It’s Official: Homeschoolers are Weird

Posted on October 27, 2011 by

It seems that we homeschoolers have a reputation as weirdo outliers, a fringe group. I always figured as much, but have had a difficult time realizing just how strange we homeschoolers are when a huge chunk of my social circle are homeschooling parents. It’s a cultural norm for us. Thus I had a moment of clarity while spelunking the HSLDA website the other day, when I came across a report that suggests, yes, homeschooling parents really do earn their weirdo outlier rep, as we are quite distinct in nature and behavior from more mainstream society, even while we produce a far superior product when compared to public schools. Consider:

– Homeschooling parents are nearly always married (98%)…versus 60-70% of PS students

– Homeschooling parents are unusually fecund (average of 3.5 children vs 2.0 children per family)

– Homeschooling parents are heavily Protestant (82%), less Roman Catholic (12%), and rarely atheist/agnostic (1%), Jewish (.4%), Mormon (.8%), or Moslem (.1%), compared with the national averages

Reading the study, I wonder if a goodly part of the superior results of homeschooling are an artifact of children being raised in the home of their married parents. I speculate that the marriage factor has a huge effect…just as with other measures of life success (wealth, criminality, IQ, unwed teenage motherhood, and the level of teen male social integration), whether or not children grow up in the home of their own married parents makes a decisive difference.

Not trying to take anything away from homeschooling mind you–for I am as little impressed with the Taylorized Prussian model of schooling as anyone–but I don’t think I’ve seen any research that controlled for parent’s marital status when comparing the test scores of homeschooled versus PS kids. How much of the superior test scores of homeschoolers is a function of the fact that they still live under the roof of both of their parents?

Speaking of test scores, I spied something interesting in the study that attracted my attention, both as a father and as a brother man. The study found that homeschooled boys test at the same level as homeschooled girls, which is a finding akin to dynamite in my opinion. For all that “end of men“, “child man in the promised land” crowing that Mmes Rosin and Hymowitz have done, the hapless men they talk about are raised in increasingly female-led broken (or never-formed) homes, stewed in the fever swamp of anti-male feminist pop culture, and matriculated from fem-friendly public schools, themselves beset by policies and practices that boost girls while shoving boys aside or even down.

In light of these points of data, it seems to me that one of the best thing parents can do to save their children, and their sons in particular, is to (a) stay married, and (b) keep them out of the jaws of the public school system.

In this day and age, that seems to be weird. Times two.

Posted in: Education