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Home Schools: the Pros and Cons, Advantages and Disadvantages

When doing the research for a research paper, essay, or speech, it does not take long to see that homeschooling is a concept that has been around for centuries throughout the world. It is not a new idea. It is not a new idea in the history of the United States and it is not a new idea in most countries. History shows us that many people have not been able to access a "public" education. However, what IS new is the relatively recent explosion in the number of parents willing to home school their children in the U.S. Over the past few decades more and more students are being homeschooled. There are plenty of books, magazine articles, journal articles, newspaper articles, and research studies on homeschooling, private schools, and public schools. Along with all of this information comes plenty of opinions and controversy. There are a few basic questions that many people ask about home schools, but the MAIN question is "Do homeschooled students do just as well academically as students educated in a public school system?" "Is homeschooling as good of education system as the public school system?" The following information on this web page is a summary of a number of pros and cons of homeschooling. In a way, the literature will provide some information about the pros and cons of public schools, as well.

The Pros of Homeschooling | The Cons of Homeschooling

The Pros (Advantages) of Homeschooling

We try to keep an open mind when researching information. You never know what you are going to find. However, we have to admit that we felt that we knew how this pro and con argument was going to go, before we did the research. Before the research, we thought that there would be plenty of evidence and opinions that public schools provided a far better education than homeschooling. After all, the teachers in public schools have degrees and know their stuff. Well, WE WERE WRONG in our assumption about homeschooling. It did not take long in the research process to see that there is plenty of evidence that homeschooling is as effective, if not MORE effective, of educational system than public education. In fact, we had a very, very difficult time finding information that was PRO public schools. A majority of the information in books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and research studies show that home-schooled students do very well academically AND socially. Much of the information about public schools included the word "reform" which is NOT a good word to associate with any educational system. We will present a summary of the pros of homeschooling. Farther down this long web page is the cons of homeschooling. Our best advice for any student who needs to argue the pros and cons of homeshcooling is to take the PRO side. It is MUCH EASIER to argue that homeschooling is a very good method of educating students. There is NOT much information on the positive aspects of public schools. It is SO MUCH EASIER to find information "FOR" homeschooling.

Another word of caution that we must emphasize is that no matter what topic that you are researching, you need to be aware of any potential bias on part of the author or organization that produces information. The topic of homeschooling is no different than any other subject. There are authors of information on both sides who are passionate about their views. Like so many studies, both sides of this debate question the objectivity, validity, and methodology of the research studies.

The following is an example of an introductory statement that includes a thesis statement for the PRO argument.. We placed the thesis statement in bold just for instructional purposes. If we were to hand this paper in, we would not bold anything.

Homeschooling is not a new concept. Homeschooling has been around for centuries in many different countries throughout the world. Compulsory education in the United States was established around 1647. Our forefathers, believed that public education would help sustain democracy. There would be shared values and shared concerns among an informed citizenry.  History has proven that there was nothing wrong with homeschooling and there still is nothing wrong with homeschooling. Our country was founded on the principle of freedom and individual rights. This foundation extends to how people want to educate their children. For many people, the public education system is fine. However, many people feel that homeschooling is a better option for them and their children. Public education and homeschooling can survive and thrive side-by-side. Homeschooling is an effective method of education as homeschooled students continue to score high marks on national achievement tests, interact socially with fellow students in all kinds of activities, achieve within college, and are able to become active members of society.

Here is a possible outline:

I. INTRODUCTION WITH THESIS STATEMENT  
II. HISTORY OF HOMESCHOOLING  
III. REASONS FOR HOMESCHOOLING  
A.
Safe environment
B.
More structured, one-on-one learning environment
C.
Curriculum
D.
Religious reasons
IV. ACHIEVEMENT
V. SOCIALIZATION
VI. COLLEGE ADMISSION
VII. GOOD CITIZENS
VIII. CONCLUSION

Here is a possible conclusion (paragraph) to your research paper, essay, or speech:

Without a doubt, there are concerns about homeschooling. It is understandable how people can be concerned about many of the misconceptions about homeschooling. It is easy to picture students learning in an extremely isolated, small environment with a curriculum and teacher unregulated by any agency. Just about any research study on just about any subject is questioned about methodology, so why should research studies acclaiming the high achievement for homeschoolers be any different? Despite all the doubt, home-schooled students have proven that there are plenty of opportunities to socialize, study in a structured environment with a curriculum taught by a qualified parent, excel on national achievement tests, and learn enough to become good citizens of a democracy. Homeschooling is an effective method of education.



Both sides of the homeschooling debate will have different views on the following issues. Here is the PRO side to the following issues:

Achievement: There are not a lot of studies that have researched the academic achievement of home-schooled students, BUT there are a few. Dr. Lawrence Rudner’s 1999 research study and more recently Dr. Brian D. Ray’s 2010 research study get the most attention. There is enough respectable evidence that shows that, overall, home-schooled students do very well, if not better, than many students of the public school system.


