Homeschool Academic Achievement, Grades K to 12

"a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.

...

Homeschoolers are still achieving well beyond their public school counterparts—no matter what their family background, socioeconomic level, or style of homeschooling.

In the study, homeschoolers scored 34–39 percentile points higher than the norm on standardized achievement tests. The homeschool national average ranged from the 84th percentile for Language, Math, and Social Studies to the 89th percentile for Reading. (See Figure 1.)"

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Library Topic: Homeschooling

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Written by a community college English professor, this article describes the atrocious literary habits found in remedial writing students.

This piece connects today's falling literacy rates with the rise of public education. According to Simpson, until the advent of public schools, America was a very literate country, a fact which amazed the rest of the world. Simpson opines that the lack of competition in education has...

While discussing initiatives to increase literacy levels in Chicago high schools, this piece subtly implies that American literacy problems stem from teachers who do not know how to properly teach reading. This problem...

As the title suggests, children who struggle with language usage at young ages are far more likely to struggle with reading and writing in their adult life. This piece implies that adult literacy problems can be partially blamed on...

According to this piece, "[b]eing able to read and write is the most basic foundation of knowledge accumulation and further skill development. Without literacy, there can be no quality education. Presently, 1 in 5 adults is illiterate, two-thirds of...

With declining literacy numbers on the rise, many are wondering just what colleges are teaching young people. This piece admits that college professors assign far less reading than they should, but those in higher education also point out that the poor quality of...

Commenting on statistics from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy survey, George Leef notes how low literacy standards actually are. According to Leef, the basic literacy skills of high school students are falling and even college fails to help much in...

Reporting on a book by Professor Patrick Allitt, George Leef discusses the minimal reading and writing standards that most colleges maintain. Leef explains how the problem really begins in the elementary and secondary school years, but then continues...

"Experts say there are tens of millions of functional illiterates. What are the schools doing to our children? Kim Latta runs reading clinics named Exceeding Reading in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She wrote me a note about her experiences with dyslexic children; and I thought, 'This is the perfect person to tell us what's going on in the reading wars. She's in the...

According to Thomas Bertonneau, college professors around the country are finally waking up to the fact that students often avoid assignments which involve specific literacy standards. Bertonneau believes this is because our culture is increasingly drifting...

As the title suggests, an alarming amount of the D.C. population struggles with literacy skills. The article notes that "[a]dults are considered functionally illiterate if they have trouble doing such things as comprehending bus schedules, reading maps and filling out...

"Achievement gaps between black and white high school students are discouraging but all too common facts of education life. It's well known that black students are less likely than their white peers to graduate from high school, and score lower on tests like the SAT and the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Far less attention has been paid to gaps...

According to Martha Brown, far too many children in the U.S. are progressing through school without decent reading skills. Brown blames this development on the instruction methods being used in the schools, namely, "look-say" and "...

Ghate describes how despite their success, traditional education practices like phonics are often pushed aside in favor of more progressive ones like "whole language." This article gives a very brief look at how progressive philosophies originated and declares that "the use of whole language results in nothing but illiteracy."

This article describes illiteracy as a key component many unsuspecting doctors overlook when dealing with medical problems. According to Dr. Marcus, illiteracy problems cause so much shame and embarrassment that patients avoid telling their doctors and often experience...

According to Edwin West, compulsory education managed to bring increasing financial costs and decreasing literacy rates. West compares literacy rates in Great Britain and the United States before and after compulsory education laws went into effect and determines...

The decline in newspaper readership in recent years has largely been attributed to the rise of online media. While this article admits that the growth of online media is definitely a cause, Robert Holland suggests that the state of the...

In this article, George Leef describes the dumbed-down state that American youth are in. Commenting on the pathetic nature of current college student reading and writing skills, Leef suggests that this is a direct result of the fast-paced, literate-lite culture...

According to college professor Michael Skube, good grades in high school do not necessarily mean that a college student is fluent and well-read in English. Skube's experience has led him to believe that few...

Chart or Graph

"In the 2008-09 school year, African American students in Minneapolis failed to achieve high reading growth."

In the 2008-09 school year, white students in Minneapolis achieved high reading growth. The same year shows a different result for their African American counterparts.

