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Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook
January 9, 2013
As a data manager in social science research, I must say this is a dishonest presentation of facts. You are comparing organic hand-cultivated apples to mass-produced oranges here.
Parents who choose homeschooling are a subset of all American parents, and they are different in some ways. Most notably, they are parents who feel so strongly about avoiding public education that they are willing to take on their children's education as at least a part-time job, typically a full-time job for one parent. It makes perfect sense that children in families that make education so high a priority will perform better than average public school children--because, although I know many families who value education and put their efforts toward improving public schools and choose to send their kids there, I also know that many of my son's classmates come from homes where parents do not care if their kids do homework and/or think that academic success is for dweebs. Public school teachers do their best with those kids. Homeschool teachers just ignore them.
The silliest thing in this graphic is the comparison of percentile scores. Study statistics in your homeschool and learn what percentile scores ARE. They represent the behavior of a population. The 50th percentile is set at the mean score. The population of American students taking any standardized test has an overwhelming majority of public school students. Therefore, the mean score of public school students is always going to be very close to the 50th percentile; no matter how much public school students improve their performance, they'll only change the mean raw score, not the percentile ranking of public school students.
Also notable in this graphic are the figures for which you offer no comparison:
13% of American high school students are proficient in US history (you don't state that these are PUBLIC school students, but you've got it in the public column, so I'll assume that's what you meant) but what % of homeschool graduates are proficient?
Fathers of homeschoolers tend to have well-educated, stable, high-earning types of careers. (I won't call them "homeschooling fathers" because it is most likely the mothers doing the homeschooling while these fathers are working.) What are the most common careers among fathers of public school students?
Is this graphic an example of the quality of thinking, honesty, and comprehension of American society we can expect from homeschoolers?
January 10, 2013
ditto. This is NOT a comparison. These are just a bunch of random statistics that don't offer any comparison.
I think homeschooling is a valid choice you can make. But you need to make it for the right choice (to shelter your children from the "real world" is NOT a valid choice. I once met a mom who homeschooled her 10 year old because she was short. She wasn't a little person or dwarf, but was literally just petite. Crazyass.) But if you homeschool because you believe you can provide a better one-on-one learning experience for your child, great. If you child has some disabilities that you can better address yourself, great. But I don't think it is the end all be all. Just as there are benefits of homeschooling, there are also benefits to public schools. My biggest concern with homeschooling is expertise in all the different fields required. How can one person have all that? I have a Graduate degree and can barely get through some of my 10-year old's gifted math homework. Growing up in MA, I certainly had NO expertise on VA history that they learn in 4th grade.
Anyway, I think this could be a good peice, but what is above is NOT a comparison!
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