Socialization: Socialization is one of the major arguments used against homeschooling. The feeling is that students become isolated and lack certain social skills when they are home-schooled. However, many students that participate in homeschooling interact with different home-school students, or groups. Students attend church groups, scouting, group sports, field trips, volunteer events, and a lot of other activities too numerous to mention. Socialization is a major issue, but there are plenty of sources of information that show that socialization is NOT that big of concern.


College Admission: Some studies present information that reveals homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, grade point averages, and graduation rates when compared to traditionally-educated students


Safety and Learning Environment: Many parents teach their children at home because they can provide a better learning atmosphere than what can be provided in a public school system. The home environment lacks drugs, peer-pressure for the latest designer clothes, and gangs. Parents spend much more time and interact with their children one-on-one which, often, is nowhere close to the large teacher/student ratio within the public schools.


Good Citizens: We will mention this concept because when doing the research, there are a few opinions and a little bit of literature voicing a concern that homeschooling isolates children from local community or world events. The feeling is that home-schooled children do not interact with a diverse population and may not be able to or willing to participate in social and political processes as informed citizens of a democracy. HOWEVER, there is NO evidence that a public school education makes people any better citizens than people with a home school education. In fact, there IS evidence that homeschooling is as effective as producing informed and social active citizens as any educational system can do. In a study by Dr. Brian Ray in 2003, over 7300 adults who were homeschooled were surveyed. Seventy-one percent of homeschool graduates participate in an ongoing community service activity when compared to thirty-seven percent of U.S. adults of similar ages. More information about his study can be found in “Revisiting the Common Myths about Homeschooling” article which is listed below.

There are a number of homeschoolers who became famous members of society. This list includes people such as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Sandra Day O’Conner, Albert Einstein, Margaret Mead, and many more. Clearly, homeschooling can produce just as many “good citizens” as the public school system. There are different lists that can be found by using Google, but here is one good list to view: http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/famoushomeschoolers.htm

Reasons for Home Schooling:
there are a variety of reasons why parents prefer to homeschool their children, but here are some of the overall, general reasons:



Journal and Magazine Articles on the Pros of Homeschooling

The following sources are listed according to the The MLA Handbook Eighth Edition, 2016. Although some journal, magazine, and newspaper articles can be found for free on the Web, we will list most of the sources (NOT ALL) as if they were in print. You can always change the citation based on examples that are available on our website.


  Bolle, Mary Beth, Roger D. Wessel, and Thalia Mulvihill. “Traditional Experiences of First-Year
 

College Students who were Homeschooled. Journal of College Student

 

Development, vol. 48, no. 6, 2007, pp. 37-54.

“The qualitative study found that there was little distinction between the transitional experiences of homeschooled students and traditionally educated students. During their first year of college, students experienced transitional issues such as loneliness, meeting others with different values, and dealing with greater independence. Academic and student support services, such as orientation, resident assistants, and campus programming, were influential institutional interventions in their transition to college.” .


  Davis, Aislin. “Evolution of Homeschooling.” Distance Learning, vol. 8, no. 2, 2011,
 

pp. 29-35.

A brief history of public schools and homeschooling is presented.  Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, but regulation of homeschooling can differ from state to state. Parents of homeschoolers can receive help in a number of ways such as by accessing experts and resources through eLearning and Distance Education. Although some parents may feel alone at times when teaching a curriculum, they learn that there is help available. Socialization is not as much an issue as it once was due to the fact that home school students have opportunities to interact with a variety of people and groups.  This article provides a good, overall picture of homeschooling issues.

 

  Drenovsky, Cynthia K. and Isaiah Cohen. “The Impact of Homeschooling on the Adjustment of
 

College Students.” International Social Science Review, vol. 87, no.1/2, 2012, pp. 19-34.

“The article presents the results of a study questioning whether home schooling affects a student’s ability to adjust and succeed in a college environment. The research concluded that previously home schooled students do NOT present with any significant differences in self-esteem than students who were traditionally educated, and are more likely to succeed academically and less likely to experience depression than their classmates who experienced no home schooling.  

 

  Geary, Danielle. “Trend and Data Analysis of Homeschooling.” Academic Leadership,
 

vol. 9, no. 4, 2011, pp. 1-4.

A good summary of the history of homeschooling including reasons why families homeschool is provided. Danielle mentions a number of studies that show how credible and effective that homeschooling is compared to traditional education.

  Jamaludin, Khairul Azhar, Norlidah Alias, and Dorothy DeWitt. “Research and Trends in the
 

Studies of Homeschooling Practices: A Review of Selected Journals." Turkish Online Journal

 

Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – TOJET, vol. 14, no. 3, 2015, pp. 111-119.

