School Scores and School Choices

2009 August 12
by INC

On her Twitter this morning LaShawn Barber wrote:

“Blessed are the homeschoolers! For they shall inherit high scores. And save taxpayers’ money…”

She linked to a World Net Daily column regarding a new study released by the Home School Legal Defense Association comparing standardized test scores of homeschool students to those of public school students.

“Drawing on the results from 15 independent testing services, the Progress Report 2009, the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed, showed homeschoolers who participated in the California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and Stanford Achievement Test scored 37 percentile points above public school students on standardized tests.

The study also showed that achievement gaps common in public schools and linked to income levels and other factors mostly were absent or minimal in the homeschool community.”

Over the years studies have continued to validate homeschooling as an educational venue in which children can excel.

Many of you already know that I homeschooled my children for most of their educational years before college.  The impetus for our original decision to teach our children at home came from changes in school policy as well as reading Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s Home Grown Kids and David and Micki Colfax’s Homeschooling For Excellence.  Other favorite books of mine include John Holt’s numerous works, John Taylor Gatto’s Dumbing Us Down and David Guterson’s Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense.

Some of the best advice I ever received was from a friend who told me to take it a year at a time and to evaluate the needs of our children and our family when making educational decisions annually.  Over the years our children briefly spent time in public schools and church schools.  Our children also participated in our state’s program in which high school students can be eligible to enroll in the local community college.

To say there is wide diversity in the homeschool movement is an understatement.  Parents have differing philosophies of education, life, religion and politics.  You will find those who are Unschoolers, the name coined by John Holt, and you will also find those who bring a standard school setting into the home.

Every child and every family is different and there may be changes in family situations that necessitate changes in methods of education.  Local school districts can offer an education families find very beneficial or districts can be involved in agendas that families find abhorrent.

For me the most important thing to remember is that parents are the ones who should be making decisions about what, how and by whom their children are taught.  Our children are nurtured and reared by us, their mothers and fathers.  We are the ones who have loved them, laughed with them, cared for them in sickness and sorrow and worked at training and teaching them our values.  We have invested ourselves in our children and we, not the state, are the ones to determine educational choices on their behalf.


H/T:  LaShawn Barber, World Net Daily.

23 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 August 12 12:11 pm
    JustMary permalink

    Excellent, INC. Thank you!

    Btw- you don’t have to be a homeschooling family to donate to HSLDA, they work tirelessly for homeschoolers rights and always appreciate donations. We were members when we were homeschooling, and they were an invaluable resource.

    Anyhow, I would absolutely homeschool again if need be. Hubby and I are on a wait and see basis with our son. Wait and see because we are in CA, and the schools are on a downward spiral. CA makes it so blasted hard to homeschool, which is silly, because we aren’t using resources that could be made available to other students whose parents cannot keep their children home.

  2. 2009 August 12 12:16 pm
    JustMary permalink

    My friend Lisa posted this article on another site this morning.

  3. 2009 August 12 12:18 pm
    INC permalink

    Mary, it’s why I emphasized the differences in families and the situations in which they may find themselves and their children. One year and/or one child in the same family can vary widely!

    People in CA do have a rough time of it! It is one state that really wants to dictate propaganda education to parents.

  4. 2009 August 12 12:20 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Home schoolers have a tactical advantage — small class size and a teacher that knows the pupil(s) well. No dig either, just a fact of life. Plus, unless the parents are flaming you-know-whats which is a whole different problem, most kids do want their parents affirmation.

  5. 2009 August 12 12:22 pm
    INC permalink

    The subtitle says it all:

    Barack Obama could hasten the spread of educating children at home

    I did notice a couple of canards: the adequacy of education as defined by this statement:

    “Unregulated home-schooling opens up the possibility that children will never learn about…alternative ways of life,” writes Rob Reich of Stanford University.

    and the lack of “social skills”.

  6. 2009 August 12 12:25 pm
    INC permalink

    Dr. Dog, good points. Most kids do want their parents affirmation. Another benefit was that our kids also truly enjoy each other.

  7. 2009 August 12 12:30 pm
    JustMary permalink

    Gosh….that is the one thing that used to bug the snot out of me. My son lacked NONE of these “social skills”. Our homeschool group had hundreds of families in it, and that was just one of the groups we were members of. He was not only with other children, he was around adults. He had to interact in situations he wouldn’t have been in had he been in school. He was learning real life skills, while still doing his studies, while having time to play with other children, while having time to just be. He got way more out of life than he would have in a classroom, while regaining confidence lost from a horrible experience in the second grade, with a tenured teacher I can only describe as satan.


