Van Pelt, Deani A. Neven, Allison, Patricia A., & Allison, Derek J. (2009). Fifteen years later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults. London, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Centre for Home Education. Retrieved 7/15/13 from https://cche.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/2009StudyPrint.pdf. (Present an in-depth study of adults in Canada who were home educated. Addresses formal educational attainment, occupations, civic engagement, religious affiliation and participation, physical activities, leisure activities, family life, and more. The adults who were home educated are engaged at a much higher rate in religious activities that than the general population. “… [T]hree-quarters (76%) of our respondents said that religious beliefs were very important in their lives, compared with only one-quarter (26%) of similarly aged Canadians” (p. 15), and 95% of the respondents reported they were “Christians.” “These findings are consistent with those Ray (2004) found in his study of 5,254 Americans (home educated for seven or more years of their K-12 education) in terms of the demographic characteristics of the adults such as education achieved and civic engagement. He summarized his findings thus: “The home-educated adults in this study were very positive about having been homeschooled and toward homeschooling in general, actively engaged in their local communities, keeping abreast of current affairs, highly civically involved, tolerant of others expressing their viewpoints, attaining relatively high levels of formal education, religiously active and wide-ranging in their worldview beliefs, holding worldview beliefs similar to those of their parents, and largely home educating their own children”” (p. 44). “In terms of their highest level of education attained when compared to the general population, the formerly home-educated students attain higher levels. Their occupations are more oriented to health, to social services such as education, religious, and government, to arts and culture, and to participation in trades and transportation than the comparable population, and less oriented to sales and service, and natural and applied sciences. They are equally engaged in business, finance, and administration. They are much more likely to be civically engaged and to vote in federal, provincial, and municipal elections. Their religious affiliation and observance tends to be high, and their charitable donations tend to be oriented to religious obligations or beliefs. Their income tends to be slightly higher than that of their peers and none rely on government payments as their main source of income. Their life satisfaction is higher than that of their peers. They are more physically and recreationally active, and more engaged in culture and the arts than their peers. They are more likely to be married and to marry earlier than their peers, less likely to have children early but when they do, they tend to have larger families than their peers. They come from homes where their parents have a higher academic education and are more religious than their peers’ parents” (p. 44). “When pushed for the single most important reason that they were home educated, they claimed first most frequently, educational reasons, second, religious reasons, third, family reasons and fourth, other, largely idiosyncratic, reasons. Note the slight move away from the dominance of ideological and/or religious motivations. This can then be compared with what the respondents said was the best part about being home educated. They claim that rich relationships, extensive enrichment, schedule flexibility, individualization of pace and program, development of independence and superior academics were the best aspects of home education. Thus, as they reflect, it is not the strong ideological and/or worldview that emerges as a best aspect of home education, but rather the academic opportunities and the personal enrichment. Nevertheless, 89% of them also said that religion was somewhat or very important to how they live their daily lives. Thus, the religious motivations of their parents for home educating must also have had an influence although it did not emerge as the “best” part about being home educated” (p. 45).) (Keywords: home education, homeschooling, research, adults, college students, educational attainment, community service, civic engagement, religion, religiosity)
Fifteen years later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults
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