This journal article is not so much a research study as it is a Literature Review of studies about homeschooling. This is a very good article because it gives information about research studies that can be used for or against homeschooling. This review will lead you to more articles about homeschooling practices, academic performance, achievement, and effectiveness. This article is available online for FREE at http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1067705.pdf

 

  Ray, Brian D. “Academic Achievement and Demographic Traits of Students: A
 

Nationwide Study.” Academic Leadership, vol. 8, no. 1, 2010: n.page.

For some assignments, teachers want their students to find articles written by “experts” on their subjects. Dr. Brian D. Ray can be considered an expert on the subject of homeschooling, but his articles and views are very PRO homeschooling.  There is a lot of information here in this research study. There is a little background information about other aspects of homeschooling such as socialization, BUT most of this research study is about academic achievement of homeschooled students. A literature review reveals that More than two decades of research have shown that homeschooling – otherwise known as home-based education or home education—is associated with relatively high academic achievement, healthy, social, psychological, and emotional development, and success into adulthood for those who were home educated (Galloway & Sutton, 1999; Ray, 2005). This particular 2010 study supports the few other research studies, such as Dr. Lawrence Rudner’s 1999 study, on homeschool achievement, but Dr. Ray admits that there are limits to his study. If you want a recent research study that provides evidence that homeschooled children do just as well, if not better, on national achievement tests as public schooled students, then this article can be very helpful.

 


 

  Martin-Chang, Sandra, Odette N. Gould, and Reanne E. Meuse. “The Impact of Schooling
 
on Academic Achievement: Evidence from Homeschooled and Traditionally Schooled
 
Students." Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science
, vol. 43, no..3, 2011, pp. 195-202.

This is another scholarly research study that attempts to “compare the academic achievements of homeschooled children with a similar group of children attending public school.”  The authors start out by giving a brief review of the literature covering the relationship between academic achievement and homeschooled students. Dr. Lawrence Rudner’s study in 1999 and Dr. Brian D. Ray’s 2010 study suggest that “homeschooled children were functioning at a higher level than traditionally schooled children…” However, those studies may have a flawed methodology.  The authors of this new study try to do something different by comparing “the achievements of homeschooled children with a similar group of children attending public school.” The evidence from this new study “is in line with the assumption that homeschooling offers benefits over and beyond those experienced in public school.”  It is possible that a more structured homeschooling learning environment that many home schooled children face gives them more opportunities to achieve than their counterparts who attend public schools.



 

Cogan, Michael. “Exploring Academic Outcomes of Homeschooled Students.”

  Journal of College Admission, Summer Issue 2010, pp. 18-25.

“This exploratory study examines the academic outcomes of homeschooled students who enter a medium size doctoral institution located in the Midwest. Descriptive analysis reveals homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, grade point averages (GPAs) and graduation rates when compared to traditionally-educated students.”  “In addition, multiple regression analysis results reveal that students, at this particular institution, who are homeschooled, earn higher first-year and fourth year GPAs when controlling for demographic, pre-college, engagement, and first-term academic factors.”  This research study helps prove in another way that homeschooling can be an effective educational system.
This entire article can be found at: http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ893891


 

Mackey, Bonnie W., Kasha Reese, and Wade C. Mackey. “Demographics of Home Schoolers:

 

A Regional Analysis within the National Parameters.”  Education, vol. 132, no. 1, 2011, pp. 133-140.

 

Demographic information for homeschoolers is presented in this journal article. Charts and statistics are provided. Reasons for homeschooling are given.



 

“1.5 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2007.” National Center for Education Statistics.

  U.S. Department of Education, December 2008, nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009030.pdf. Accessed 27 Mar. 2012.

There are plenty of statistics at this website at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009030.pdf

 

 

Medlin, Richard G. “Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization.” Peabody

  Journal of Education, vol. 75, no.1/2, 2000, pp. 107-123.

This is a GREAT journal article covering SOCIALIZATION. Through research, the following questions are answered: “Do Home-Schooled Children Participate in the Daily Routines of their Communities?” “Are Home-Schooled Children Acquiring the Rules of Behavior and Systems of Beliefs and Attitudes they Need?” “Can Home-Schooled Children Function Effectively as Members of Society?” Overall, this is a very positive article covering a variety of aspects of homeschooling. Here are just some quotes of many statements provided: “Home schooling parents are strongly committed to providing positive socialization experiences for their children, but they believe that socialization is best achieved in an age-integrated setting under the auspices of the family rather in an institution. They seek to provide safe, secure, positive environments for their children to grow and learn.” “Skills learned at home are put into practice in the greater world,…the success which follows builds esteem and prepares the child for adulthood.”  “The activities parents reported in these surveys covered a wide range: organized sports, scouts and 4-H clubs, paid jobs, volunteer work, church activities, music and dance lessons, playing with friends and more.” There is plenty of information to indicate that children homeschooled can become good citizens and active leaders.

