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Homeschooling Associated with Beneficial Learner and Societal Outcomes but Educators Do Not Promote It

Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 88, No. 3

Brian D. Ray, National Home Education Research Institute

ABSTRACT

This article reviews research on homeschool learner outcomes and evaluates opposition to homeschooling. It synthesizes research on learner outcomes related to homeschooling in areas of students’ academic achievement and children's social, emotional, and psychological development and the success of adults who were home educated and finds generally positive outcomes on a variety of variables are associated with homeschooling. The author identifies four classes of negativity expressed toward home-based education by the education profession, such as the claims homeschooling is bad for the collective good and that without much state regulation significant numbers of homeschooling (home schooling) parents will harm their children. The evaluation reveals that proactive opposition to homeschooling and calls for significant state control over homeschooling do not offer any empirical research evidence that homeschooling is bad for individual children, families, neighborhoods, or the collective good. The alleged harms of homeschooling or arguments for more control of it are fundamentally philosophical and push for the state, rather than parents, to be in primary and ultimate control over the education and upbringing of children so they will come to hold worldviews more aligned with the state and opponents of state-free homeschooling than with the children's parents and freely chosen relationships.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian D. Ray (Ph.D., science education, Oregon State University; M.S., zoology, Ohio University; B.S., Biology, University of Puget Sound) is internationally known for his research on homeschooling. He is the founding president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute in Oregon, U.S.A. (www.nheri.org). Dr. Ray is a former professor of science and education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, a former classroom teacher in both public and private schools, and he has taught homeschool students. Dr. Ray does research and speaking across the United States and internationally that focuses on home-based education research and pedagogy, and serves as an expert witness in court cases and to government bodies.


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