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07 Feb, Tuesday
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Montreal Families

Homeschooling measures up: study

Do homeschooled kids receive as good an education as those who go to regular public schools? According to a recent study done by Concordia University and Mount Allison University, the answer is yes — as long as children are following a structured learning plan or curriculum.

The study compared 74 children living in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; half of the kids were homeschooled and half attended public schools. The children were between 5 and 10 years old and were asked to complete standardized tests under the supervision of a research team who assessed their academic skills. The results showed that children who attended public schools performed at or above their expected levels. The children who followed a curriculum at home had higher test scores in math and reading.

The study also found that children who were “un-schooled,” a trend in homeschooling in which kids do not follow a curriculum or formal lesson plans, did poorly on the tests, in some cases lagging one to four years behind in terms of learning.

The researchers concluded that structured homeschooling and attending public school each have pros and cons, but both offer a valid educational option for families. Public schools play a great part in helping with the socialization of children, but being taught in a small group at home helps accelerate a child’s learning.

To read the complete study, visit http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/cbs/43/3/195.pdf.

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