Friday, August 10, 2012

Homeschoolers outperform publicly schooled youth on traditional measures

I've become interested in home education after discovering how amazingly well home educated children are learning. Once I dug a little deeper I began learning about families who were home educating following a philosophy that leans more toward unschooling also known as learning naturally via a life without school. As a result many of the myths I had been lead to believe about learning were quickly shattered.

Why is this important for someone who is passionate about public education and in fact has been a part of the system for more than a decade? Because educators have a lot to learn about learning from home educating families. In fact, if we don't, we are doing young people a disservice and moving further and further toward the irrelevance and disconnection that leads so many young people toward tuning out or worse, dropping out with rates around 50% in cities like those in which I've lived (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York).

One belief educators and parents often come back with is that home education can't possibly be the best for learning because young people deserve highly trained professionals, not just their parents, to best support their learning. Here are some reasons this belief is flawed.


  • First, it is important to note that homeschooling doesn't mean you isolate your children and only one person supports their learning. Home educated young people learn from a variety of experts who are both experienced in teaching and in their profession as well as from peers, others, and from just doing stuff. You'll often hear home educated individuals praise the fact that they get to actually do so much stuff as opposed to school kids who spend a lot of time reading and hearing about other people doing stuff.  
  • Second, the research shows that teacher certification does not correlate to higher student achievement. Additionally, when we go to the numbers, we see that home educated youth are outperforming their publicly educated peers.

Homeschooling author Linda Dobson shared this infographic with me and members of the homeschooling / unschooling / DIY learning group. (See her take here.) It provides an overview of some of those numbers.

Homeschool Domination
Created by: College At Home
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