Educational CyberPlayGround

Home School

Nationalized Education Standards—an Update for Home Educators William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations June 18, 2010
HSLDA has previously written about our concerns with the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI). Since then, the final version of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts have been released. HSLDA has worked with Congress to include language in federal education legislation that completely exempts homeschoolers from federal control. This language also protects homeschoolers from being required by states or local school districts to take tests or use curriculum that has been created for public schools.
Parental rights in education. If private education means anything, it is the freedom of parents—not government bureaucrats—to choose the curriculum and testing (or even not to test) for their own children.
Numerous organizations have written some very good articles about the problems with these nationalized standards and the long-term dangers they pose. We encourage you to read these articles in order to educate yourself about this move toward nationalized education standards in the public schools.

The National Home Education Research Institute (a pro-homeschool advocacy group) estimates that around 1.5 million children were educated at home in 2000, but in 2006, the number was closer to 2.5 million.

The U.S. Department of Education estimated in July 2005 that about 1.1 million children are home schooled, or about 2.2 percent of the nation's 53 million children ages 6-18. The number is growing 10 times as fast as the general school-aged population, the department estimated. What is motivating this turn towards home schooling, and what is at stake when more and more of America's students are being home schooled? Why are so many seemingly
typical families turning to a seemingly radical break with established educational practice? Why hasn't the announcement of more than a million home-schooled children in the United States created more interest and
excitement? Perhaps it's that homeschool advocacy organizations have spoiled things by claiming much higher numbers for years. But Kurt J. Bauman suspects the reason goes a bit deeper: None of us -- not educators,not researchers, not the general public -- know what to make of it. Our lack of knowledge and our lack of concern may be blinding us to one of the most important forces shaping education today, and it has come time to make sense of it.
Teachers College Record
, Date Published: February 16, 2005 ID Number: 11756, Date Accessed: 7/14/2005

About 77pc of home-schooledchildren are white;
81pc are from two-parent households, most of
them where only one parent works. Parents give many reasons for home schooling their children, citing concerns about the public school environment (85pc), a desire to provide religious or moral instruction (72pc) and dissatisfaction with academic instruction (68pc). Not surprisingly, education groups believe home schooling needs more-rigorous regulation. Other groups, however, contend that parents have a right to teach their children at home by their own standards. source

We all know what Home Schooled means but what is "Unschooling"?
Unschooling provides learners with a relevant, interdisciplinary, integrated education rather than disjointed subject matter isolated from the world where it will be applied. The world is the school and you learn while living summarizes the unschooling approach. "The most radical alternative to school would be a network or service which gave each man [sic] the same opportunity to share his current concern with others motivated by the same concern." —Ivan Illich (Deschooling Society)

Home schoolers should keep a portfolio documenting your childs' learning activities, however, there are many US colleges and universities that actively recruit home schoolers and have developed standards for evaluating their non-conventional academic records.

Bode Miller currently the most famous home schooled person skiing in the 2006 Olympics

Find Online Curriculum

Find out why online curriculum can sometimes be a better choice.

The Importance of Crafting Culturally Relevant Content by Karen Ellis 2001
As more and more classrooms are wired, the Internet provides teachers a new gateway to relevant, diverse and engaging content. The CyberPlayGround portal offers an interdisciplinary guide to using the Internet to deliver online curriculum. It provides comprehensive learning resources for different cultural and ethnic groups, and also for those with different approaches to learning.

Web Site Resources

Mailing List How To information

Chat Rooms has a search engine that lets you search numerous IRC/Chat networks all at the same time. If you haven't ever used Chat/IRC this can help you get started. To find out who is talking about education related topics, simply click on the "Education" link below.


Self-learners are among our greatest leaders.
Here are some that learned without school, Thomas Edison, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, the Wright Brothers, Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, and Margaret Mead. Ryan Abradi, of Maine by age 10 was working his way through second-year college calculus. Caitlin Stern of Haines, Alaska, became a recognized expert by studying bald eagles in the wild. Jedediah Purdy from West Virginia, graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University; in 1996 he was selected as a Truman Scholar and as West Virginia's nominee for the Rhodes Scholarship. He then went on to Yale Law School and, in the meantime, wrote a best selling book.

