Homeschooling: the results


In the newspapers of late there has been a fair amount written about the gonvernment's concern over homeschooling. The familiar wheels of social engineering are starting to turn in Westminster, as there is talk of yet another review of homeschooling and the possibility of introducing more rigid curriculum for home-educated students.

There is no evidence to back up this particular scare. In fact, there is not a great deal of research on homeschooling in general, yet if the government were to look at what is available, they would see that homeschooling families could teach them a thing or two about education.

Paula Rothermel of Durham University has shown that home-educated children outscore their school counterparts, with those from lower socio-economic groups outperforming their middle class peers; while the Cambridge University Primary Review concludes that: “Studies of homeschooling children show clear and substantial evidence of high (and above average) performance".  The review goes on to describe a study in the U.S. in which the average home-educated student is one grade higher than an average public or private schooled student in grades one to four until by the eighth grade an average home-educated student is four grades higher than their public or private counterpart.

Of course, there are many other reasons why parents choose homeschooling. However, given that this government can only judge by test results it is necessary to defend our freedom on the same point. Unfortunately the ideology of this government seems intent on interfering in the running of some very successful families. One would think they would focus their attention on teaching the children whose parents still let the state teach them.