Have you ever wondered how homeschooling contrasts to the public school system? In one of the first nonpartisan studies conducted to compare the outcomes of home education to public schooling, researcher Sandra Martin-Chang of the Concordia Department of Education discovered: "structured homeschooling may offer opportunities for academic performance beyond those typically experienced in public schools."

By assessing the reading, writing, and math skills of 74 children (37 home schooled, 37 public schooled) from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, home school children were found to perform 2.2 grade levels above their public schooled peers in reading.

To explain this difference in reading scores, Sandra Martin-Chang noted: "This advantage may be explained by several factors including smaller class sizes, more individualized instruction, or more academic time spent on core subjects such as reading and writing."

These performance gains were only found in children that were homeschooled under a structured system. Homeschooled children that were taught with an unstructured or “unschooling” method scored lower in every academic area.

By looking at family backgrounds, the researchers also concluded that the benefits of structured homeschooling were not correlated to economic status or the mother’s educational background. Martin-Chang concluded: "compared to public education, homeschooling can present advantages such as accelerating a child's learning process."

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