Watkins, Maria A. C. (1997). Are there significant differences in academic achievement between homeschooled and conventionally schooled students? Master’s thesis, University of Alberta, Canada. Retrieved 7/3/13 from http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp04/mq22736.pdf. (“Abstract: The homeschool movement is one of the fastest growing segments of education in North America. Because of this growth, parents, public school officials, judiciary, and legislators are faced with the problem of responding to homeschooling. Presently there is very little systematic research upon which to make informed decisions regarding homeschooling, This study attempted to add to that small base of research by answering the research question, “Are there significant differences in [language arts] academic achievement between homeschooled and conventionally schooled children?” An ex post facto research design was used to investigate the research question. The Alberta Provincial Achievement Testing Program results for 212 grade 3 and 186 grade 6 homeschooled students were compared with five random samples (equivalent in size for grade 3 and grade 6) of conventionally [public and private] schooled students. The means of the language arts scores were statistically analyzed for significant differences between these homeschooled and conventionally schooled samples. Results indicated that both grade 3 and grade 6 homeschooled students scored significantly higher than the conventionally schooled students in reading, p<.05. The writing results showed that there were no significant differences between the two groups, p>.05. It was concluded that the homeschooled children who took part in this study are not suffering academically from their homeschool experience. Much more research needs to be done so that parents and educational leaders might make informed decisions” (p. iii-iv). “An ex post facto research design was used to investigate if there is a possible difference in academic achievement between homeschooled and public schooled children” (p. 10). “In summary, the achievement test means of home schooled children in grades three and six equalled those of traditionally schooled children, in writing. However, the home schooled students did significantly better than their traditionally schooled counterparts in reading” (p. 66).) (Keywords: homeschooling, public school, private school, academic achievement, language arts)

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