More and more homeschooling kids are making into the elite group known as National Merit Scholars each year, and even those who were once skeptics about homeschooling are starting to be convinced:
The number [of homeschooled students] awarded National Merit Scholarships, the top prize, has jumped by more than 500 percent since 1995, from 21 to 129.
"I knew my abilities already, but it's nice for people who think home schooling won't work," said [homeschooled student] Sarah, whose eldest brother won a scholarship, one of about 8,000 awarded nationally. Another brother earned a commendation for scoring just below the semifinalist level.
"It gives us something to show them," said Sarah, as she flipped through her log of daily lessons -- including two chapters of calculus, three of the book Brave New World and four Bible chapters -- in the family room of her classic New England-style wood home.
The number of home-schoolers is up dramatically, with the National Home Education Research Institute estimating between 1.7 million and 2.1 million last school year, up from 1.2 million in 1996. Their ACT college admission scores are also consistently above the national average (22.5 vs. 20.8 in 2003), and an education institute study of 5,400 home-schooled kids found scores on standardized exams consistently above national averages in 1995 and 1996.
Many parents in this unconventional group embrace convention, when it comes to standardized tests -- to prove to doubting relatives, neighbors and friends they haven't gone off the deep end.
It's a shame that homeschooling parents feel the need to convince others that they haven't gone off the deep end - but I'm glad the tests are there to help them convince others of the power of home-based instruction.Posted by kswygert at September 30, 2003 11:02 AM