 

 

 

Romanowski, Michael H. “Revisiting the Common Myths about Homeschooling.”

 

       Clearing House, vol. 79, no. 3, 2006, pp.125-129.

This is another EXCELLENT peer-reviewed journal article that covers a variety of aspects about homeschooling, especially academic achievement AND socialization. A variety of reasons are provided on why people homeschool their children. The different main ideologies on why parents school their children at home are covered.  Through a variety of activities, students schooled at home “learn to get along with a variety of people, making them socially mature and able to adjust to new situations.” Almost an entire page is devoted to showing that home schooled students “are excellent citizens compared to the general U.S. population.”  Valuable information is presented from Dr. Brian D. Ray’s “Home Schooling Grows Up” research study.

Home Schooling Grows Up: A synopsis of the research study conducted by Dr. Brian Ray can be found at http://www.hslda.org/research/ray2003/homeschoolinggrowsup.pdf

PLEASE keep in mind that the Home School Legal Defense Association that gives the summary of the Dr. Brian Ray study IS the organization that FUNDED the study. Be careful of bias.

 

“Homeschooling Grows Up.” Home School Legal Defense Association.

 

 HSLDA.org, 2003, www.hslda.org/research/ray2003/homeschoolinggrowsup.pdf


Accessed 27 Mar. 2012.     

 

 

 

Wilhelm, Gretchen M. and Michael W. Firmin. “Historical and Contemporary Developments

  in Home School Education.” Journal of Research on Christian Education,
 
vol. 18, no..3, 2009, pp. 303-315.

The title of the journal pretty much explains the content of this article. A good history of homeschooling is given with plenty of pro homeschooling information especially from the Christian homeshooling perspective.

 



The Cons (Disadvantages) of Homeschooling

It is tougher to argue against homeschooling, but it is not impossible. Most of the same issues that people use to argue FOR homeschooling are the same issues that people use to argue AGAINST homeschooling.

Here is a possible introductory paragraph with thesis statement. We place the thesis statement in bold for instructional purposes only. We would not hand this in with anything bolded.

Homeschooling is not a new concept. Homeschooling has been around for centuries in many different countries throughout the world. Compulsory education in the United States was established around 1647. Our forefathers, believed that public education would help sustain democracy. There would be shared values and shared concerns among an informed citizenry.  Many societies, as our own, decided to move toward a better way of educating people, whether it was for obtaining a better democracy or better jobs.  Homeschooling is not as an effective education system as the public school system because of lack of socialization, lack of regulation, undermining of public good, and questions on overall academic achievement.

Possible Outline:

I. INTRODUCTION WITH THESIS STATEMENT
II. HISTORY
III. ACHIEVEMENT
IV. SOCIALIZATION
V. REGULATION
VI. GOOD CITIZENS
VII. CONCLUSION

Here is a possible conclusion to your research paper, essay, or speech. For instructional purposes only, we bolded some key statements that show how this "Con" conclusion differs from the "Pro" argument listed way above. We would NOT bold anything if we were to hand this for the teacher.

Homeschooling is a very old tradition in this country as well as other countries.  However, the United States and other countries developed a compulsory public school system for a reason. Homeschooling is not as effective of a method of education as the public education system.  There is no or very little regulation to assure the quality of the education that homeschoolers receive. The homeschool environment is isolated and lacks the interaction needed to provide the best social, psychological, and academic learning atmosphere.  There is no real, credible evidence that shows that homeschoolers achieve as well or better than public-schooled students since available studies are flawed. It is understandable how parents would love to spend as much time as they can with their children at home. However, when it comes to educating the students for social and academic success, homeschooling is not the best form of education system.


Both sides of the homeschooling debate will have different views on the following issues. Here is what the "CON" side has to say on the following issues::

Achievement:  There are not a lot of studies that have researched the academic achievement of home-schooled students, BUT there are a few. Every one of the studies provides data that shows homeschoolers have a tendency to do as well, if not, better than public school students on national achievement tests. As we said way above, whether it is research on capital punishment, school uniforms, global warming, or you name it, there will be people who question the validity, accuracy, or methodology of the research study. Research studies on homeschooling are NO different. There are, at least, two major research studies that provide information that homeschoolers obtain GREAT scores on national achievement tests.  A research study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner in 1999 and another study in 2010 by Dr. Brian D. Ray are two of the most quoted studies when it comes to showing the academic achievement that can be obtained through homeschooling. HOWEVER, there ARE critics of the studies as can be seen in a few of the articles listed below. For example, there is concern that the “sampling” used was not diverse enough. It appears that the study did not test/survey a wide enough cross-section of the home-schooled and public-schooled population.  It is very possible that the homeschoolers who take the tests are some of the best schooled and therefore feel comfortable volunteering to take the tests. It is very possible that the students who question if they can pass the tests, do not participate in the national achievement tests.