"Figure 2-1 illustrates the three groups of low literacy adults: those who could not communicate in English or Spanish, those in the supplemental assessment population, and those in the Below Basic prose literacy population."

"Table 2-1 contains results for models b–d. It displays estimates of the school-type contrast, comparing all private schools to all public schools, along with the corresponding standard errors and p values. ..."

The above chart displays the reading statistics of eighth grade students in each state. According to the chart, an alarming amount of children read at "below basic" or "basic" levels.

The above chart displays the reading statistics of fourth grade students in each state. According to the chart, an alarming amount of children read at the "below basic" level.

"Homeschoolers are still achieving well beyond their public school counterparts—no matter what their family background, socioeconomic level, or style of homeschooling."

"Table 1-1 displays the 2009 scores for all three subjects. The United States scored slightly above average in reading and science and below average in math."

"Released in January 2006 by the American Institutes for Research, the study assessed the literacy of 1,827 graduating seniors from 80 randomly-selected 2- and 4-year colleges and universities."

"Remedial math and English courses are designed to help students who struggle academically [to] catch up to their peers and gain the basic knowledge they need for college work."

"The average prose, document, and quantitative literacy of students in 2- and 4-year colleges was significantly higher than the average literacy of adults in the nation (Figure 2.1)."

"Respondents were asked to report on the types of issues that their businesses faced as a result of low levels of literacy and numeracy."

This chart divides Minneapolis kindergarteners by race in order to depict their total literacy after their first year of school.

According to this chart, the achievement gap in terms of reading proficiency between white and minority students in Minneapolis public schools is at least 30 percentage points.

Exhibit 3 describes the phases of reading development. The first three phases focus on the foundation skills of learning to read.

Analysis Report White Paper

This paper traces the various literacy movements of the last several centuries. Chisman declares that many of these literacy movements revolved around the need to further educate adults. The piece calls for increased federal funding and bipartisan effort to further promote adult literacy in the twenty-first century.

This report gives the results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) survey and describes the various literacy levels of Americans.

This paper looks at the damaging effects low literacy levels have on Canadians. Maxwell and Teplova describe the negative economic and social costs of poor literacy, declaring that the best way to avoid these problems is through early prevention efforts for young children.

"The goal of the study was to examine differences in mean National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and mathematics scores between public and private schools when selected characteristics of students and/or schools were taken into account."

"This report shines a light on the efforts of the individuals and organizations motivating and modeling a response to the reading crisis." Gove and Cvelich specifically focus on the literacy troubles of impoverished or developing countries and suggest several ways to improve the situation.

This study examined a group of disadvantaged black children to determine whether or not their background was an indicator of illiteracy problems later in life. Some of the elements studied by the authors included father absence, welfare dependence, and "maternal education." The study participants were found to have a much lower rate of literacy.

This study takes a look at functional illiteracy and other literacy problems in the United States and Europe. Giere explains how the problem develops and affects workplaces and society. The paper describes effective methods for teaching functionally illiterate adults, while also providing a variety of source material on literacy related subjects.

This report pulls together the latest information on home education statistics in the United States. Included in the report are many fascinating charts and graphs which compare homeschoolers to their public school counterparts.

After beginning her paper with various statistics on American literacy rates, Jeanne Allen discusses several ways in which literacy problems are dealt with. Allen advises the public to avoid increasing school spending and federal involvement, while also encouraging a "back-to-basics" approach in the public schools.

Sweet describes numerous problems various types of illiteracy pose for the nation, suggesting that the lack of phonics in schools is at the root of the problem. He traces the history of various reading methods and their effectiveness and concludes by determining that a return to phonics instruction is the best defense against illiteracy in America.

This piece gathers numerous studies on literacy and its relation to health and places them in one comprehensive overview.

This study gathers a variety of information on after school programs and then evaluates the effectiveness of their literacy emphasis. The researchers found that after school programs that emphasized tutoring and reading skills were very effective at boosting the literacy rates of the program participants.

"This anthology comprises a synoptic review of the HumRRO research program on literacy in relation to job performance."

This study examined a variety of Australian businesses and industries in an attempt to discover the effects of illiteracy in the workplace. According to the report, many employers struggle with semi-illiterate employees and subsequently are subjected to decreasing productivity and other losses.

