The impact of homeschooling on the adjustment of college students.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Home schooling (Social aspects)
Home schooling (Psychological aspects)
Students (Psychological aspects)
Education, Compulsory (Research)
Academic achievement (Research)
Authors: Drenovsky, Cynthia K.
Cohen, Isaiah
Pub Date: 03/22/2012
Publication: Name: International Social Science Review Publisher: Pi Gamma Mu Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Pi Gamma Mu ISSN: 0278-2308
Issue: Date: Spring-Summer, 2012 Source Volume: 87 Source Issue: 1-2
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs; 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 294895885
Full Text: Introduction

Homeschooling is an option for education that has increased considerably since the 1970s. Stereotypes of homeschooled children often include labels such as "backward" or "on the fringe" of society. This study seeks to determine whether these stereotypes have any lasting effect on homeschooled students' adjustment to college. An online survey resulted in a sample of 185 students from a variety of colleges and universities, both public and private. The results show that as compared to traditionally educated students, college students who were homeschooled do not exhibit any significant differences in self-esteem, and they experience significantly lower levels of depression than those with no homeschooling in their educational background. This research also reveals that homeschooled students report that they achieve higher academic success in college and view their entire college experience more positively than traditionally educated students.

Sometimes retailers and their advertisers make embarrassing blunders that force potential consumers to examine, and then define the myths and realities of a condition in society. Take for example a T-shirt advertised for J.C. Penney in 2001 that depicted a dilapidated mobile home paired with the words "Home Skooled." While store officials insisted that they did not mean to offend anyone, they pulled the product from their shelves "after enraged missives poured in from homeschooled families, some of whom threatened a boycott." (1) Interestingly, Stacey Bielick from the National Center for Education Statistics published a report during the same month as the T-shirt incident, which stated that over 850,000 American children were homeschooled in 1999. (2) Suddenly, it is now commonplace to learn about homeschooling in mainstream popular culture, and Americans who had not thought much about the topic have formed their impressions of homeschooling through the media. As with most media portrayals, the images of homeschooling churned out over the past decade were caricatures oversimplified, yet exaggerated. For example, a 2004 article in The Economist referred to homeschooled students as conservative "Republican foot-soldiers." (3) Patrick Henry College, a private Evangelical Christian college with a "deliberate outreach to homeschooled students," (4) opened its doors in 2000, and by 2007 Hanna Rosin, senior editor at The Atlantic, helped draw national attention to the school's mission in her book, God's Harvard. It is not the primary aim of her book to simply identify the faults of students attending Patrick Henry College. However, the image of students that Rosin constructs presents them as a perfectly homogeneous set of young adults. As a result, readers come away with a stereotype about homeschooled students as extremely conservative Christians, and a bit crazed, like "overambitious junior executives that populate the Ivy League these days--only without the political apathy." (5)

Most faculty members who have taught in higher education during the last fifteen years, whether at a small private college or a large public university, have likely noticed an increase in the number of homeschooled students in their classrooms. At one time, a student's public disclosure of being homeschooled elicited gasps and stares from classmates. At other times, the class discussion on homeschooling would take a "we" versus "them" turn as students hypothesized that homeschooled students are usually noticeable on campus by their awkward appearance or lack of social skills. Times have changed, however. Today, there are more homeschooled students on college campuses than ever and their number is expected to grow in the near future. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics estimated an increase from 850,000 homeschooled students in 1999 to 1.3 million in 2003 and 1.5 million in 2007. (6)

To be sure, homeschooling can be beneficial to many students; however, much of the literature on homeschooling and its consequences is often a product of the homeschooling movement, so it contains obvious biases. (7) This study takes an objective look at the consequences of homeschooling on students' adjustment to college. The homeschooled college student does not have the wide array of institutional experiences from primary and secondary schooling to draw from while coping with the stresses of a college environment. Nevertheless, it is possible that the homeschooled college student has sufficient preparation for succeeding in college from his/her home environment. This study examines how well the homeschooled college student is adjusting to college.

Background Literature

While homeschooling has been around since the colonial era, compulsory schooling laws that were enacted in all states by 1918 put America's focus on institutionalizing education. That focus continued throughout the twentieth century until Americans began to learn more about homeschooling. (8) The publication of several highly critical works on American public education spurred national interest in the concept of home education beginning in the 1960s. In both How Children Fail (1964) and How Children Learn (1967), John Caldwell Holt, the founder of Growth Without Schooling, which offered parents ideas and philosophies for educating their children at home, encouraged many families to reconsider the traditional public education system that they knew so well. (9) Holt's ideas concerning the basic dysfunctions of American education included the notion that when children are too often motivated by fear their natural desire for self-discovery is thwarted, and that they are too often taught for test-taking in American schools. (10)

As Holt's works gained notoriety for his claims about the shortcomings of the American education system, Ivan Illich's book, Deschooling Society (1971), drew additional attention to the pitfalls of mass, public, compulsory schooling in the United States. (111) Illich, a philosopher, derided all formal institutions in American society, and, in the process, called for their dismantling. According to Illich:

His vision of a "peer-matching" network to bring together a community of learners via computers is strikingly prophetic of today's Internet.

