All posts filed under: Metrics

The Math Problem

The Math Problem

The Problem Despite homeschool studies’ *ahem* diverse sampling methods and questionable validity, one trend has nonetheless emerged: compared to their regularly-schooled peers, homeschool students are weaker in math. The Coalition for Responsible Home Education has a brilliant article on this, complete with citations and graphs (check it out!). Why is this the case? Potential Variables In short: more research is needed. Studies’ sampling methods, ease of humanities vs. STEM education, cultural focus on humanities over STEM, resource access, resource use, and more initial homeschooler interest in humanities vs. mathematics all potentially contribute to homeschoolers’ limited math skills. It is also notoriously difficult to learn and teach. These limitations, echoed in America’s 38th place in mathematics, expand when math-adverse parents are tasked with teaching their student concepts they themselves don’t understand. And, unlike their regularly-schooled peers, homeschoolers have the unique opportunity to avoid mathematics in favor of other subjects. This likely influences the disparity; the most math-adverse public school student would be exposed to mathematical concepts 5 days a week for nearly a decade, the most …

How am I stacking up?

How am I stacking up?

Our greatest fear when homeschooling was that we weren’t stacking up. Was our unorthodox tire swing physics comparable to 30 hours a week of dedicated, professionally-supervised studying? What of Ivy-League boarding school funnels? Potential magnet opportunities? Missed social connections? Am I stacking up? In attempting to do everything to help my child, am I hurting them? Am I condemning them to obsolescence in the face of their properly-schooled peers? The Statistics In 2012, Kathi Moreau, a Masters student at Northern Michigan University, wrote a somewhat comprehensive review of homeschooling history and success. Her Abstract partially reads: “…the level of success for homeschoolers is a good argument for this type of education.” One of her sources is a 2007 study that tested 185 former homeschoolers on self-esteem and found no difference versus their regularly-schooled peers and that the homeschooled students were less likely to have depression. The study’s authors concluded that neither result supported parents’ socialization worries. These results are echoed in other literature. Homeschoolers perform 15-30 percentile points higher on state standardized tests than their …