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Academic Achievement of Homeschooled Children Essay

These days many American children are schooled at home, with the number growing more and more per year; however, t the same time home schooling has received less attention than other recent changes in the educational system. It could be argued that home schooling may have a much larger impact on educational system, both in the short and long run. This research will basically provide the home school population, its growth and its characteristics.

Also, with the beginning of a discussion of the data sources used in the analysis, this research examines characteristics of home schooled children and their families such as those characteristics most relevant for gauging trends in home schooling. Lastly, there will be talked about implications of home schooling for regular schools and a brief conclusion. Therefore, based on all these researches, I am going to research whether or not home-based education cause higher academic achievement than the institutional schooling in U. S. A.

Proposal Methods The researchers will use quantitative research regarding the influence of the educational background of parents on the performance of their home schooled children. The performance of the home schooled children will be quantified in comparison with the public school children with also varying educational backgrounds. Survey method—using will be used in order to obtain the more generalized results of the study. Participants will be contacted first through phone to have permission or consent of being part of the study.

This part will also inform the family, especially the parents about the research study that will be conducted. According to Timothy Johnson of University of Illinois at Chicago, having an informed consent of the participants is part of the ethics of conducting researches. (Johnson) If the participants agree on being part of the study, mailed questionnaires will be distributed. The group that I propose to study is 75 homeschooled eleventh (11th) and twelfth (12th) graders.

The chosen sample size is a significant number in order to study the influence of the educational background of parents on their homeschooled children since 75 is not much of a high number, making it too pricey or having too much effort given on the study, or not too low of a number. Studies were also made regarding the influence of parents on their homeschooled children, but these studies were more focused on the primary education (Grades 1-4, as indicated in the Literature Review), and not on the high school level.

This study will further explore if the influence of parent’ educational background will change if the students are at a higher level of schooling. This study will also be limited on eleventh and twelfth graders. The sample size 75 students will be divided into three groups. Group 1 will consist of children that have been schooled at home by parents that have less than a high school education. Group 2 will consist of children that have been homeschooled by parents that have a high school education. Group 3 will consist of 25 children that have been homeschooled by parents.

Additionally, 75 public school children also in eleventh (11th) and twelfth (12th) grade will serve as the control group. Group 4 will consist of children that have been schooled in the public school system and whose parents have less than a high school education. Group 5 will consist of 25 children have been schooled in public school and have parents that have a high school education and Group 6 will consist of 25 children that have been schooled in public school whose parents have a college education. These particular groups were chosen to research two key areas addressed in the research proposal.

First the area of whether homeschooled children outperform those that are educated by public school. Second this method will attempt to address if the parents education significantly impacts academic achievement in both groups. Eleventh (11th) and Twelfth (12th) grade students were chosen for this research because they are at the end of their respective high school education and one can better assess their overall education. Obtaining the data necessary to conduct the research will consist identifying the test subjects in home school by contacting a home school association within the target state(s) for a mailing list of parents.

A small questionnaire will be sent out to ascertain the educational background of parents with return postage and a request that they mail the questionnaire back. This feedback will be divided into the three groups identified to study. At this point, 25 families will be randomly chosen from each group and contacted by the researcher via telephone. If a family elects not to be part of the study group, another family will be randomly chosen from that category. The researchers will continue to distribute questionnaires on families that fit the criteria, until a response is made.

Once a telephone interview with the parents is conducted and they have agreed to participate, a paper assessment will be mailed to the family. A return envelope with postage paid will be sent with the assessment. This assessment will be an ACT/SAT style test addressing the four main academic components: Math, Reading, Science, and English. The child or children will have 24 hours to complete the assessment and return it to either the post office or mailbox so that the return envelope can be stamped for that day.

This method will put urgency into the test being completed and sent back and may reduce some forms of cheating. While a computerized test was considered, it may not be possible for all children schooled at home to have computer access so a paper assessment was the most versatile method of data collection. The same process will be conducted for the public school children. Eligible families will be identified by contacting the target state(s) Department of Education. Again, a paper questionnaire will be sent asking for data on the parents’ education and a request to return it.

These parents will also be contacted for permission. Once consent is given, the assessment will be sent to the family with the same procedure outlined above. In Groups 1, 2, and 3 we can assess the general academic achievement of children schooled at home. We can also measure, to a degree, how much the parents own education impacts the academic achievements of the child or children. The same is true of Groups 4, 5, and 6. In the case of the latter group, parents’ education may not be relevant however it is necessary for the continuity of the study.

