Adult Homeschoolers Speak Out: Part Two, Survey Stats and Large Families
HA note: The following series is reprinted with permission from Brittany’s blog BAM. Part Two was originally published on May 24, 2012.
Also in this series: Part One: Why I Wanted To Write This | Part Two: Survey Stats and Large Families | Part Three: Top 3 Reasons Parents Homeschool | Part Four: Academic and Emotional Experiences, K-8 | Part Five: The Highschool Experience | Part Six: College? Prepared or Not? | Part Seven: What About Socialization? | Part Eight: The Best Thing vs. What Was Missing | Part Nine, Do Former Homeschoolers Want to Homeschool? | Part Ten: Are the Stereotypes Better or Worse?
Part Two: Survey Stats and Large Families
Here are the demographic statistics from the survey I conducted about the experiences of adults who were homeschooled.
To better understand the following data, here is my own demographic information:
- Name: Brittany Arpke Meng
- Born in: Nebraska
- Grew up in: Kansas
- Currently live in: Virginia
- Age: 28
- Number of siblings: 4
- Number of years homeschooled: 12 (1st-12th)
- Marital status: Married; spouse was not homeschooled
Total number of surveys: 44
(Sadly, the results are a little estrogen heavy, but the male perspective I received was excellent!)
These homeschoolers grew up in:
- Kansas (16)
- Virginia (7)
- South Dakota (3)
- New York (2)
- Nebraska (2)
- Florida (2)
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- Military family (3)
These adults now live in:
- Virginia (13)
- Kansas (6)
- Mississippi (2)
- Georgia (2)
- Florida (2)
- California (2)
- Oklahoma (2)
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- Japan (2)
- Cayman Islands
Age range: 18-37 (my minimum requirement was for the participant to be out of the house for at least one year)
Average age: 26
Fun fact: this means that earliest these families started homeschooling was around 1980!
Number of siblings range: 0-13
Average: 3 siblings
Number of years homeschooled range: 5-13
Average: 11 years
- 22 married (4 spouses had homeschooling experience)
- 16 single
- 2 Divorced
- 2 Engaged
- 2 in a relationship
I included the sibling information because, in my own experience, homeschooling families tend to have large families. As you can see, the range of siblings in each family is pretty dramatic (from an only child to a family of 14 children!) The average of 4 children in a family seems pretty “normal” to me. Many homeschoolers talked about relationships with siblings in the surveys so that is why I included this information.
I also wondered though, “Does the “largeness” of a family affect the homeschooling experience positively or negatively?” I didn’t receive overwhelming data on this point but I think that two examples may provide a good contrast to answer this question.
M. M. a 29 year old from CA was the oldest of 8 children. She describes a negative experience related to family size:
“My mom didn’t seem to be involved very much in my individual learning or invested in only my education since there was so many kids. I felt this was a disadvantage to me . . .My mom would start at the youngest child and work her way up to the oldest in going over their homework, teaching, etc. I don’t think she got to me very often.”
In 12th grade, M. M. did her homeschooling with another family where the other mother kept all of the young people accountable for their work.
This is just one example, of course. But in this case, family size seemed like a detriment to M.M’s homeschooling experience.
Contrasted with this is Beka R’s story, a 25 year old from Kansas and the 2nd oldest in a family of 14 children. Though Beka came from the largest family in survey group, she implied that academics were a very strong focus and stated that family relationships were the most positive part of her experience:
“One of the best things homeschooling did was allow for strong family relationships – we had school on Saturdays and had Thursdays off because that reflected my dad’s work schedule, and those Thursdays with my dad are something I’ve always cherished. I think that the primary influencers of my foundational years were my parents and grandparents, and that is something that has always shaped my values.“
Most responders had a very strong family and the number of children did not seem to negatively affect the homeschooling experience (or they didn’t mention it). I think it is interesting that homeschoolers have large families though and, in my own experience, homeschooling helped make relationships with my family stronger.
What do you think?
Did you come from a large family who homeschooled? Did it enhance or take away from your education?
Please comment or ask any questions!
To be continued.
That’s interesting. I have not noticed this, but you might be onto something. Of course, I lost contact with almost everyone I grew up with, and wouldn’t know their opinions now. But I would say my homeschool experience was somewhat negative, and my family was not large by homeschool standards.
my daughter is five and we homeschool. She is an only child and although we see lot’s of people and she spends time with hs kids and school kids I worry that she is lonely and missing out on learning group experience.
Carrie, I’m sure deciding on the right educational options for your daughter can be a tough call sometimes. Are you involved in a homeschool co-op where she would be able to be a part of group classes on a semi-regular basis?
While my (college educated) mom had 9 children and spent a lot of time planning lessons for us and making sure we were proficient in everything we undertook, I know personally of a family who homeschooled with 13 kids (when we knew them, now 16 I think) where the father was on disability, and the mother was always pregnant or giving birth. (kids 1 year apart of less)
I know their education was almost nonexistent, as the 14 year old girl had never done 7th grade math. I think most of them could read and write, but their social skills were such that they perceived any negative interaction as a fight. They did some cyber state-charter school, however, I know they were definitely not at a comparable level with their peers.
This is a tragedy not just for the deprived children but for America’s future ability to compete globally. All Americans deserve a sound education that will prepare them for our secular world. Math and science are especially vital. But that would mean going outside biblical teachings, so fundamentalist parents would certainly refuse to comply. As I said, tragic.