Academic Advantages of Homeschooling

If someone asks you-“Why do you homeschool?” What do you say? Most of us would probably give the reason we initially decided to homeschool. For me, it was simply that the Lord called me to homeschool. For you, it may be another reason.

Regardless of why you began homeschooling, chances are you have realized by now the numerous advantages homeschooling offers. If you are new to homeschooling, you may still be learning what some of them are. I have been on this homeschooling journey for over 4 years, and find something new that I love about homeschooling each year.

One advantage that is particularly promising is the academic one. Most people do not homeschool their kids due to academic concerns, but some do. And whether or not that is why people homeschool it is a huge advantage.

No, not every child who is homeschooled will be a genius. Most probably won’t be. BUT, studies have shown time, and time again that homeschoolers score higher on standardized testing than their public school peers. A recent study was conducted and published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science. This study compared the standardized test scores of 37 homeschooled students and 37 public school students. The students ranged in age from 5-10. The test found that public school students did typically test at or slightly above their grade level. The homeschooled kids performed about a half grade higher in Math and 2.2 grades higher in Reading.

Studies also show these students score above average on the SAT and ACT tests. Scores were especially higher in the areas of English, Reading, and Vocabulary. In the areas of Math and Science homeschooled students scored at or above the national average.

Colleges are taking notice to this statistics. Universities are seeking out homeschooled students for enrollment. Why? Because they perform well academically. They are used to working independently, have good study habits, are self motivated and they work hard!

Homeschoolers also graduate college at a higher rate than their public school peers and A 2010 study by Dr. Michale Cogan of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota found that compared to conventional students, college students who were homeschooled earn, on average a higher first year GPA. This trend continues on each year.

Whether or not you began homeschooling due to academic concerns, one cannot ignore the academic advantages homeschooling offers.

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.


Homeschooling in Alabama 101

If you have ever thought of homeschooling in Alabama, but was not sure where to start, this post is for you! When I first began homeschooling, I was overwhelmed with all that was required, and all that I felt I needed to do. Luckily, I had a great friend walk me through that first year.  Here are some tips she recommended, and some I would like to add. These are great recommendations to help you out when you first begin homeschooling in Alabama!

  • Find someone who homeschool. It may be a friend, a friend of a friend, a family member, or a stranger you meet in the library. Ask around and see if anyone you know, knows someone who homeschools.  Believe me when I say you can find SOMEONE who homeschools if you look hard enough.
  • Research curriculum. There is no perfect curriculum out there so I recommend you get a bunch of catalogs and look over them. Try to find somewhere to look at curriculum. This could be a used book store, or a homeschool convention. If you know other homeschoolers ask them if you can look at their curriculum. Seeing the books in person is a lot different than just peeking at them online. You can get a better feel for it in person. Also, do not spend a lot of money your first year. Just buy a few things to get you started. You will learn more about your style and what you and your children like after that first year.
  • Find a Homeschool group. If you do not know if there is one near you start one. The homeschool group I started began with 3 moms who had preschoolers, but had the desire to homeschool. Our first “official” year we had 6 families. We are on our 4th  school year together and now have over 50.
  • Enjoy your children. This is the most important! I wish I could go back to my first year and relax. There were so many tears and I pushed too hard. It was not fun! The 2nd and 3red year was much more relaxed and now that I am ending our 4th year I feel I have learned so much. If you slow down and just enjoy the time you have with your kids it will make your life so much easier. Yes there needs to be time to learn, time to teach and time to do school, but most importantly their needs to be time to enjoy each other as a family!
  • Research the homeschooling in Alabama laws. If your children are in public school find out whom you need to notify and when, BEFORE you pull them out. If you have preschoolers and plan on homeschooling long term get acquainted with the laws before your child is school age.  The laws vary from state to state so check out Homeschool Legal Defense Association to find out more information.

Beginning homeschooling in Alabama can be overwhelming. But, remember the hard work will be worth it! Hopefully these recommendations will help you as you start your journey. Also, don’t forget to attend Homeschooling for Excellence 101 in June!

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.


So Much More!

One weekend a year is not what the Homeschool Expo folks are all about! While the Homeschool Expo is an annual event designed for those on the homeschool path—and for those who are considering it, the Expo website offers much more. Have you visited the Expo site and explored the directory? Curriculum providers, online classes and email lists for homeschool groups around the state are all at your fingerprints. The Expo is a great event…but homeschooling is a 24/7, 365 days a year proposition. Visit the website, browse the selections, submit information or encourage your favorite curriculum provider to do so. The resources needed for the homeschool adventure abound.

Were you aware there is a group of homeschool families who have adopted? They share their joys and challenges just like the folks in the Auburn – Opelika Homeschool Group. Join in the email lists and be encouraged as you encourage.

Perhaps you would like to plan a field trip to go along with your student’s studies. The directory offers some great options—and you can submit your own listings too. Maybe the Homeschool Option through Cullman Christian School would answer your high school student’s needs.
One of the beauties of home education is the variety of options available. The Homeschool Expo website wants to be a source of information to guide you through the adventure of homeschooling! Be a part. And a great way to begin is the Expo itself. With dozens of workshops ranging from controlling the costs of college to keeping the freezer stocked in the midst of homeschool busyness, there is something for every parent. The young ones have their own options: KidsZone and Film Camp to name the biggies. The Adventure awaits.