In order to obtain accurate results, these assessments should be conducted sometime within the school year after the first quarter of either the eleventh (11th) or (12th) grade. Students should be assessed after being accustomed to their routine learning guidelines in their respective schooling. Respondents will also be assured that they will be guaranteed that their responses will be confidential, as also stated in the Code of Standards of Council of American Survey Research Organizations. (Council of American Survey Research Organizations, 2009) In a working paper written for the U.

S. Census Bureau, Kurt Bauman pointed out several characteristics that may determine home school trends (Bauman, 2001). However, the purpose of this study is purely to identify academic achievement within both the home school student group and public school student group. SURVEY QUESTIONS: The survey questions will be divided into three parts: basic information, performance section. These questions will be the same for Groups 1, 2, and 3, and Groups 4, 5, and 6. The first part, as the name says, contains all the basic information about the student and the parents.

This part will include the educational background of the parents, the reasons for home schooling, what they know about the regulations regarding home schooling of their state, etc. The questionnaire for those that are homeschooled, in order, will provide this series of questions: name, name of parents, age, grade, educational background of parents, number of years being homeschooled, reason/s of being homeschooled, and organizations that are involved in regarding homeschooling. The questions, on the other hand, of those that are in public schools will be the same of the homeschooled questionnaire, except for the last three questions.

The next part on the other hand, will include the academic test that will determine the performance of the student. The students will answer questions on subject matters like Math, Science, Reading and English, in order to at least have a grasp about their overall academic knowledge. ETHICS ON RESEARCH The researchers acknowledge the fact that the study can be a critical matter especially for parents since discrimination, especially on educational backgrounds, might be possible. However, it is also an essential for the researchers to keep in mind the ethics of conducting a research as stated by Thomas Watson.

First is that the researchers will give privacy to the respondents, meaning they can willingly say or not say information that they aren’t comfortable with. Second, the researchers will ensure voluntary participation—that is, the researchers will respect if they want to be part of the research or not. Lastly, the researchers will maintain confidentiality and non-attribution. The respondents will remain to be anonymous. (Watson, 1996) References Bauman, Kurt J. , Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics, (2001).

Retrieved April 13, 2010 from the U. S. Census Bureau website: http://www. census. gov/population/www/documentation/twps0053/twps0053. html Literature Review Academic Achievement of Homeschooled Children Does home-based education cause higher academic achievement than the institutional schooling in California? Early studies as well as the more recent studies illustrate that this is indeed possible, as they examine the academic performances of homeschooled students in different locations and with various independent variables.

For instance, Belfield and Levin (2005) showed that homeschooled students have better SAT verbal scores than the non-homeschooled students. Although homeschooled students have higher SAT math scores as well, the gap seems to be greater in the verbal scores (Belfield & Levin, 2005). After controlling for 21 independent variables, Belfield and Levin showed that the advantage of homeschooled students over private school students was reduced, but the great gap still exists when the comparison is between homeschooled students and public schools students.

Moreover, the scores of the homeschooled students and private school students in SAT are at par with each other, with no group outperforming the other (Belfield & Levin, 2005). According to Basham et al. (2007), whether having at least one or no parent as a certified teacher do not significantly matter on the achievement levels of the homeschooled children, although parents who acquired university degree have homeschooled children who outperform significantly those parents who did not earned a degree.

However, Bansham illustrate that regardless of these parental backgrounds, homeschooled children all scored between the range of 80 to 90 percent, as opposed to the average score of 63 percent for public school students, who have parents with university degree and average score of 28 percent of public school students who have parents with no degree. Moreover, around 25 percent of homeschooled students have academic performances better than students above their age-level studying either in public or private schools (Bauman, 2002).

This can be seen in grade 1 to 4 homeschooled students. All of them perform better compared to the performance of the non-homeschooled students of at least one-grade level higher (McDowell & Ray, 2000). When it comes to 8th grade, the homeschooled students have academic performances better than non-homeschooled students at least four grade levels higher. All these evidences illustrate that being homeschooled leads to better academic performances despite the children’s background, which would have played negative roles when the children were not homeschooled (McDowell & Ray, 2000).

Homeschooling reduce or eliminate altogether the negative effects low family income, low parental educational attainment, large family size, race or ethnicity or even gender would have played if the students were not educated in the home setting (Bansham et al. , 2007, Ray, 2000; Ray & Eagleson, 2008). Not having computers or other materials required by formal schools or not having access to public libraries seems not to matter as much for homeschooled students as compared to homeschooled students as well (Bansham et al. , 2007).

