Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Structured Homeschooling Gets an A+

Check out this article in Science Daily:
ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2011) — "There's no place like home," an iconic line uttered by Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, might apply to learning the ABC's, math and other core subjects. A new study from Concordia University and Mount Allison University has found that homeschooling -- as long as it's structured or follows a curriculum -- can provide kids with an academic edge.

"Structured homeschooling may offer opportunities for academic performance beyond those typically experienced in public schools," says first author Sandra Martin-Chang, a professor in the Concordia Department of Education, noting this is among the first nonpartisan studies to investigate home education versus public schooling.

Published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, the investigation compared 74 children living in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick: 37 who were homeschooled versus 37 who attended public schools. Participants were between 5 and 10 years old and each child was asked to complete standardized tests, under supervision of the research team, to assess their reading, writing, arithmetic skills, etc.

"Although public school children we assessed were performing at or above expected levels for their ages, children who received structured homeschooling had superior test results compared to their peers: From a half-grade advantage in math to 2.2 grade levels in reading," says Martin-Chang. "This advantage may be explained by several factors including smaller class sizes, more individualized instruction, or more academic time spent on core subjects such as reading and writing."
Makes sense, doesn't it? The government policies however favor public schools, that are much less efficient, to say the least:
In Canada, government schooling operates on the basis of extortion. That's a well-established fact. Parents who choose other options for educating their children still have to pay, through their taxes, to keep the doors of these government schools open. They pay to educate their own children and they pay for the child care and crowd control services for the other children in their community.
And, talking about the school funding - there is a rather interesting debate going on in Toronto, where some crazed egalitarians believe that even if public schools should still be allowed to raise funds from the community - they shouldn't be allowed to keep all the money they raise - "to ensure fairness".

Well, that's probably one more reason why homeschooling succeeds. After all, those parents who value the opportunity to be in charge of their children's education and who have to work hard to be able to afford independent schooling, don't believe in the kind of "fairness" that involves taking parents' and neighbors' money, directed to help a specific school and redistributing it to completely different schools that either fail or don't even bother to raise funds from the community. They believe in merit and hard work; they teach their children to take full control of their lives and not to rely on the nanny state to solve their problems for them. And that's turns out to be the best way to succeed - academically, socially, professionally and financially...

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