Homeschoolers Outperform their Peers
Critics are skeptical about homeschoolers’ prospects as they start college. These critics maintain that their social and academic skills are not adequate enough to enable homeschoolers to succeed at college. Public school matriculants, on the other hand, are expected to be successful at college, as thought by these same critics.
Critics argue that when homeschoolers matriculate, they lack the skills required to learn in a lecture setting as well as the skills needed to interact socially with their peers. Homeschoolers, they claim, are not able to make up the skills they lack, and thus they are doomed to fail in a college environment.
Is this a fair assessment of the academic and psychological outcomes of homeschooling? Consider the evidence below for a positive and accurate reflection of the skills and abilities that homeschoolers are equipped with as they venture beyond their high school years and into the world of study and work.
Performance on Admission Tests
Colleges use admission tests for two purposes: to identify students that will succeed academically, and to accurately predict college grade point averages. Despite criticism that admission tests are defective and contain race and gender biases, colleges continue to use these tests to predict academic success at college.
A comparison of SAT and ACT scores yields some rather unexpected results. Homeschoolers are not at a disadvantage – rather, it is often the public students who lag behind their homeschool counterparts. A 2009 study by the University of St. Thomas yielded surprising comparisons: the average ACT score for a homeschooled student is 26.5, compared to 25.0 for public students. Homeschoolers showed even better aptitude with ACT English scores – homeschoolers average 27.8 compared to students in public school who average 24.5.
College Grades and Graduation Rates
Once at college, homeschoolers continue to outperform their peers. The St Thomas study revealed that homeschoolers fared better on the Freshman GPA with an average score of 3.41, as opposed to the public school students’ average score of 3.12. The study showed a higher graduation rate for homeschooler-freshman compared to their public school peers – 66.7% and 58.6% respectively.
Fault finders claim that homeschoolers have not had the opportunity to develop socialization skills in their socially isolated homeschool environment. Thus they are at a disadvantage in the social environment at college and, consequently, they will not be able to cope academically.
Now consider the following findings regarding homeschoolers:
- Happiness: 67.3% of homeschoolers described themselves as happy, whereas only 43.8% of the general population went as far as to describe themselves as happy.
- Civic and community service: Homeschoolers’ ability to socialize is proven by the finding that as adults, they are far more likely than their peers to vote and participate in civic and community service.
- Social engagement: 69% of adults are confident enough to participate in organized social activities, whereas only 48% of public school leavers participate in social activities at least once a week.
Why do homeschooled children socialize better than their public school counterparts? Joe Kelly, an author and parenting expert who conducted a study to answer this question, noted the following: Homeschoolers generally spend less time involved in class activities, allowing them more social engagement opportunities in sport, cultural and community activities.
The facts discussed above speak for themselves and paint the real picture of homeschoolers’ abilities and achievements. Contrary to stereotyped ideas, research proves that not only do homeschoolers outperform their peers at college, but that they go on to become better-adjusted and more productive members of society.