The growth rate of self-learning
- From a few scattered homeschoolers in 1980, perhaps 20,000, the number has grown, according to Newsweek Magazine, to over 200,000 in 1990, and into a broad integrated network of an estimated 2,000,000 today.
- 1930, the "8 Year Study" of 30 special schools demonstrated that: "The most effective schools used a different approach to learning. Instead of organizing learning by subjects, they organized it around themes of significance to their students." There seemed to be an inverse relationship between success in college and formalized education as opposed to student selected learning.
- Cornell University study confirmed this and showed that schooled children become "peer dependent" while those who learned with their parents have more self-confidence, optimism, and courage to explore.
- Moore Foundation study of children of parents who had been arrested for truancy found that their homeschooled children ranked 30 percent higher on standard tests than the average classroom child.
- UCLA project showed that the average schooled student receives 7 minutes of personal attention a day but the selflearner receives from 100 to 300 minutes
of attention daily.
- Smithsonian Report on genius concluded that high achievement was a result of time with responsive parents, little time with peers, and considerable time for free exploration.
- Time Magazine reported that "the average home schooler's SAT score is 1100, 80 points higher than the average score for the general population."
- Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner, conducted a study in 1998 that included 20,760 students in 11,930 families. He found that in every subject and at every grade level (K-12), homeschool students scored significantly higher than their public and private school counterparts. Some 25 percent of all homeschool students at that time were enrolled at a grade level or more beyond that indicated by their age. According to the study, the average eighth-grade homeschooler was performing four grade levels above the national average. The average ACT score was 21 out of a possible 36 for public schooled children. It averaged 23 for self-learners. This qualifies the average college-bound self-learner for the most prestigious universities.


Children Educated at Home Don't Become Social Misfits

  • Aurobindo -- Integral Yoga Literature
  • Boulding, Elise. "Building A Global Civic Culture." New York: Teachers College Press, 1988
  • Capra, Fritjof. "The Hidden Connections." New York, Random House. 2002
  • Carter, Barry. "Infinite Wealth." Woburn MA, Burrerworth-Heinmann. 1999
  • Doyon, Juanita. "Not With Our Kids You Don't!" Heinemann, 2002.
  • Drucker, Peter. "Post-Capitalist Society." Harper Business, 1993.
  • Emerson:
    " I would have the studies elective. Scholarship is to be created not by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in knowledge. The wise instructor accomplishes this by opening to his pupils precisely the attractions the study has for himself."
  • Encyclopedia of Informal Education
  • Florida, Richard. "The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life" Basic Books, 2002.
  • Freire, Paulo -- Perhaps the most influential thinker about education in the late twentieth century, Paulo Freire has been particularly popular with informal educators with his emphasis on dialogue and his concern for the oppressed.
  • Hayes, Charles. "Beyond the American Dream: Lifelong Learning and the Search for Meaning in a Postmodern World. Autodidactic Press.
  • Wasilla AK, 1999
  • Ron Miller provides an introduction.
  • Forbes, Scott H. "Holistic Education: An Analysis of Its Ideas and Nature" Vol. 8 in The Foundations of Holistic Education Series (July 2003)
  • International Foundation for Holistic Education, Dr. Ramon Gallegos Nava summarizes Dr. Nava's "Multi-dimensional Multi-level Perspective of Holistic Education" as well as providing English speakers with a summary of Nava's vision for a "pedagogy of universal love" and information about the annual conference. For the Spanish version of this web site, see:
    For English:
  • Holt, John -- Holt's explorations of the failures of formal teaching and schooling influenced a generation of educators. By looking to the experiences and interests of children, and the sense they made of learning and education, we can find great possibility.
  • Mahatma Gandhi on education: Barry Burke explores his vision.
  • Gardner, Howard - multiple links: Illich, Ivan. "Deschooling Society." Marion Boyars, London & St Paul
  • Mathews, Ryan and Wacker, Watts. "The Deviant's Advantage: How Fringe Ideas Create Mass Markets" Crown Business Publications, 2002.
  • Miller, Ron, Ed. "Creating Learning Communities." Foundation for Educational Renewal, Barndon VT (September 2000)
  • Ohanian, Susan. "What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?" McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  • Pinker, Steven. "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" Viking Press, 2002.
  • Priesnitz, Wendy. "Challenging Assumptions in Education." The Alternate Press, St George, CANADA
  • Studies on Effectiveness:
    Contains references to:
    UCLA Study -- 10. Goodlad JI: A study of schooling: Some findings and hypotheses. Phi Delta Kappan 1983;64(7):465
    Smithsonian Study -- 11. McCurdy HG: The childhood pattern of genius. Horizon 1960;2:33-38
    Cornell Study -- 12. Bronfenbrenner U: Two Worlds of Childhood; US and USSR. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1970,pp97-101.
  • General Homeschooling References:
    Thinking About Homeschooling -- NHEN
    Some Basic Statistics:
    Rudner, Lawrence M., Ph.D. "The Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students."
    Education Policy Analysis Archives: March 23, 1999.
    Welner and Welner: "Contextualizing Homeschooling Data: A Responseto Rudner"
    Ryan Abradi and Caitlin Stern
    Jedediah Purdy
    " Making the Grade." Newsweek: Oct. 26, 1998
    Gibbs, Nancy. "Home Sweet School." Time: Oct. 31, 1994
    Famous People Who Homeschooled