Socialization: Yes, this is one of the more touchy topics between the pro and con groups. There is quite a bit of literature on how parents take their homeschooled children to church groups, scouts, 4-H, music and dance lessons, and sporting activities. However, do homeschoolers really, REALLY access the same amount of diversity that public school students face each day?  Many homeschoolers have a tendency to interact with a fairly more homogenous group when compared to the diverse ethnic, financial, and social groups that many public school students face. Anyone who has gone through a public school education can understand this previous statement.  There is no question that financial cutbacks in public education has forced cuts in some academic curriculum, humanities, and sporting activities. Despite that, it does not take much of an imagination to realize that public schools, still, offer many more resources for students than what homeschoolers can access. We are talking about all kinds of resources such as computers, computer programs, lab equipment, microscopes, A/V equipment, science fairs, band, and sports. There is a wider variety of classes and expert teachers to teach classes. Foreign languages, drafting, home economics, math, and science are just a few examples.
Farther down this page is an excellent article from Time magazine that mentions a variety of negative aspects of homeschooling. Just a couple, of several very good examples of socialization provided, are:

This 2001 Time article provides valuable quotes and information that helps argue against homeschooling.

Regulation: Regulation and lack of oversight are two of the more credible arguments against homeschooling. Homeschooling IS legal in all 50 states, BUT regulations, rules, and policies governing homeschooling can vary widely per state. In some states, the regulations may be almost nonexistent. It is easy to understand that parents can give the special attention and love that their children need through homeschooling, BUT are the students receiving the expertise in subjects that the students need for academic achievement? Are the right subjects and enough structure being applied in the home-school setting? One of the pros of homeschooling is that parents have the right and freedom to teach their own children. However, do the parents have too much freedom? Michael Romanski in his article in Clearing House  states that “many of the skills that are important for successful students, employees, and professionals are not fully developed at home. For example, the home-school curriculum does not always emphasize organizational skills, time management, intense study habits, or the ability to work with others.” Robin West states in her article titled “The Harms of Homeschooling” that  “Again, in unregulated states, parents need not teach their children a thing.” “Whether homeschooled children receive an education comparable to that provided in public schools is almost entirely a matter of parental discretion.”
 
"Unschooled" is a form of homeschooling that can be of big concern because “unschooling embodies the notion of self-directed learning on the part of the child -- free from teachers, notebooks, and formal assessment.” Sandra Martin-Chang, Odette Gould, and Reanne Meuse provide some information on this subject.

A quote from one student in the following Time article states that  “I make pretty much all the decisions about what to study. I wasn’t interested in math or composition, so I didn’t really do it.”

Regulation pertains to achievement, also. Because homeschoolers are not required to take national achievement tests, those who take the tests may be some of the best-schooled who feel comfortable that they can pass the tests. The achievement tests show that homeschoolers can do well on achievement tests, BUT are ALL homeschoolers being tested?  Are the "unschoolers" being tested? Of what few unschoolers who are tested, the Sandra Martin-Chang article states that the data “suggests” that the unschooled group  “is being outperformed on academic tests both by the traditionally schooled and the structured homeschooled programs.”

Good Citizens
: The “good citizens” argument may be the weakest argument against homeschooling, BUT it IS an argument.  There is a feeling that “schools play several roles, including socializing future citizens, and fostering peer relations between children.”  The Chris Lubienski “Whither the Common Good? A Critique of Home Schooling” provides a lot of information on the “Good Citizen” as well as other arguments against homeschooling. Basically, homeschooling “undermines public education’s singular potential to serve as a democratic institution promoting the public good.” The good citizen argument seems related to the socialization concern that a public school education exposes students to a diverse population/culture and a wide range of social issues that helps make children well-informed adults.

 

Journal and Magazine Articles on the Cons of Homeschooling

The following sources are listed according to the The MLA Handbook Eighth Edition, 2016. Although some journal, magazine, and newspaper articles can be found for free on the Web, we will list most of the sources (NOT ALL) as if they were in print. You can always change the citation based on examples that are available on our website.

 

Bonesteel, Amy, Leslie Everton Brice, Beau Briese, John Cloud, Deborah Fowler, and Kathie Klarreich.

  “Home Sweet School.” Time, 27 Aug. 2001, pp. 46-54.

