Homeschooling is good for families, communities, and nations because it builds up children who are more purposeful, forgiving, and frequently engage in volunteerism.
School experience is a crucial component in shaping a child’s developmental and well-being trajectories later in life and decisions over school types are influenced by many factors in addition to academic learning and achievement. As a result, understanding the associations between school types and the wide range of student outcomes can inform policy-makers, educators, parents, and other education stakeholders in their decision-making. However, the empirical evaluation of student outcomes across school types has primarily been based on academic achievement in past studies. The findings from these studies are mixed overall, present evidence that is not consistent enough to suggest one or more school type over another, and, as stated, there are more student outcomes related to a broader range of educational goals (i.e., academic knowledge, intrinsic motivation to learn, social skills and networks, healthy lifestyle, well-being, good character, or a particular religious faith). To address the gaps and need for further research, Chen Ying, Christina Hinton, and Tyler J. VanderWeele performed “an outcome-wide longitudinal analysis to compare adolescents attending various types of schools in the years that followed across a wide range of outcomes in their young adulthood, with extensive control of potential confounders (e.g., family socioeconomic status, family environment). The outcomes include multiple indicators of subsequent psychological well-being, social engagement, character strengths, mental health, health behavior, and physical health outcomes.”
The study presented significant evidence in homeschooling versus public schools with both positive associations being:
- Homeschoolers were more likely to report subsequently greater character strengths and fewer risky health behaviors.
- Homeschoolers were 51% more likely to attend religious services frequently, reported greater frequency of volunteering, and had substantially higher levels of forgiveness on average than students attending public school.
While this study is subject to certain limitations and there is a call for further investigation in future studies, and while there were some negatives, the overall research showed a positive outcome for homeschoolers. This kind of research is important, and important for communities around the globe to prove that homeschooling is a viable and vibrant option for children and to help policymakers make good policy based on the facts. Homeschooling is good for families, communities, and nations. This research proves that homeschooling gives children an environment filled with time and the opportunity to grow their talents and focus on their interests, producing confidence and a sense of purpose. Read the full study here.