12 Jan

Study Compares Home- and School-educated Children

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 01/12/05

On Volume 54 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, Mitchell L. Stevens discussed his book about home-schooling and motivations to home-school. Now a study published in the Journal of Early Childhood Research compares the intellectual development of children who have been home-educated with that of those who have been school-educated. The first portion of "Home-education: Comparison of Home- and School-educated Children on PIPS Baseline Assessments" identifies the tests and studies conducted to measure the developmental differences between the two groups of children; it records how those tested were chosen, how the tests were administered, and the results of the tests. The latter portion of the article analyzes the results of the tests, speculating about why children scored as they did, and recommends a closer study of what makes home-education successful so that schools may benefit by it.

Home-educated children, it reports, "demonstrated high levels of ability and good social skills"; they tested higher in many of the tests than did school-educated children. Speculating about why this would be the case, the article describes home-education and how it differs from school-education: "Home-education is best described as an individually tailored education (ITE) whereby the children work from a home base but often spend a large amount of their time away from the home itself, instead attending group get-togethers and activities, visiting parks, museums, friends' houses, libraries and 'after school' groups. In general this is an education gained through 'living and doing' . . . ." The article advocates individually tailored education and the elements of which it consists—such as high levels of attention from parents and family members and a pace of learning gauged to each child—to schools that wish to reform their education programs. [Posted January 2005, ALG]