This is an older 2001 magazine article, BUT it is an EXCELLENT article with a number of “cons” that can be used in your research paper, essay, report, or speech. With less students in public schools, then that means less state and federal funding for public education. Parents who want to teach their children at home need to realize that it takes a BIG commitment on their part in time, money, and effort to teach “their” students. ESPECIALLY helpful are the quotes from the homeschooled students about socialization. Here are some examples:

 

  Green-Hennessy, Sharon. “Homeschooled Adolescents in the United States:
 

Developmental. Outcomes. Journal of Adolescence, vol. 37, no.4, 2014, pp. 441-449.

It is tough finding studies that say that homeschoolers do not do as well academically as their public school educated counterparts. However, this study concentrates on a specific group of homeschoolers. This study examines how U.S. homeschoolers fare on outcomes such as substance abuse, delinquency, and socialization problems given their lack of access to these school services. Apparently, homeschooling is not the best choice for some families. Taking in “controlling  for demographic differences, homeschoolers with weaker religious ties were three times more likely to report being behind their expected grade level and two and a half times more likely to report no extracurricular activities in the prior year than their traditionally schooled counterparts.”


  Jamaludin, Khairul Azhar, Norlidah Alias, and Dorothy DeWitt. “Research and Trends in the
 

Studies of Homeschooling Practices: A Review of Selected Journals." Turkish Online Journal

 

Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – TOJET, vol. 14. no..3, 2015, pp. 111-119,

 

files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1067705.pdf. Accessed 10 Aug. 2016.

(NOTE: 3 Feb.2016 is date accessed.) This journal article is not so much a research study as it is a Literature Review of studies about homeschooling. This is a very good article because it gives information about research studies that can be used for or against homeschooling. This review will lead you to more articles about homeschooling practices, academic performance, achievement, and effectiveness. This article is available online for FREE at http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1067705.pdf.


  Lubienski, Christopher, Tiffany Puckett, and T Jameson Brewer. "Does Homeschooling “Work?”
 


A Critique of the Empirical Claims and Agenda of Advocacy Organizations." Peabody Journal of Education,

 

vol. 88, no. 3, 2013, pp. 378-392.


If you are looking for a scholarly journal article that is against (CON) homeschooling than you need to try to read this article. Here is an abstract for this journal article: “The phenomenal growth of homeschooling in recent years demonstrates not only the appeal of this educational approach but also the notable policy acumen of the homeschooling movement's leading advocates. This analysis examines and critiques the empirical claims made by homeschooling proponents to justify further expansion and deregulation of the movement, and sheds light on the homeschool advocacy agenda explicit in those claims. Advocates often strongly suggest a causal connection between homeschooling and academic success, postsecondary attainment, and even enjoyment of life. Seemingly, these benefits are experienced all at a reduced cost per student. It is through such claims that homeschooling advocates have expanded the practice of homeschooling and have pressed for fewer state regulations and less oversight. This article outlines and challenges those claims, showing the tenuous basis for such conclusions. Instead, in an era when policymakers demand evidence of effective educational practices, we note the remarkable lack of empirical evidence on the effectiveness of this popular approach and suggest that continued efforts to claim such evidence exists indicates the desire of advocates to further advance what is largely an ideological agenda of deregulation as an end in itself.”  This is a important CON article because there are so very few journal articles that present a "con" perspective about homeschooling.

 

Lubienski, Chris. “Whither the Common Good? A Critique of Home Schooling.”

 

Peabody Journal of Education, vol. 75, no. 1/2 , 2000, pp. 207 -232.

This 2000 scholarly journal article is one of the best articles that you can find that gives reasons why home schooling “undermines deliberative democracy and public education as an institution with potential to serve the common good. Home schooling negates the public interest in how education is provided. It undermines the common good by withdrawing social capital as well as children from public schools to the detriment of students remaining in these schools and by undermining, as an exit strategy, the ability of public education to improve and become more responsive as a democratic institution.”  This article, alone, goes a LONG way to explain the argument that homeschooling is a threat to producing informed “good citizens.”


  Ray, Brian D. “Academic Achievement and Demographic Traits of Students: A
 

Nationwide Study.” Academic Leadership, vol. 8, no.1, 2010, n.pag.

This scholarly journal article is written by Dr. Brian D. Ray who is an expert on the subject of homeschooling. Although this article and author is pro homeschooling and presents favorable results for achievement tests,  Dr. Ray does acknowledge some questionable aspects of the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics research study. Dr. Ray is concerned that the “test scores seem, in some ways, notably too high.” Also, he readily admits that “there are notable limitations to this study.” “Homeschool families and their students do not appear to be a completely representative cross-section of all families in the United States.”

The content of the standardized test used is another concern. “While home schools teach the basic skill areas of reading, mathematics, social studies, and science, they do not necessarily follow the same scope, sequence, or emphasis as traditional public and private schools.”  This is an issue with the validity of the tests and this brings up the concern with lack of regulations and oversight with what is being taught and how.  

