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Rebuttal on "Some Words of Concern from Public School Administrators"

By Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.

Recently on a Web site aimed at parents of young children, an article "warning" parents about the dangers of homeschooling appeared. It was written by a woman stating that she was sharing "Some Words of Concern from Public School Administrators." The woman was obviously uneducated on the merits of homeschooling. Here is one of the letters written to that Web site, which by the way, was not published. This rebuttal is well written and substantiated, and I felt it needed to be archived for the homeschool community. --Mary Leggewie, HomeschoolChristian.com

To whom it may concern,

I am appalled at the articles you have posted regarding homeschooling. They show an obvious ignorance of the subject and a clear contempt for something that you do not understand.

For example, in your article you imply that homeschooled students are academically behind their pubicly-schooled counterparts. According to EVERY scientific study I have found, quite the opposite is true. Homeschoolers are always found to be academically superior to both their publicly-schooled and privately-schooled peers.

These studies are in agreement with my personal experience. As a university professor at a major midwestern school, I experienced thousands of students. By far the best students that I had were the homeschooled ones. They were serious about learning; they could teach themselves; and they were far more likely to be able to think critically than any of their counterparts. My experiences with homeschooled students at the university-level were the reason I got interested in homeschooling in the first place.

Your article also implies that homeschooled students are not well socialized. Once again, the SCIENTIFIC studies disagree with that point. Consider, for example, J.W. Taylor's thesis, "Self-Concept in Home-Schooling Children," available from UMI, order number DA862421

This study concludes that homeschooled students are much more socially mature than publicly-schooled students at the same age.

I truly wish you would educate yourself on an issue before you post an article about it. You clearly have no independent knowledge of homeschooling and thus were fed the public school line about it. I understand. I was once ignorant about homeschooling just like you are. I was a university professor who assumed that the only way a child could learn was at school. However, as I began to work with students who had been homeschooled, I saw that each homeschooled student with whom I worked was academically and socially superior to even the best publicly-schooled student with whom I worked. Those experiences led me to the literature, where EVERY STUDY I FOUND indicated that homeschooled students ARE academically superior to both publicly-schooled and privately schooled students. These studies also showed that homeschooled students are more well-adjusted socially than their publicly-schooled peers.

Please take the time to look at some of the articles I have listed below, so that next time you will not show your ignorance regarding this important issue. Also, I would be happy to write an article for your website, educating your readers about the FACTS surrounding homeschooling.

Sincerely,

Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.

Research that supports the claim that homeschoolers do as well as or better than their schooled peers academically:
Greene, S. (1985); "Home study in Alaska: A profile of K-12 students enrolled in the Alaska Centralized Correspondence Study." Resources in Education. (ERIC document Reproduction Service No. ED 255 494)
Rakestraw, J. (1987); "An Analysis of Home Schooling for Elementary School-age Children in Alabama." Doctoral Dissertation, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Ray, B.D. & Wartes, J. (1991); "Academic Task and Socializing."
In J. Van Galen and M.A Pittman (Eds.); "Home Schooling: Political, Historical, and Pedagogical Perspectives."
Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Richman, Howard. (1988); "Homeschoolers Score Higher - A Replicable Result." (available from Pennsylvania Homeschoolers, RD 2, Box 117, Kittanning PA 16201)
Wartes, J. (1990). "The Relationship of Selected Input Variables to Academic Achievement Among Washington's Homeschoolers," [16109 NE 169th Place,] Woodinville, WA: Washington Homeschool Research Project.

Research that supports the claim that homeschoolers are not deprived of social skills or experiences:
Delahooke, M.M. (1986). "Home educated children's social/emotional adjustment and academic achievement: a comparative study." Doctoral dissertation, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dissertation Abstracts International, 47 475A.
Montgomery, L. (1989). "The effect of home schooling on the leadership skills of home schooled students." Home School Researcher, Vol. 5 (1), 1-10.
Taylor, J.W. (1986). "Self-concept in home-schooling children." Doctoral desertation, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI.

Research that supports the claim that homeschooling parents do not need to be certified teachers to help their children learn:
Rakestraw, J. (1987). "An Analysis of Home Schooling for Elementary School- age Children in Alabama." Doctoral Dissertation, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Ray, B. (1990). "A Nationwide Study of Home Education: Family Characteristics, Legal Matters, and Student Achievement." The National Home Education Research Institute. 25 W. Cremona St. Seattle, WA 98119
Wartes, J. (1990). "The Relationship of Selected Input Variables to Academic Achievement Among Washington's Homeschoolers," [16109 NE 169th Place,] Wodinville, WA: Washington Homeschool Research Project.

Research that supports the claim that the number of homeschoolers is increasing in the United States:
Lines, P. (1987). "An Overview of Home Instruction." Phi Delta Kappan, March 1987.
Lines, P. (1990). Home Instruction: Characteristics, Size and Growth. In Home Schooling: Political, Historical, and Pedagogical Perspectives. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.

Research that supports the claim that homeschoolers encounter no special difficulty in getting into college or finding employment:
Barnaby, L.(1984). "American university admission requirements for home schooled applicants," in 1984. Doctoral dissertation, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT. Dissertation Abstracts International, 47(3), 798A.
Webb, J. (1989). "The Outcomes of Home-based Edcation: Employment and Other Issues." Educational Review, 41(2).

About the author: Jay L. Wile earned a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in nuclear chemistry and a B.S. in chemistry from the same institution. He has won several awards for excellence in teaching and has presented numerous lectures on the topics of Nuclear Chemistry, Christian Apologetics, Homeschooling, and Creation vs. Evolution. In addition, he has published 30 articles on these subjects in nationally-recognized journals. His teaching credentials include:

The University of Rochester
Indiana University
Ball State University
The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities (a high school for gifted and talented students)

Currently, Dr. Wile writes curriculum for homeschoolers as well as Christian apologetics material. He has written five high school science textbooks designed specifically for homeschooled students as well as one Christian apologetics book. See Dr. Wile's products at Christian Book Distributors' Apologia specialty shop. Dr. Wile can be reached from his website for Apologia Educational Ministries.

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Mountain Parents Scorn Textbooks
California Charter Schools
Public Schools Have Been Failing for Years