If you've been on the fence about whether to home school your child, this news might tip you in favor:
Children taught in the home score above average on the state tests, far exceeding public school children. Home schooling is also way cheaper, with great potential to help our overstretched federal budget.
And the benefits go on, according to a new home schooling report from the Home School Legal Defense Association, an advocacy group.
"This study is great!," says KickButtMama, a HS mom of two boys ages 5 and 8 and owner of the Happy Homeschoolers group. "Many people still think home schooling is only for cults and polygamists. Normal people home school just to have the chance to be able to nurture every aspect of their child's education. For many it has nothing to do with religious beliefs."
In a comprehensive study of nearly 12,000 home schooled children in 50 states, home schooled children who took the state achievement tests scored 30 points on average higher than their public school counterparts.
There was no gender gap -- boys and girls scored equally well in all subjects, and parents' income, education or how much they spent on books and supplies had nothing to do with the results. Researchers found that the average home-schooling parent spends about $500 a year to educate their child; the average public school tab is $10,000 per child.
KickButtMama thinks home schooling is king for two main reasons:
"First, the child is encouraged to learn in what ever manner works for him. What subjects interest the child are often at the forefront. This is why many home-schooled children see school as 'fun'.
"Secondly, there are fewer demands on a home-school mom's time during an actual lesson. Even if there are multiple children in the home, the HS mom will take each lesson individually, giving that very personal one-on-one time, leaving no opportunity for a child to fall behind."
There's a lot more to the story homeschool vs. public school story here, and there are many benefits to public school that don't show up on report cards. But based on these academic findings alone ...
Why wouldn't you want to homeschool after hearing these results? What's holding you back?