This report presents international reading, math, and science literacy rates and then describes how the United States compares to the rest of the world. The report also delves into achievement scores on a state by state basis in order to discover which states are "winning the real race to the top, the one measured by student achievement gains."

This study examines the literacy rates of American college students and compares them to the literacy rates of average American adults. The authors discuss various factors in relation to literacy rates, including race, gender, and remedial education programs. In general, the study found that college students were more literate than average adults.

"Of all the skills and subjects taught in school, none is as important as reading. Indeed, one can reasonably say, as reading goes, so goes the life and career of the student. If you wish to cripple a person or a civilization, what better way than to diminish literacy?"

This presentation gives a detailed historical progression of reading texts throughout American history. The historical overview gives a unique picture of how literacy instruction methods have grown easier and less devoted to phonemic/alphabetical syllable awareness through the years.

Video/Podcast/Media

This video describes the rising illiteracy rate in the U.S. According to CBS, many thousands of adults in New York alone can only read material written at a 5th grade level or below. This clip explains how low reading ability negatively affects adults.

After offering a variety of statistics on the types of illiteracy in America, this news clip goes on to introduce several adults who struggled with functional illiteracy and the effects that the inability to read had on their lives. For many people, illiteracy causes fear and discourages mobility, and for others the inability to read has long term health...

This short clip composed mainly of text explains what is involved for children to learn to read using the whole word approach. It discusses the many titles this learning philosophy is known as, and demonstrates the ease of phonetic instruction compared to whole word. Also gives numerous hard-core statistics and facts on this controversy.

A brief explanation of how English is a phonetic language and not a symbol language, a fact which shows why the whole-language method makes it so difficult for children to learn to read correctly. Price uses interesting examples and visuals to demonstrate his point clearly.

Primary Document

The Founding Fathers placed a great deal of importance on the education of the nation's young people. This bill provides for the establishment of schools and opens by implying that a...

One of the most widely cited reports on education reform, "A Nation at Risk" describes the declining academic rates and standards that were prevalent in the early 1980s. "A Nation at Risk" bemoans the fact that...

This piece offers a variety of graphs which chart the racial achievement gaps between students in Minneapolis public schools.

An early twentieth contributor to educational psychology, Hall advocated that the content of education should be determined by the child's stage of development, interests and needs. John Dewey was one of his students. In this work, Hall seeks to lay out the "Pedagogy of the Future. Every one of the new departures indicated in the following chapters has, I believe,...

This testimony explains the difficulties that poor literacy poses for employers. Buehlmann explains that "[o]ne hundred years ago, 'literacy' was defined simply as the ability to write your name. In the new high-tech,...

In this piece Dewey truly does lay out his own "creed" on education, even beginning each paragraph with, "I believe."  Using his extensive background in psychology and combining it with his social philosophy, Dewey presents five sections concerning education:
1)      What Education Is
2)     ...

This document provides several thoughts from Benjamin Franklin on the type of education needed in the early colonial days. Among Franklin's lengthy list of educational ideas is the notion that America's children should be properly...

Kenneth Goodman, a leading proponent of the whole language method of reading, uses this piece to present some of his opinions on reading. Goodman declares that "the common sense notion I seek here to refute is this: 'Reading is a...

In the eyes of John Locke, the education of a child includes more than books and schooling. Indeed, Locke’s thoughts on education cover the whole physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional being of the...

"I wish to emphasize at the beginning that the strictures which I have to offer here do not apply to the use of the sight method of teaching reading as a whole but only to its effect on a restricted group of children for whom, as I think we can show, this technique is not only not adapted but often proves an actual obstacle to reading progress, and moreover I...

This document contains a transcript from a congressional hearing on literacy in America. According to the Chairman, "[t]here are many things, which can destroy us internally, and most great civilizations fall from within. However, I think that...

This report from the Department of Education describes the reading levels of the nation's fourth and eighth grade students. According to the report, the reading ability of these students has hardly changed at all since the study was conducted in 2007....

The goals of this act include the following:

"'(1) To provide children with the readiness skills they need to learn to read once they enter school.

'(2) To teach every child to read in the child’s early childhood years—

'(A) as soon as...

Presented by a former functionally illiterate adult, this testimony seeks to encourage Congress to implement a variety of adult literacy methods through virtual means. The first part of the testimony gives several...

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