Please keep in mind that this study was commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association and conducted by Dr. Brian Ray. The organization and Dr. Ray are very pro homeschooling. It would have been nice if a more independent agency had been MORE involved.

 

 

Gaither, Milton. “New Ray Study of Homeschooler Demographics and Achievement."

 

Homeschooling Research Notes. 3 May 2010,

  gaither.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/new-ray-study-of-homeschooler-demographics-and-achievement/.

Milton Gaither is a professor at Messiah College in Grantham, PA.  He performs his own research on homeschooling and posts information about this subject on his website.  Professor Gaither provides a critique of  Dr. Ray’s 2010 academic achievement study for homeschoolers. In short, Professor Gaither supports the views by some critics of the study by writing “in short, Ray’s sample is way more conservative, way more Christian, and way, way whiter than the American norm.”
This information can be found at http://gaither.wordpress.com/2010/05/03/new-ray-study-of-homeschooler-demographics-and-achievement/

 

  Rudner, Lawrence M. “Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students
 
in 1998." Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 7, no..8, 1999, www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED424309.pdf.

This is the first big research study performed in 1999 that showed that homeschoolers do quite well on academic achievement tests. This report/study can be found free online at: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED424309.pdf

HOWEVER, CRITIQUE (counter arguments) of the Rudner research study can be found in the following publication:

 

“The Scholastic Achievement of Home School Students. ERIC/AE Digest.”  ERIC Clearinghouse

  on Assessment and Evaluation, August 1999, www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED435709.pdf.

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) is a very well-respected government agency that collects educational information. They will present and analyze some information as they did with the Rudner study. The staff of the ERIC Digest presents a critique of the study and mentions that “in spite of the large size of the student sample, there are notable limitations to the study.”  “The superior performance of home school students on achievement tests can easily be misinterpreted. This study does not demonstrate that home schooling is superior to public or private schools.”  

“The Scholastic Achievement of Home School Students. ERIC/AE Digest” article can be located free online at: http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED435709.pdf

 

 

Martin-Chang, Sandra, Odette N. Gould, and Reanne E. Meuse. “The Impact of Schooling on Academic Achievement:

  Evidence from Homeschooled and Traditionally Schooled Students." Canadian Journal of Behavioural
 
Science,
vol. 43, no. 3, 2011, pp.195-202.

Methodological flaws in Rudner’s study is discussed as well as similar flaws in Dr. Brian Ray’s research study. There is plenty of information provided about the “unschooled.”   The data “suggests”  “that the unschooled group is being outperformed on academic tests both by the traditionally schooled and the structured homeschooled programs.” This is another EXCELLENT “CON” article that disputes the validity of a couple of the major research studies about achievement tests.


 

  Rich, Motoko. “Home Schooling: More Pupils, Less Regulation.” New York Times,
 

4 Jan. 2015. n. pag., www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/education/home-schooling-more-pupils-less-regulation.html?_r=0

In Pennsylvania, “Families keeping their children out of traditional classrooms were required to register each year with their local school district, outlining study plans and certifying that adults in the home did not have a criminal record. At the end of the year, they submitted portfolios of student work to private evaluators for review. The portfolio and evaluator’s report then went to a school district superintendent to approve.” HOWEVER, in October  of 2014, Pennsylvania relaxed some of its requirements.  This is a good newspaper article that shows that regulation can be a concern. This article can be found free online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/education/home-schooling-more-pupils-less-regulation.html?_r=0

 

 

Romanski, Michael H. “Common Arguments about the Strengths and Limitations

 

of Home Schooling." Clearing House, vol. 75, no. 2, 2001, pp. 79-83.  

Romanski presents a number of arguments against homeschooling, especially socialization. “For example, home schooled seldom are exposed to the diversity of beliefs and backgrounds that they would encounter in most public school classrooms. Even when home schooled students engage in community activities such as sports teams, the few hours spent in practice and playing games do little to expose students to differing viewpoints and lifestyles.” “To receive a complete education, students need to engage in discussions, share ideas, compete, and work with other students.”  “Another concern about home schooling is that the instructor may lack the resources or facilities to deliver a well-rounded curriculum.”



 

West, Robin L. “The Harms of Homeschooling.” Philosophy & Public Quarterly,

 

vol. 29, no. 3/4, 2009, pp. 7-12.

