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Homeschooling and Academic Success

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What are the major findings of Rudner's (1998) study of home schooling and the implications for academic success? Discuss the limitations and conclusions drawn. Agree or disagree?

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Solution Summary

This solution explains the implications of homeschooling on academic success as found by Rudner (1988). It also explains the demographics of families who choose homeschooling and any potential limitations of Rudner's findings and conclusions.

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1. What are the major findings of Rudner's (1998) study of home schooling and the implications for academic success? Discuss the limitations and conclusions drawn. Agree or disagree?


The summary of demographic characteristics and achievement results for 20,760 home school students for the largest study of home schooling conducted to date (Rudner, 1999a) was released in Spring 1999 with a great deal of press coverage.

In Spring 1998, 39,607 home school students contracted to take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS; grades K-8) or the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP; grades 9-12) through Bob Jones University Press Testing and Evaluation Service. Students were given an achievement test and their parents were asked to complete a questionnaire entitled "Voluntary Home School Demographic Survey." A total of 20,760 students in 11,930 families provided useable questionnaires with corresponding achievement tests. The achievement test and questionnaire results were combined to form the dataset used in the study.


· Home school parents in the study had more formal education than parents in the general population; 88% continued their education beyond high school compared to 50% for the nation as a whole.

· Many home school parents were formally trained as teachers. Almost one-fourth of home school students (24%) have at least one parent who is a certified teacher.

· The median income for home school families ($52,000) was significantly higher than that of all families with children ($36,000) in the United States.

· Almost all home school students (98%) were in married couple families. Most home school mothers (77%)did not participate in the labor force; almost all home school fathers (98%) did work.

· Home school students watched much less television than students nationwide; 65% of home school students watch one hour or less per day compared to 25% nationally.

· The distribution of home school students by grade in grades 1-6 was consistent with that of all school children. Proportionally fewer home school students were enrolled at the high school level.


· Almost 25% of home school students were enrolled one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools.

· Home school student achievement test scores were exceptionally high. The median scores for every subtest at every grade (typically in the 70th to 80th percentile) were well above those of public and Catholic/Private school students.

· On average, home school students in grades 1 to 4 performed one grade level above their ...

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