(Image courtesy of College at Home, published under a Creative Common License)
I recently sent out a survey to my email list to prove or disprove a thesis of mine about math. All Common Core math discussions aside, it was my understanding that homeschoolers are confident in their ability to teach their children because they know they can teach math and science.
Why? Because any basic anecdotal survey of parents who want to homeschool but feel they will not do a good job seems to suggest that inability to teach math and science lead the hand-wringers.
However, what I found did not seem to agree with the above oft-mentioned, much reiterated, excuse.
Being good at math as a child was NOT a determining factor in the homeschoolers surveyed and was NOT even remotely connected to their confidence in homeschooling. In fact, the most common response was that being able to teach math was not a determining factor in their decision because they knew that they either could learn or get help.
The other question that I found fascinating clued me into why homeschooling works and why homeschooled children tend to perform better in general (as shown in above infographic by College at Home): of the parents who responded to my survey, a whopping 92% said they drew connections between what their children were learning in math and why it was important for them to know. Only 8% said they didn’t draw connections because it was more important to get the basics first.
Of all the respondents, 58% said they struggled with math as children and yet, here they are, determined, learning and teaching.
A full 77% of respondents either followed a math curriculum loosely or did not use a curriculum at all. You don’t get much more confident than that.
This survey is why I love homeschoolers, whether they’re unschoolers or not. I have yet to find another group as motivated and as confident in what scientists call the “plasticity” of the human brain – their and their children’s ability to learn, to work hard and to get where they want to go.
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