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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Homeschooling's Not Bad for You

For those of you who actually still visit this blog proper--and don't just read the posts in an RSS reader or on Facebook--you may have noticed I added a link to Sonlight's relatively new Homeschool 101 section.

And that's nice.

Digging into Homeschool 101 reveals Sonlight's Tour of Top Homeschool Resources. And browsing that list reveals Milton Gaither's blog. And he recently posted about a February 2010 Study of Homeschooler Demographics and Achievement.

As I noted back in December of '09, these results are initially disheartening to me. Seems that even though homeschoolers rock on tests, we don't really rock any more than those who also fall into our same socio-economic brackets. In short: It's not surprising that rich white kids from stable homes do well in school, whether homeschooled or not. Mr. Gaither concludes his analysis by saying
...homeschooling doesn't make priviliged kids do worse on tests than they would have done had they gone to school. Homeschooling is no academic disadvantage. That's newsworthy enough I think.

Okay, sure.

For those who wish to regulate or remove homeschooling, this is important information. But for those of us--like me--for whom homeschooling is an almost foregone conclusion, it'd be nice to have something with a little more punch. Simply stating that homeschooling isn't bad for us isn't very impressive or inspiring.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize how right I was back in December: This actually reinforces the fact that homeschooling is a great option! And Sonlight is one of the best of these really great options. Not because your students will suddenly become smarter, more gifted, test better, achieve great things or outshine their peers (though I wish that were true too <smile>). Sonlight is one of the best options because of the very thing we guarantee:

You will love to teach and your students will love to learn with Sonlight.

Your academic statistics will be more-or-less on par with other excellent results. Sonlight won't be what makes your students succeed any more than another program or system. But Sonlight will provide you with an incredible homeschooling experience that you and your family will love.

And if all other things are equal, that's what matters the most.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father


Elizabeth said...

Good point, Luke! Keep up the good work!
Elizabeth Esther

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Woo-hoo! We are now discussing BORING HOMESCHOOL STATISTICS!! The movement has arrived!

PRAISE GOD your article said nothing about (shhh) socialization. Please say we never have to refute "experts" on this topic again. :)

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Luke, thanks for the post.

I was a high academic achiever who attended public schools. I want to note that many of my challenges in adolescence and young adulthood came from 1) the numbing effects of assembly line schooling; and 2) my lack of opportunity to hear adult wisdom because, like most adolescents, I was isolated with same-age peers as clueless as I was. :-)

The consequent personal challenges I faced were not minor: they almost derailed my life several times.

I'm glad that homeschooling is not detrimental to our children academically, but I think most of us do it so our children won't be permanently injured by emotional trauma and youthful stupid decisions. I know several schools in town at which my daughter might prosper academically, but I don't want to risk the other problems.

Lisa Lehmann @StudioJewel said...

thanks luke...needed that shot in the arm today!

The Hibbard Family said...

I have several friends who do homeschool for the academic advantage, and many of them do not enjoy it. It's a challenge and a drudgery. They do it because they know they should - and they do mostly enjoy being with their kids. But, they use traditional schooling methods and plug along from year to year. Now, in all fairness, all of my Sonlight friends (myself included) have our bad days. I called off school this week because last week was just a struggle for us. But, when it comes down to it, we LOVE homeschooling! So, my children - who would probably do well however they were educated (no, I'm not biased! ha!) - aren't just getting an education, they're learning to love learning! And that, above all else, is my reason for being hooked on Sonlight.

Luke Holzmann said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

People have been looking at boring stats for many years now, Mrs. C. Unfortunately, getting helpful data is proving difficult to do. And, far as I'm concerned, the "experts" who ask about socialization must experts in other areas of study. <smile>

Love those points, Rosslyn. That's the kind of the thing that statistics can't track so well, but are super influential in the general merit of an educational choice.

Thanks for swinging by, beadgirl! I hadn't stumbled across your blog as of yet. Always glad to find another one <smile>.

Ann, very well said. And that is important to keep in mind: We all have bad days--or weeks--but if we focus on the joy of learning we'll come out okay in the end <smile>.



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Luke Holzmann
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