### Homeschooling by the Numbers

My dh found an interesting "infographic" about homeschooling statistics. Click the image to enlarge.

(Updated in 2018) People sometimes ask me of my opinion or review of Saxon math. What I've written here applies in particular to Saxon Math's high school courses and middle grade levels. (The grades K-3 are by a different author and are quite different; more on that below.) Saxon Math uses an "incremental approach" where math concepts are studied in little pieces over several lessons, and those lessons are strawed over a long period of time, intermixed with lessons about other topics. In other words, if one lesson is on some particular topic (say, percentages or inequalities), it's almost guaranteed that the NEXT lesson is NOT on that topic . It jumps around from topic to topic constantly, and this is by design. Saxon's method also includes a feature where after a lesson is taught, there are very few practice problems about the topic of the lesson. Most of the problems are mixed review problems, and they practice concepts from earlier lessons, not th

## Comments

1) homeschoolers don't have to take the SAT, so there is an enormous self-selection bias, with only the better-prepared students choosing to take the exam.

2) the demographics of the three populations are not matched. The effect that is being observed may be due entirely to the education level and income level of the parents, and have nothing to do with the education method.

The evidence is that the biggest determinant of outcomes for public school students is the value their parents place on education. Parents who care a lot about their children's education tend to do better in whatever educational setting they attend.

Clearly parents who homeschool place a high value on their children's education, and thus one would expect them to do better in general.

As for point #1), nobody has to take the SAT (homeschooled or otherwise), so the self-selection bias is not confined to homeschoolers.

changein overall State-level scores that occurs when the policy regime changes to one that is less restrictive or more restrictive of homeschoolers.Alaska subsidized homeschooolers through it's government-operated correspondence schools. Students in these schools take standardized tests and perform as the statistics above indicate. Aggregate State-level NAEP statistics suggest that this is not sample bias induced by self-selection, since Alaska has (had, last I looked) the highest 90th percentile score (NAEP 8th grade Math) of all US States.