All these factors do not affect how the children perform academically either. The academic achievements of homeschooled children cannot be generalized. Researchers doubt generalizations because it is difficult to compare homeschooled children and those who are not. However, despite all the doubts of the generalizabilty of the better academic performance of homeschooled children, more and more studies are producing evidence that homeschooled children achieve better performance against their non-homeschooled peers on various types of tests (Basham et al, 2007).

The present study will determine if in California, the same findings would emerge. the scores of the homeschooled students and certain Californian private school students in SAT will be examined to test this. Factors such as socio-economic background, gender and ethnicity will also be tested to determine whether each of them will have a significant relationship with the academic achievement of homeschooled students in California. Homeschooling laws depend on the state where the family is residing—whether be it the requirements of the parents, the testing procedure, etc.

In a state like Washington, parents are required to have 45 quarter units of college level credit, complete parent qualifying course, an average of an hour a week meeting with a certified teacher, and a qualification to provide home-based teaching instruction by the superintended of the local school district. (Russell, 2008) The case is otherwise different in Michigan since no law requires for parents or teachers to have certain qualifications in order to teach.

( Home School Legal Defense Association, 2009) According to Home School Legal Defense Association, there are already 40 states that adopted the home school regulations. It is also stated in their website that “Forty-one states do not require home school parents to meet any specific teacher qualifications. The eight states which require only a high school diploma or a GED are: GA, NC, NM, OH, PA, SC, TN, and WV. DC also requires either a high school diploma or GED. (In TN, there is no qualification requirement for grades K-8 if home school is associated with a church-related school).

The remaining state has the following qualification requirements: ND requires only a high school diploma or GED, provided that the parent is monitored by a certified teacher for two years. ” There are three states who qualify home school teachers to be “competent” such as CA, KS, and NY. Having less than GED are considered to be competent in those three states. (Home School Legal Defense Association) References Bansham, P. , Merrifield, J. , Hepburn, C. R. (2007). “Home Schooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream. Studies in Education Policy. ” The Fraser Institute.

Retrieved from http://www. netzwerk-bildungsfreiheit. de/pdf/From_the_extreme_to_the_mainstream. pdf Bauman, K. J. (2002). Home schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10(26). Retrieved from http://epaa. asu. edu/epaa/v10n26. html. Belfield, Clive R. and Henry M. Levin (2005). Privatizing Education Choice: Consequences for Parents, Schools and Public Policy. Boulder, C. O. : Paradigm Publishers. McDowell, Susan A. and Brian D. Ray (2000). “The Home Education Movement in Context, Practice, and Theory.

” Peabody Journal of Education, 75(11), 1-7 Ray, B. D. (2000). Home schooling: The ameliorator of negative influences on learning? Peabody Journal of Education, 75(1 & 2), 71-106. Ray, B. D. , & Eagleson, B. K. (2008, August 14). State regulation of homeschooling and homeschoolers’ SAT scores. Journal of Academic Leadership, 6(3). Retrieved from http://www. academicleadership. org/emprical_research/State_Regulation_of_Homeschooling_and_Homeschoolers_SAT_Scores. shtml Bibliography Home School Legal Defense Association. (2009). Home Schooling in the United States: A Legal Analysis.

Retrieved April 30, 2010, from Home School Legal Defense Association: http://www. hslda. org/laws/analysis/Michigan. pdf Council of American Survey Research Organizations. (2009). CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research. Retrieved April 29, 2010, from Council of American Survey Research Organizations: http://www. casro. org/codeofstandards. cfm Home School Legal Defense Association. (n. d. ). Summary of Home School Laws in the Fifty States. Retrieved April 29, 2010, from Home School Legal Defense Association: http://www. hslda. org/laws/Summary_of_Laws.

pdf Johnson, T. (n. d. ). Ethical Issues in the Conduct of Survey Research. Retrieved April 29, 2010, from College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs: http://www. srl. uic. edu/seminars/ethicsint. htm Russell, L. (2008, June 12). Washington Homeschool Law. Retrieved April 29, 2010, from Suite 101: http://homeschool-regulations. suite101. com/article. cfm/washington_homeschool_law Watson, T. (1996). Survey and Interview Ethics for Data Gatherers and Respondents. Retrieved April 30, 2010, from Independent Job Analysis: http://www. ijoa. org/imta96/paper64. html


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