TOS Magazine) originally appeared in a TOS e-newsletter. Visit The Old Sschoolhouse home page to view a free sample of their latest magazine.
Does homeschooling work? To find out the answers from real homeschool graduates, check out these posts: