Preferred Style:

Quality:
Mobile: No images
Low Quality (Default): Small Images
High Quality: Large images, shadows, colors. Do not attempt on dial-up.

If you have a recommendation for a new color scheme, please tell us about it via the Contact Us page.

All articles are presented to stimulate thought and assist Christian families in homeschooling their children. Articles may or may not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the management of HomeschoolChristian.com.

Are You Educated Enough to Educate Your Child?

By Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.

Have you ever asked yourself that question? As your student gets older and older, do you ever wonder if you are educated enough to "keep up" with your child? Can you really teach your student trigonometry, chemistry, and world history? Can you really handle teaching high school classes, or even junior high school classes, to your student? All homeschoolers ask themselves these questions. Unfortunately, they often answer them in the negative. As a result, they end up sending their children to school for their junior high or high school years. Well, now Dr. Brian Ray has shown us that despite their seeming importance, these questions are utterly irrelevant when it comes to homeschooling!

In a landmark study, Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America, Dr. Ray reports on the results of data collected on 5,402 home schooled students during the 1994-1995 and 1995-1996 academic years. The results re-affirm the many other studies that indicate homeschooling is academically superior to both public and private schooling. The most interesting aspect of the data, however, is revealed when student performance on standardized tests is correlated with the parents' education level. Look at the following bar graph:

The black bars represent the performance of homeschooled students on a standardized basic battery test grouped by the mother's education level. The results are very similar if the data are grouped by the father's education level. Compare this to the gray bars, which represent the performance of publicly schooled students grouped by their parents' education level!

What conclusions can we draw from these data? It's really quite simple. While a publicly-schooled student's academic performance is directly correlated to his or her parents' education level, a home schooled student's academic performance DOES NOT depend on his or her parents' education level! So what's the answer to the questions you have been asking yourself? The answer is YES, you ARE educated enough to educate your child at home. The data say that everyone is!

How can we understand these data? They go just opposite of the trend that many "experts" would predict. After all, the experts say, since a homeschooled student has only his or her parents as teachers, the homeschooled student's quality of education will depend completely on the parents' education level. Publicly schooled students, however, have expert teachers. Thus, their quality of education will not be very affected by their parents' education level. Well, that sounds nice, but the data say that it is wrong! In fact, the trends indicated by the data are directly opposite what the "experts" predict.

What's the explanation, then? I think it's rather obvious. Over and over again, teachers say that in order for a student to be well-educated, the parents must be involved. That seems to be just what the data are saying. For publicly-schooled students, the higher the education of the parent, the more likely the parent will be heavily involved in the educational process. Thus, the increase in the scores of publicly-schooled students whose parents are more highly-educated is really the result of an increase in parental involvement in the educational process.

Well think a minute. What is homeschooling? It is the ULTIMATE in parental education involvement. That's why homeschoolers have the highest scores. It is also why the education level of a homeschooling parent does not affect the quality of education for the student. All homeschoolers are totally involved in the student's education. As a result, all homeschooled students excel.

In the end, then, the question should not be, "Are you educated enough to educated your child?" Instead, the proper question should be, "Am I involved enough to educate my child." If you are homeschooling, the answer is an undeniable YES!!!!

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.

HomeschoolChristian.com Resources Related to This Article

Homeschooling Support Section for more tips, encouragement, and articles by Jay Wile, Ph.D.!
interview with Jay L. Wile, Ph.D.