So how do homeschooled kids measure up academically? They typically score between the 70th and 80th percentiles on nationally standardized tests, putting them well ahead of their public- and private-school counterparts, according to a 1998 study by Lawrence M. Rudner, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland, in College Park. On average, a homeschooled child in the primary grades tests one grade level above kids in public and private schools, and by eighth grade, she's four grade levels beyond them.
But the most convincing evidence that children flourish when taught at home is the first generation of homeschooled teens. Hundreds of colleges have looked over their essays, portfolios, and test scores, and admitted them. Last fall, for example, Stanford University had 65 incoming freshmen who had been homeschooled.
Elizabeth Jones-Boswell, whose children are 17, 14, 10, and 2, homeschooled her two older children for several years when they lived in Houston. Then the family moved to Spokane and decided to enter the school system because they were happy with what they saw. "I loved homeschooling, but I finally needed a break-it's a big responsibility," Jones-Boswell says. After a year, however, she felt that the standards at her 10-year-old's school were sliding, so she started teaching him herself again. "Homeschooling gives your children time for projects and opportunities they'll never find in any school system," she says.
Copyright © 2005. Reprinted with permission from the February 2005 issue of Parents magazine.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.