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John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
  Home  > Child/Family Wellness  > Myth: Homeschoolers Don't Do as Well as School Children

Myth: Homeschoolers Don't Do as Well as School Children

Fact: In general, not even the "best" schools can compare to a good home. Homeschooled children score high in self-concept, leadership skills, and community involvement--all reflectors of positive socialization. Experience in conventional schools is not necessary to get a job, travel abroad, or go to college. Prestigious universities, like Harvard and Yale, are very receptive to homeschooled students. They are noted for their self-motivation, resourcefulness, and critical thinking.

Today one and a half million young people are being educated entirely by their own parents, a number which is increasing by 15 percent each year. Along with realizing that it is possible to can get straight As in class yet fail in experiencing even a semblance of fulfillment in life, many parents are finding that when they consider the cost of making money--day-care, clothes for work, transportation, coffee breaks and meals, insurance and increased income taxes, stress and time away from their children--they do not really gain much by working. This proves to be even more so when they figure in the costs of sending their child to school--school wardrobe, lunches, transportation, extracurricular activities, etc. Many parents are determining that these costs, weighed against their children's wellbeing--are simply not worth it.

I believe that people are more important than material things and so relationships, and opportunities to nurture them, have taken precedence over other things in terms of choosing how or where to live. Although we sacrificed material goods and financial security to raise our children this way, we invested wisely. After all, they are truly our family jewels. —D. Shell*

Home schooling takes place in all kinds of places, under all kinds of conditions, and involves parents from a tremendous range of professions and situations. Most are living on one income, but happy to do so for the satisfaction and joy of knowing that they are providing their child with what they believe to be a far more creative and nurturing learning environment than the schools can offer. For a child with unusual talents or highly directed interests, a homeschooling environment is often ideal. Children reported to have behavioral and learning disorders frequently turn out to be children who learn in ways other than the way school chooses to teach. Every family develops its own philosophy and style. Some allow their children total self-direction of the learning process, others use purchased curricula. Some mimic regular schools--with desks, lesson plans and tests; others do what is called unschooling, natural learning, or the discovery method--each day is based on the interests and curiosities of the people involved.

* As quoted in Linda Dobson, The Homeschooling Book of Answers

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