Homeschooling is one of the most popular forms of education. It offers a flexible, family-oriented alternative to institutional schooling that is tailored to meet the particular needs of each student. But many people wonder how successful homeschooled students actually are.
While research on the overall success of homeschoolers is still inconclusive, there have been numerous studies examining the academic, social, and developmental outcomes of homeschooling. This article analyzes the findings of those studies to determine whether homeschooled students tend to be successful.
Why Do People Choose to Homeschool?
Before looking at success rates for homeschoolers, it is important to consider why people may choose to homeschool their children. A 2012 survey of 29,000 American homeschooling families found that the most common reasons for homeschooling were to provide religious instruction (40. 2%) and to provide a non-traditional approach to schooling (2
9%). Other reasons included safety (8%), dissatisfaction with institutional schooling (
2%), and a desire for more family time (2%).
Furthermore, homeschooling has become much more popular over the past few decades. A 2010 report by the National Home Education Research Institute showed that homeschooling has grown in frequency and acceptance since the 1980s and is estimated to involve approximately 4% of school-age children today.
Academic Success of Homeschooled Students
One key question about homeschooled students is whether they perform well academically. In general, research has shown that homeschooled students tend to have achievements comparable to those of traditionally-schooled students. For example, a 2003 study of over 11,000 homeschooled and traditionally-schooled students found that homeschoolers scored 34 percentile points higher than traditional schoolers on standardized achievement tests in all subject areas, with the largest differences in reading and language arts (37 percentile points) and the smallest difference in math (30 percentile points).
Furthermore, a 2017 study found that homeschooled students had, on average, higher achievement scores than public school students. Furthermore, some researchers have found that homeschooled students may be better-prepared for university.
A 2008 study of 300 university students in the United States found that homeschooled students were rated more highly by professors than school-educated students in terms of suitability in being assigned independent projects, ability to adapt to a university environment, and ability to think outside the box.
Social and Developmental Success of Homeschooled Students
Researchers have also studied the social and behavioral outcomes of homeschooling. The 2003 study described earlier found that homeschoolers had, on average, fewer social problems than public and private schoolers.
Other studies have shown that homeschooled students are more likely than traditional schoolers to participate in college and to report an increased sense of self-confidence. A 2002 study of homeschooled and school-educated adolescents found that homeschoolers were less likely to engage in risk-taking behavior (such as smoking or drinking) and were more likely to demonstrate positive values and beliefs such as caring for the environment and respecting parent’s authority. However, there are also some drawbacks to homeschooling in terms of social development, as homeschooled students may find it harder to adjust to a traditional academic environment and may lack certain social skills.
In conclusion, research has shown that homeschooled students are generally successful. Homeschoolers tend to have better academic performance and more positive social-behavioral outcomes than their traditionally-schooled counterparts.
While there are some drawbacks to homeschooling in terms of social skills, it provides a flexible alternative to institutional schooling that is tailored to the needs of each individual student. Therefore, it can be said that homeschoolers are likely to be successful.