Parental education levels are not a barrier to successful homeschooling, said one expert, as record numbers of American families turn to alternative education pathway in search of a safer learning environment and stable for your children amid the pandemic.
Jeremy Newman, director of public policy for the Texas Homeschool Coalition, told The Epoch Times that it doesn’t matter whether a parent has a GED or Ph.D. Statistically, the education of homeschooling parents does not affect student outcomes.
“A lot of people have a hard time believing it. But I think it’s really intuitive when you realize that the single most important factor in a student’s success is their learning environment, ”Newman said.
“Have a doctorate. it is not a prerequisite for being a homeschooling parent, because there are many different resources you can tap into to incorporate real knowledge, and your main job is to help facilitate the learning environment, ”he said.
Statistically, the learning outcomes of homeschooled children are better than those of the public school system. The National Homeschooling Research Institute (NHERI) states on its website that homeschooled students generally score 15-30 percentage points above public school students on standardized academic achievement tests.
In his experience, Newman said those numbers are highest with students reaching 25 to 35 percentage points above public school students. In other words, he said, homeschooling students « typically score between the 75th and 85th percentiles in almost every subject, » and that’s regardless of their parents’ academic levels.
« And from a numbers perspective, you can say that it would appear that the learning environment fostered by homeschooling gives my son a much greater opportunity to be successful, » Newman said.
“It is not a panacea. And it’s not like you can go in and not do any work. And it’s just a plug-and-play thing where your student goes in and out great. This is not how it works. There is a lot of effort involved. But the point is, it’s worth it.
Essentially a traditional form of parent-led homeschooling, homeschooling focuses on adapting to students’ learning styles. It is argued to be one of the fastest growing forms of education in America.
Currently, NHERI estimates that in 2019 between 4 and 5 million American students, grades K-12, were homeschooled with an annual growth rate of 2 to 8 percent per year. That figure jumped in 2020 to 9 million.
Homeschooling is also rapidly growing in popularity among minority groups and NHERI figures indicate that 41 percent of homeschooling families are non-white / non-Hispanic.
Newman said he believes this is because the public education sector is currently in the process of reckoning as parents realize that there is a different path to managing their children’s education with the advent of learning. Remote and part-time homeschooling options now available in many states due to the pandemic. .
« A lot of people find that the stability and flexibility that homeschooling offers is something that actually helps them solve problems in other parts of their lives, like the scheduling problems that they have, » he said.
The EdWeek Research Center reported in November 2020 that 58 percent of principals and superintendents surveyed by the Center noted that homeschooling is driving declining enrollment in schools and districts across the country.
One of those families belongs to Jenny Walsh, of Williamsville, New York. Walsh, who has a master’s degree in special education, believes her children found homeschooling to be a faster rate of learning, the report says. It also offers a more relaxed and engaged day.
“We can finish school at 11 and have more time for interest-based learning,” Walsh said.
For parents considering a move to homeschooling, Newman suggested they first find out the rules about homeschooling in their state and contact a home schooling community group in their area.
So Newman suggested that they start small and expand the learning program.
« Don’t feel like you have to go from zero to 60 at a time, » he said. “Start small and find out a few things that you want to start with that total up to a few hours a day, try them out and find out what works. Save the parts that work and dispose of the parts that don’t, and bring new equipment to test it.