Homeschooling Works — Just Ask Colleges
Homeschooling Works — Just Ask Colleges
By Jean Burk Author of
College Prep Genius:
The No Brainer Way to SAT Success
"You don't even have a college degree, how can you teach your children,"
my sister-in-law chided as my husband and I announced our decision to homeschool. It
seemed like this was only just the beginning of the criticism that we received for
our unconventional decision. That was 20 years ago, and now more than ever, I am sure
we made the right choice. Both my children have enjoyed an expensive college education
on incredible academic scholarships, and my critics can no longer find anything to
criticize us about.
Academics may or may not be the main purpose that you have chosen to educate at home,
but it seems to be everyone else's reason why you shouldn't. Even though homeschooling
has become more well-known and recognizable today, it still seems like the criticism
persists. For homeschooling parents like me, it is easy to see the benefits of homeschooling.
Our kids have stronger family bonds and they are independent thinkers. We cherish the
opportunity to be an instrumental part of their development by directing their education.
This, however, does not dissuade people from criticizing the education our children
receive. All the wonderful personal and spiritual benefits of homeschooling are overlooked
for merely choices of curriculum and specific teaching criteria. However, there is proof
of the quality of a homeschool education, and it comes in the form of an objective test.
The Standardized Assessment Test (SAT) is proving to be the vehicle that gives accreditation
to the homeschooling lifestyle. The SAT is a college entrance exam that puts all students on
an equal playing field. It is the test most used by colleges to evaluate both admissions and
scholarship decisions. The SAT is not about exclusive knowledge or curriculum found only at
public or private schools, but is a test of reasoning and logic.
Public, private, and homeschool students are all administered the same test. In this situation
where academic background is inconsequential to scoring, it seems that homeschoolers are consistently
earning marks high above their public and private school peers.
In the very first year that statistics for SAT scores were released, The Wall Street Journal
"On the SAT, which began its tracking last year, home-schoolers scored an
average 1,083 (verbal 548, math 535), 67 points above the national average of 1,016."
Home-Schooled Kids Defy Stereotypes,
Daniel Golden, 2/11/00
In a later report released by The College Board, the organization that creates and administers
the SAT, there is a significant above-average performance of homeschoolers.
"In 2002, homeschoolers averaged 1092, 72 points higher than the national average of
1020. In 2001, homeschoolers scored 1100 on the SAT, compared to the national average of 1019."
Discussion Of New Scoring System And Old
On the House Bill 2560 (home education law) before the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it was
"For example, homeschool students consistently score 15 to 30 percentile points
higher on academic achievement tests than do their counterparts in public schools, on average."
Statement and Testimony,
Brian D. Ray,Ph.D., June 13, 2002
More recently, The Home School Legal Defense Association newsletter raved about the higher
SAT scores of homeschoolers.
Nearly 80% of homeschooled children achieved individual scores above the national
average and 54.7% of the 16,000 homeschoolers achieved individual scores in the
top quarter of the population, more than double the number of conventional school
students who score in the top quarter.
Homeschooled Students Excel in College,
Christopher J. Klicka, September 20, 2006
Not only do homeschooled students have higher SAT scores, but also they seem to have a
higher degree of college-readiness. Homeschoolers are excelling their peers as academic
leaders. Colleges are finding that these students are entering their schools better
prepared—with good study habits and greater maturity than many of their academic counterparts.
The SAT is more than just a test to "legitimize" a home education. It is also
a doorway to many scholarship opportunities. Both my kids were fortunate enough to receive
substantial scholarships from their SAT and PSAT/NMSQT scores, and they are not alone.
Through only SAT scores, many homeschooled students have gained up to a full-ride scholarship
to the university of their choice. Therefore, homeschoolers should regard these exams seriously.
Many smart kids (from all academic backgrounds) do poorly on the SAT. Understanding what the
test covers and how to take the test is important. Just like any other exam, all students
should take the time to study and prepare for the SAT.
That said, homeschoolers should never feel insecure about doing poorly on this standardized
test. Regardless of their SAT score, their twelve years of quality home education should be
more than enough to prepare them for the academic rigors of a university and most academic
institutions can look beyond a bad test.
So, maybe I wasn't able to attend college, but I don't believe this injured the education
of my children. On the contrary, I was able to help afford them the opportunity of attending
a university. Yes, validation of the homeschool education can be accomplished with the SAT,
but we don't need test results to know that homeschooling works. Nonetheless, let the numbers
speak for themselves and get ready to shut the mouths of the critics for good.
About Author Jean Burk
is the author of "College Prep Genius: The No Brainer Way to SAT Success."
She has written numerous articles about the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT. She has been
featured as an SAT expert on Good Day Dallas (Fox 4) and KXAS (NBC 5). She
currently travels and speaks about the importance of college preparation, and
teaches her "Master the SAT" Prep Class all over Texas.
Both her children received incredible scholarships because of their PSAT and SAT
scores. Her teaching DVD will be released in the Spring of 2008, as well as the
first edition of the brand new VocabCafé Book
Series intended to help teenagers and younger children increase their knowledge
of vocabulary words.
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