Robin West’s main concern is about unregulated homeschooling. The author is not totally against homeschooling as an educational system. However, her concern is the lack of regulation and governmental oversight of a variety of factors concerning homeschooling.  “Because of lax or no regulation, in most of the country parents who homeschool now have virtually unfettered authority to decide what  subjects to teach, what curriculum materials to use, and how much, or how little, of each day will be devoted to education.”  “In most (but not all) states, testing is optional and in almost all states, the parent-teachers need not be certified or otherwise qualified to teach. In other words, in much of the country, if you want to keep your kids home from school, or just never send them in the first place, you can.” This scholarly journal article can be found in the Summer/Fall 2009, volume 29, issue 3/4  of Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly. This issue can be online for free at: http://ippp.gmu.edu/QQ/Vol29_3-4.pdf

 


WEBSITES

There are websites that provide information about homeschooling. Here are a couple websites that may be of help.

Home School Legal Defense Association is a VERY Pro Homeschooling organization. Pro homeshooling information can be found at this website.

National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) “conducts homeschooling research, is a clearinghouse of research for the public, researchers, homeschoolers, the media, and policy makers, and educates the public concerning the findings of all related research. NHERI executes, evaluates, and disseminates studies and information (e.g., statistics, facts, data) on homeschooling (i.e., home schooling, home-based education, home education, home school, home-schooling, unschooling, deschooling, a form of alternative education), publishes reports and the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Home School Researcher, and serves in consulting, academic achievement tests, and expert witness (in courts and legislatures).”

Statistics about Non-Public Education in the United States provides all kinds of statistics about education in the United States including some statistics about homeschooling.


 

Summary of our Research (Our opinions)


I know that it is just our opinion, but after doing A LOT of research on homeschooling, it seems very hard to argue against homeschooling. Once again, we have to mention some things about the following aspects of homeschooling that just S T O O D out for us when researching the pros and cons of homeschooling.

Achievement: It is just so hard to argue against the results of a few academic achievement studies such as:

When doing the research, it appeared that tons of news agencies and sources ran with the results that homeschoolers do as well, if not better, than students who participated in the public school system. There just does not appear to be a study that counters the statistics. Sure, opponents of the studies claim flaws in the methodology, but there does NOT appear to be any clear scholarly research studies that says that only a relatively-few homeschoolers do well on the national achievement tests. To put that another way, there does NOT appear to be any research studies that prove that homeschoolers do NOT do as well on achievements tests as public-schooled students.


Socialization: Sure, it makes sense that homeschooled students would not have anywhere close to the resources that public school students have. Some homeschooled children have expressed if they had a choice, they would like to interact more with their peers like what they could do if they attended public schools.  However, is the socialization issue REALLY that big of ISSUE? There is enough evidence to show that many, many homeschoolers find enough social events/groups so that they do well socially and become respectable citizens of the community.


Regulation: Okay, now THAT SEEMS TO BE A CONCERN. That is plain old SCARY that parents can teach their children just about anything that they want.  For many, many home-school environments, there is NO regulation or oversight. It does make you question just who was taking those academic achievement tests and doing so well on the tests.  Probably NOT the “unschoolers.”


Good Citizens: When we first researched homeschooling about 15 years ago, we did not pay attention to this concern about homeschooling. Either there was not much mentioned on this aspect OR we did not think that much about this concern. To us, it seems like a pretty weak “con” against homeschooling. Hey, we went to public schools where there were PLENTY of questionable students who were NOT learning OR were going to drop out of society once they could avoid the truant officers. However, there is not much material to use to argue against homeschooling and there is enough literature out there to help you use “good citizens” as a “con” for homeschooling.  Depending on the length of your paper or speech, you might need to use this issue to help fill up pages or time during a speech.


We know that many teachers want their students to find scholarly, credible sources that support the paper, essay, or speech. The purpose of this research guide was to do the research and present you with enough "scholarly" material to write a decent research paper (essay) or give a speech. We feel that we have achieved that. As far as whether homeschooling is more or less effective than public schools, it appears to us that it depends on A LOT of factors, such as the parents, children, and public schools. There are some outstanding public educational systems within the world. There are many outstanding, knowledgeable loving parents. There are many students who can learn in about any system. There may not be one clear right answer now or ever.

 

How to Cite this Web Page According to The MLA Handbook Eighth Edition, 2016

"Home Schooling: The Pros and Cons." The College and  

 

Career Library. 20 Nov. 2016. (Date that you accessed the web page such as 27 Nov. 2016)

Double-space the lines. Use hanging indentation with the second line (if needed) and is indented about 7 or 10 spaces.  The title of the web page is "Home Schooling: The Pros and Cons".  There is no official author so place the title first and in quotes as seen above. The official website is called The College and Career Library and is placed in ITALICS.   9 June 2012 is when the web page was created, BUT it was UPDATED November 20, 2016. Type the URL and then the date that you accessed the website or web page, such as 27 Nov. 2016.

"Home Schooling: The Pros and Cons." The College and Career Library.  

 

20 Nov. 2016. www.booksinformationandmore.com. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.


This web page was created June 9, 2012, BUT updated November 20, 2016.

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