Currently the trend in home schooling is gaining popularity. It has been
estimated that the current number of children being taught at home in the
United States is in excess of a million. The increasingly popular trend has
become a concern to local and national school officials, teachers, legislators,
and parents. The concerns generally stemmed from the idea that home based
education does not offer children the opportunity to develop socially.
In October 2001 the Fraser Institute published a report by Patrick Basham of the Cato Institute, entitled Home Schooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream. By surveying the available research literature, the paper attempted to provide preliminary answers to questions about the history, socio-demographics, and academic and social outcomes of homeschooling. We provide a link to the full report as well as a couple of summaries of it.
This paper reports on interviews, conducted in 1998, with a number of young children who were asked about their perceptions of their home-based education. Their voices indicate that they view homeschooling favourably.
A brief look at comparisons of standardized test results for home educated students and public school students, 1998
A look at the results of standardized tests indicates that children taught
at home by their parents perform at a higher level on such tests than their
contemporaries who enjoy the benefits of traditional public schooling.
Several hundred children participated in this first national assessment programme
of children educated, electively, outside the school system, Education Now,
Summer 1999, No. 24
A recent boom in the number of homeschooled students winning admission to
selective colleges demonstrates both the growth and the effectiveness of homeschooling.
The lesson for educational reformers is that homeschooling, with minimal government
interference, has produced literate students at a fraction of the cost of
any government program. Published by the Cato Institute, Policy Analysis No.
294, January 7, 1998 .
This study was conducted by Bruce Arai of Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo;
Volume 7, Number 27, September 6, 1999, Education Policy Analysis Archives
(EPAA). ~ Homeschooling has grown considerably in many countries over the
past two or three decades. To date, most research has focused either on comparisons
between schooled and homeschooled children, or on finding out why parents
choose to educate their children at home. There has been little consideration
of the importance of homeschooling for the more general issue of citizenship,
and whether people can be good citizens without going to school. This paper
reviews the research on homeschooling, as well as the major objections to
it, and frames these debates within the broader issues of citizenship and
citizenship education. The paper shows that homeschoolers are carving out
a different but equally valid understanding of citizenship and that policies
which encourage a diversity of understandings of good citizenship should form
the basis citizenship education both for schools and homeschoolers.
This study was conducted by the Fraser Institute, published in September
2003 ~ The Canadian Education Freedom Index draws attention to the powerful
role our provincial governments play in creating or obstructing educational
freedom. It shows that "public education" does not mean the same
thing in one province as it does in any other. Some provinces, through funding
and regulation, support many different educational choices for parents, while
others make it nearly impossible for parents to educate their children anywhere
but their local public school. Because of these dramatic differences in public
policy, some Canadian parents have much greater power than others to "determine
the kind of education that shall be given to their children," something
the United Nations declares to be a fundamental human right (United Nations
Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26).
The following organizations have conducted research on home education:
- National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) (U.S.)
- Fraser Institute (Canada)
The following research reports and articles on homeschooling studies are published in the Education Policy Analysis Archives:
- Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics (Bauman, 2002)
- Homeschooling and the Redefinition of Citizenship (Arai, 1999)
- Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998 (Rudner, 1999)
- Contextualizing Homeschooling Data: A Response to Rudner (Welner & Welner, 1999)
- Public School Reform: Potential Lessons from the Truly Departed (Marshall and Valle, 1996)