  8. 2009 August 12 12:36 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    I have a certain favoritism to homeschoolers. I was classified as a ‘problem kid’. Truth be known, my 4th grade teacher was an ass and I sorta let her know it in the ways of a 9yo is capable. Parents sent me to a private school. They followed a ‘students teach themselves’ regimen half class, half self-study. Went back into public school in high school which was a waste except for AP-calc and AP-english. I had already learned all the other topics.

  9. 2009 August 12 1:02 pm
    Havok permalink

    I have a friend who continually argues with me that homeschooling is bad because the kids don’t get the social aspect of school.
    Boy that gets me fired up. “Social Aspect??” I yell! “My kid is there to learn! What are you talking about??” I ask him.
    My kid gets enough socializing while playing sports and playing with his friends!

    ….On a different note. This woman is an idiot.

  10. 2009 August 12 1:05 pm
    janzam permalink

    OT, out of town, and on dial-up, but thought I would post this article that seems so out-of-place in the United States.

    Hunger hits Detroit’s middle class Link

  11. 2009 August 12 1:06 pm
    INC permalink

    JM, I hear you!

    Dr. D., IMO, some kids,should be homeschooled from the get go due to high energy level/high intelligence. They are either restless or bored. At far too early an age kids are expected to sit still and do workbooks.

  12. 2009 August 12 1:09 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    ….On a different note. This woman is an idiot.

    A lot of that going around these days Havok. If I can coin a term — Its the Congressional Flu. Symptoms. Head is full of themselves. The last cognitive thought they possessed left in the last tissue they blew their nose on.

  13. 2009 August 12 1:15 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    High energy, yeah. High intelligence, well lets skip that ok?

    Did your school district practice ‘hold backs?’. Seems when I was in primary if you were born after Sept. 1st, they placed you in the class behind you in age range. So here ya are, almost a full year older than your peers in the same class. Crazy. Add that to the BS with the assault on left handedness and I was gritting my teeth.

  14. 2009 August 12 1:19 pm
    INC permalink

    I’m an October baby and was one of the youngest in my class, but I started kindergarten in a different city and then we moved.

  15. 2009 August 12 1:20 pm
    INC permalink

    You sound like some of Rush Limbaugh’s stories about school! A lot of kids quickly see through pretense and needless mickey mouse kind of school activities. They see no need for it and let their thoughts be known to the teacher! (in one way or another!).

  16. 2009 August 12 1:23 pm
    INC permalink

    One of our neighbor’s sons was a real hands-on active little boy-very different from his older brother who seemed to do OK in those early years. This kid helped his mom put together a new grill–that was typical of him. He was a great kid and I really liked him, and I knew his early years of school were hard for him. I talked to her about homeschooling him and was disappointed she didn’t seriously consider it.

  17. 2009 August 12 1:29 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    INC, when the collapse of the muni bond market comes and the school districts can’t pay their bills and get foreclosed; we will all be home schoolers.

  18. 2009 August 12 1:36 pm
    INC permalink

    There were some districts in Florida in the panhandle that couldn’t meet salary a year or two ago due to some mishandling in Tallahassee. I can’t remember the exact story.

    We may see some real “change”.

  19. 2009 August 12 2:42 pm
    bc3b permalink

    janzam –

    It’s interesting because my primary client (who operates from New Jersey, just outside New York City) was just in town today for a strategy session with some of my Detroit area suppliers (administrative services, printers, etc.) to discuss a strategy that basically entails “outsource your marketing to Detroit” instead of using NYC-NJ vendors. Detroit printers are literally selling their services at cost to keep their doors open. Detroit always less expensive than NYC-NJ (maybe 15%, but now it’s 30% or more).

    Basically, he’s going to start telling his clients, “think of Detroit like India, except it’s in the same time zone and the people speak understandable English.”

    I recently put an administrative program out to bid to a Lansing, MI company and another in Southern California. The Lansing company was 42% lower and offered some great proactive ideas. Michigan companies that are non-union are hungry in more ways than one.

  20. 2009 August 12 2:45 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Don’t forget private schools, both religiuous and secular for the contributions they make.

  21. 2009 August 12 2:47 pm
    INC permalink

    bc, I wish private schools had been included in the study. I think they always do better than public schools on scores and usually for less money than public schools (unless they are a very high end private school).

  22. 2009 August 12 3:55 pm
    conservativetony permalink

    Speaking of homeshooling,

    Ayers, Alinsky and Wright proudly homeschooled Obama for many years. His report cards said he was a stellar student (top of his class) and always turned his homework in on time.

  23. 2009 August 12 5:56 pm
    beej permalink

    Ayers, Alinsky and Wright proudly homeschooled Obama for many years. His report cards said he was a stellar student (top of his class) and always turned his homework in on time.
    Someone left some information to be found? I thought he didn’t do anything between the time he was born and like…1988. Someone is going to be sooooooooo upset.

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