Eye on Education

Homeschooling Probably Doesn’t Stunt Children’s Development, and Other Findings

Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews offers a quick take on a new book on homeschooling by a Vanderbilt University professor.

Professor Joseph Murphy’s “definitive study” on homeschooling in America points out that homeschooling that affects more students nationwide than the entire charter school movement. But charter schools tend to get more ink/pixels.

Two other interesting homeschooling findings from Murphy’s book, via Mathews:

  1. Fewer parents are choosing homeschooling for religious reasons:

    But research shows, Murphy says, that in the growth of home-schooling “ideological rationales in general and religious-based motivations in particular, although still quite significant, are becoming less important.”

    Scholars say parents are more likely to switch to home-schooling if they see the academic quality of their local schools decline or the number of low-income students in those schools increase.

  2. And homeschooling probably doesn’t turn children into social outcasts:

    Most of us public school people wonder if home-schooling stifles children’s social development. What little data is available says no. “At a minimum this concept is likely overblown and more likely is without foundation,” Murphy says.


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