Throughout this summer, I have had the opportunity to research the effectiveness of homeschooling. One of the main goals for this summer was to do a literature review on homeschooling, focusing on homeschool alumni personal success after secondary education and also after their collegiate education. I will be taking the last two weeks of my research to create a survey that will be submitted to St Lawrence University's Institutional Review Board for approval. The survey will be disseminated and data collected this coming fall. The survey will consist of questions that revolve around both statistical means like GPAs, income, years in college, but also quality of life questions like, were you happy you with being homeschooled, would you homeschool your children, do you think homeschooling prepared you for life?
The first three weeks of my research were spent mainly searching for articles concerning homeschooling; reading and analyzing them, then synthesizing the information. There were three different areas of research that were categorized. The first was “why homeschool”, this was to explain why people homeschool and how it all started. The second was “homeschool statistics” analyzing student success via grades, and the third was “homeschool success” which investigated homeschoolers' perceptions of college and life after college. There was a fair amount of articles on homeschooling, however, not many articles researched homeschool alumni.
After finding the majority of articles, I met with my mentor Donna Kennedy and we created a website to organize all of my research and to use it as a means of communication. The website provides a medium for both of us to make comments, edits, and leave notes where necessary. The website stores my original proposal, the current literature review, research articles, and resources for homeschoolers in St. Lawrence County. The next three weeks were spent mainly writing up my literature review. In my review, my research discussed a lot of interesting information on homeschooling. I had known early on that statistically homeschool academic achievements were superior to that of traditional schooled students, and my research reinforced this. However, I also found interesting facts about the growth in homeschool numbers and reason why parents homeschool their children. The top three being, parents feeling they can give their children a better education at home, religious purposes, and dissatisfied with public schools standards.
After conducting three-quarters of my research, I have been especially excited with the survey I will be creating in the next two weeks. Since I did not come across much research on homeschool alumni after college, I am highly anxious to see what results I receive from the survey. It will also be interesting to organize the data and discover if there are any main contributing factors to success as a homeschooler such as family size, parental involvement, community, environment, etc… This is all information that will be exciting to process and analyze, it can then be displayed on the research website and used as a great resource for people looking for information on homeschooling. It has been a very great opportunity to be able to research homeschooling mainly because I was homeschooled for my entire K-12 education and it is something that is very close to me. I am very blessed St. Lawrence University gave me the opportunity to do this research.