Thursday, November 21, 2013

Home School Survey Release #2

If you haven't already, I encourage you to read the Home School Survey Release #1, here.
The following section had questions about family relationships, religion and more.

  I wanted to include two stats that I had to compile separately and did not get in the slide show.
First is the ages of those who took the survey.

The second slide shows the occupations of those who took the survey.


    So this week’s survey release addresses family relationships and the way home school graduates feel their experience affected them within society.

Family Relationships

   I think that the responses to my questions on family relationships may surprise some. Building strong family relationships has long been a selling point to the home school life style, something I address in my ‘10 Reasons not to Home School #7. Unfortunately, as I mention in my post,  more time as a family is only as healthy as the family relationships are to begin with.  

  Almost 40% said they had strained or broken relationships with one or more siblings.  In contrast, about half described their relationship with their parents as strong and close, while about one third described it as good but distant.

   I thought it incredibly telling that only scarcely above half (56%) of home school graduates who took the survey described their parent’s marriage as ‘strong and healthy’.  

    Marriage failure rates are high in our country, with little difference between those in church and those outside, so it should come as no surprise if this appears in home school families also.

   However I think many will be surprised though, since part of the allure of conservative Christian home school culture, and something it heavily advocates is the idea that by embracing certain lifestyle changes, a family can escape the troubles that plague others.  

Another sad statistic was that a full quarter of those who were part of a large family said that it was not a positive experience. More than 40% described the impact of large family living on their home school experience as meaning sacrifice, needs unmet, and a lower quality education.


    I thought it interesting that a little over half said that they felt home schooling did not positively prepare them to enter modern American culture, and around the same number said that they still feel that they are unable to relate to their peers because of their different educational experience. 

    I find it interesting to note again the ages of the survey responders. We are not talking about 18 or 20 year olds who are trying to find their way in life. Almost 40% are over the age 30, which means that the impact of home school on their social acclamation and relationships was significant and long lasting.

   Unfortunately, while I know some home school parents would consider a of lack of positive preparation to enter modern American culture, and inability to relate to peers as a compliment, the questions which follow give a clearer picture of graduates feelings on the matter.

    21% said they were kept from participating in modern culture and were glad.

   Roughly a third said they felt that it was a detriment, a third said they wished there had been better balance, and a third said that that they wished they’d been given more freedom to choose. *

  While there were some who said they were free to participate and were glad, I found it funny that not one home school graduate said they had fully participated in modern culture and wished they hadn’t. I have not ever met one either. J Encouraging personal freedom is sadly not a common home school parental characteristic.
   This post written by a k-12 home schooled woman describes her experience socially and explains the bubble in which most conservative Christian home school kids live; even those who seem quite socially active.

     I thought it interesting that while 88% of grads consider themselves Christians, very close to half the students (47%) said they do NOT agree with “most of the philosophies and ideals with which they were raised”.  Roughly 40% said that they are not living a life in line with their parent’s ideals for them, and about half say that they have siblings that their parent’s would consider to be on the ‘wrong path in life’.

   This is especially interesting to me considering that this was the largest reason by far (almost 70%) given as the primary reason these parents chose to home school, (to impart their religious and moral beliefs).

   What I see in these numbers and in my life is that the majority of home school graduates seem to embrace Christianity, (at least the very basic idea of it) but many have rejected the particular ways their parents chose to live it, which for many parents, was the entire point of home school.

   This week had some heavy and sobering numbers.  Do you feel that they fairly represent your home school family, or the home school families you know?
*Please remember for some questions, multiple answers were allowed, therefore percentages may exceed 100.

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