Hi All,

Have any of you seen this? Not that we need research to convince us
that unschooling is right for us BUT for all the naysayers (like
SOME of our friends and relatives whom think we are all just a bit
nuts for homeschooling/unschooling - me personally, I can't even say
unschooling in my husband's family, they FREAK!) here is some
research to blow their mind away! I plan on getting Dr. Ray's book


and for more info and the book info too!

You may have to copy and paste these in if the hyperlink does not
come out (I had trouble with this when I posted to another group!:)

Patti and the boys (Chris 13, Matthew 7, Anthony 6)
"For no matter where knowledge and learning come from - no matter
what shape, size, or dimension it assumes - it still is what it is,
knowledge and learning. Therefore knowledge and learning should
always be embraced." ~ unknown


on 5/6/04 3:32 AM, diamondlady1025 at Diamondlady1025@... wrote:

> here is some research to blow their mind away!

Well, I think it's best to keep in mind that the statistics were gathered by
HSLDA and most HSLDA folks are conservative Christians who mostly do school
at home. Their goals are different than most unschoolers so their results
are going to be different.

Fundamentalist Christianity, homeschooling, and politics are all tightly
intertwined and that explains why some of the statistics are what they are,
eg, a higher proportion of the homeschooled support banning books from
libraries, only 4% of the respondents found politics to be too complicated
to understand versus 35% of the general population, etc. (Patrick Henry
College was created in a roundabout way as an offshoot of HSLDA to be a
college specifically for homeschooled kids who are oriented towards

It is interesting to look at what the statistics suggest when viewed as
answers from the Christian Right rather than answers from homeschoolers.
(Not sure why "only" 88% are affiliated with a church (or some group) but it
is significantly higher than 50% for the general population.)

Yes, they statistics support that homeschooling not only works but does
better than school, but unless we understand why statistics look as they do
even positive statistics can come back and bite us on the butt ;-)

Even without the Christian/school-at-home bias, kids who are homeschooled
have involved caring parents. Schools are stuck with kids whose home life
runs the gamut from parents who are involved to parents who are passed out
on drugs. *Any* form of education that requires involved parents will show
better results than public schools.

(Homeschools may also have a disproportionate number of kids with special
needs too but that's going to have more of a negative effect on statistics
having to do with standardized testing.)


pam sorooshian

This was a survey that homeschoolers 16 or over could take on the
internet (or their parents could fill it in for them.) The survey was
terrible. It has very intrusive and ridiculous questions and I have
heard that many people taking it quit in the middle because they were
offended by the questions or found them to be worded in ways that made
it impossible to answer. It was also very long. And, parents completing
FOR their grown children? That's so outside the realm of good research!
But, I know LOTS of people who filled it out, on the internet, just to
be able to read through it - so who knows what answers they gave. I'd
conclude that the results are entirely totally absolutely meaningless.

There are a million problems with survey research and this survey has
every weakness it could possibly have, imo.

However, I do have to say that they made an effort to get homeschoolers
of all types to fill it out - it was not sent only to HSLDA people,
they put some energy into getting grown homeschoolers who were not
necessarily "Christian Homeschoolers," to fill it out and I know some
who did.

A few weeks ago I was at a meeting of the American Education Research
Association - I was on a panel debating homeschooling - and the point
was made by the researchers there, several times, that research done BY
homeschoolers on homeschoolers isn't exactly likely to be unbiased. So
surveys like this are pretty much disregarded by serious researchers.

Brian Ray, author of this study, (who was also on the panel) pointed
out that much of their research was not intended for the "research
community," but that their audience was really other families who are
considering homeschooling. To the extent that those families are coming
to HSLDA for information and sort of tend to match the profiles of the
people in the surveys, then the information is perfectly good for them.
He pointed out that what they want to know is what is likely to happen
in their lives if THEY homeschool and that hearing from thousands of
homeschooling families that their kids grew up and were successful is
encouraging to them. So - viewed as surveys with that purpose, not with
actual "research" purpose, they're perfectly fine. I could survey
people on this list and report the results and as long as I didn't try
to generalize the results to people who wouldn't be caught dead on this
list <G> and offered the results only to people who DO fit the profile
of the people who filled out the survey, then it might be interesting.
It is no different, really, than what we do all the time, sharing
anecdotes and experiences and people feeling encouraged by them. The
difference is, we don't try to put it all in "data" form and publish it
and imply that any of it applies to "all" homeschoolers.

There IS other research, done by impartial analysts. Not ALL research
is done by NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute) which is
run by Brian Ray, homeschooler and libertarian and primarily funded by

I'm a little embarrassed, to be honest, by the research that NHERI
does. It is SO easy to poke holes in it and the one thing that it does
is make it seem like doing that kind of research on homeschoolers is
OKAY with homeschoolers. I think we need to make the point, strongly
and repeatedly, that the very act of researching us can be disruptive
and destructive to what we are actually doing in our families. There
are researchers (Rob Reich, for example) who want to regulate
homeschoolers so that data about homeschoolers can be more easily
collected. They are frustrated with the difficulty of studying us -
heck, they point out, rightly, that they can't even COUNT us. But, my
answer is, sorry, but our right to privacy comes before your desire to
make doing research easier. There are experimental methods in which the
subject is harmed or destroyed as part of the experiment. Making
research easier by regulating homeschoolers (requiring standardized
testing, curriculum approval or other intrusions like those) would
disrupt and harm homeschooling for many of us. This is a form of
destroying the thing you are studying as part of the experimental
method and it is clearly unethical to do that to human beings. It
seemed that many, but not all, of the researchers in the room at the
AERA conference got that point and agreed.

National Home Education Network
Serving the entire homeschooling community since 1999
through information, networking and public relations.

[email protected]

In a message dated 5/7/04 4:04:48 AM, fetteroll@... writes:

<< Even without the Christian/school-at-home bias, kids who are homeschooled
have involved caring parents. >>

Not absolutely.

Some are at homeschooling by default, and aren't being too active with it.
(Not people on this list. People I WISH were on this list so they'd get some
better ideas than the benign neglect being practiced here and there. Not
lots. I hope.)


[email protected]

In a message dated 5/7/04 11:26:33 AM, pamsoroosh@... writes:

<< There are experimental methods in which the
subject is harmed or destroyed as part of the experiment. >>

As testing would be for unschoolers.

I think just generally that any research on homeschoolers done by the
educational establishment would be more biased than even HSLDA could conjure up in
their wildest apocalyptic dreams, because they/school lose money and possibly
their jobs themselves if they prove we're doing even okay (not just better).
Their only acceptable results would be that we're harming our children, and
using their own criteria as guidelines, they could prove it (within their windows
and on their timetables, not with ultimate or intangible results).

And anyway, they're so intent upon and accustomed to blaming parents for
kids's failures and not themselves or their system, that they can't see the noses
in front of their own faces.