Raymond and Dorothy Moore are also credited with shaping today's homeschooling movement. Their ideas were first published in Better Late than Early (1975), (13) which suggests that children should not begin formal schooling until they reach the age of eight. (14) They also advocate the use of home chores and community service as learning experiences. The Moores homeschooled their own children, and many parents today turn to their works to guide them through home education. (15)

The U.S. Supreme Court also contributed to the rise of the homeschooling movement in Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972), (16) a landmark case which legalized homeschooling for families who maintained that their religious beliefs could best be preserved if their children were educated at home. The Yoders, an old-order Amish family, turned to the First Amendment to ensure their right to homeschool their children. Since the Yoders were part of a unique community where the lifestyle is often consumed by tourists and labeled as "backward," it is not surprising that, during the 1970s, mainstream Americans viewed homeschooling as backward and strange. It is true that throughout the 1970s and 1980s, many families who chose homeschooling did so because of distinct religious reasons or concerns about the academic quality of a public school education. (17) Homeschooling was also adopted by families who were members of what education researchers Gretchen Wilhelm and Michael Firmin call "extreme groups." According to Wilhelm and Firmin, the early homeschooling families of the 1960s stood to the left of the political spectrum, but they are now more associated with the far right. They also identify two extreme groups of families who homeschooled their children: ideologues and pedagogues. Whereas the ideologues are religious conservatives, the pedagogues are more concerned with controlling the academic and social environment of their children. (18) These early trends in homeschooling and the public's perception of the families who made this choice resulted in stereotypes that described homeschooled students as being extremely sheltered and narrowly educated. (19)

Despite such stereotypes, homeschooling has grown dramatically as a form of educational instruction since the 1970s to the point where currently there are about 1.5 million homeschooled students in the United States. (20) Indeed, some sources claim that there are as many as 2 million homeschooled students. (21) This discrepancy in numbers is most likely due to the fact that not all states require the reporting of this statistic, so such numbers are often estimated. Still, homeschooling is considered the fastest growing form of American education and is expected to continue to rise in the near future. (22) Though stereotypes about homeschooling still exist, it is a practice that has become "normalized." (23) Americans have grown accustomed to hearing about homeschooling, even though they may be misinformed about it.

How successful is homeschooling? Locating scientific peer-reviewed studies in scholarly journals indexed in educational or social science databases is rare. Oftentimes, studies that assess the outcomes of learning at home are conducted by advocates of homeschooling under the auspices of organizations that promote and advertise it, such as the National Home Education Research Institute. (24) Keeping these research biases in mind, these studies show that students who are educated at home excel academically, often out-performing their public- and private-educated counterparts. (25) Increasingly, colleges and universities have admitted homeschooled students who succeed in the college classroom. (26) For example, Molly Duggan's study on college students' self-reports of knowledge and skills shows that compared to publicly and privately educated college students, homeschooled college students are significantly more likely to claim that they can speak and write clearly and effectively; think critically and analytically; understand themselves and people of different racial or ethnic backgrounds; develop clear career goals; acquire career or work-related knowledge and skills; and, develop study and time-management skills. (27) Thus, Brian D. Ray, an advocate of homeschooling and the editor of the National Home Education Research Institute's journal, Home School Researcher, maintains that: "There is no research evidence that having been home educated is associated with negative behaviors and ineptitudes in adulthood." (28)

While one can see that the homeschooled college student can perform well academically, their personal adjustment and sense of integration into their new college community is largely ignored in the literature. It is well known that the transition to college can be difficult for many students, and those who have trouble feeling comfortable in their new surrounding can encounter anxiety, depression, or stress. (29) Of course, there are opportunities for homeschooled students to participate in music groups, sports, and other organizations before entering college. Actually, these students have opportunities to engage with others and develop a sense of community. Psychologist Richard Medlin's review of the literature on socialization among homeschooled students suggests that their daily routine of interaction with parents provides a comparable socialization experience to that of traditionally educated students. (30) However, the nature and frequency of the constant social interaction in high school does not exist for the homeschooled student. The question that emerges, then, is whether there are negative personal or social consequences for the homeschooled student who attends college, especially if he/she did not engage in organized groups while homeschooled. In short, this study seeks to learn whether the lack of constant social stimulation during homeschooling results in adjustment problems in college.

Research Questions

The most common stereotype of the homeschooled student is that he/she is someone "on the fringe." (31) In sociological terms, the concept of marginality (32) is more widely understood and applicable than "fringe." Marginality was originally conceptualized in order to understand the experience of immigrants; it is now used to elucidate the status of many types of people who find themselves in new situations. (33) Nancy Schlossberg, professor emeriti of counseling at the University of Maryland-College Park, asserts that marginality inhibits academic success and personal well-being. When students feel marginalized, they believe that they do not fit in. This can lead to various negative outcomes for the student, such as depression, loneliness, and a feeling of not mattering to the university community. (34)

In recent years, the level of engagement of college students in both their classroom and activities on campus has been studied by college student personnel professionals as an important predictor of retention and college Success. (35) According to the National Study on Student Engagement:

The authors of this study assume that preparation for college engagement includes participation in high school engagement and community activity. During one's high school years, the level of community engagement before college is expected to enhance that individual's adjustment to college for both traditionally educated and homeschooled students. The publicly or privately educated high school student has a multitude of opportunities for school involvement and community engagement through clubs, employment, music, and sports, to name a few.

Homeschooled students also have access to extracurricular activities. Homeschooling networks and resources aid homeschooling parents so that they may offer a diverse curriculum with opportunities for community engagement on field trips. Homeschooling networks may also provide settings for interaction with other homeschooled students. These students also have opportunities to participate in the same types of extracurricular activities that other students pursue (e.g., church organizations, employment, scouting, and sports). The authors of this study suggest that marginalization in college is less likely to occur if one has been actively engaged in such activities prior to attending college. Therefore, it is expected that extracurricular participation before attending college in areas such as scouting, sports, and volunteer opportunities will enhance one's adjustment to college in terms of self-esteem and depression during his/her college years.


To test the research questions posed in this study, an online survey was distributed to over 1,500 college students (all above the age of eighteen) who were educated at home for at least some of their primary and secondary education. E-mail addresses of potential respondents were obtained from a state homeschoolers' organization whose representatives recognized the benefits of this research for the homeschooled population. Participation in the survey was voluntary and identities of participants were kept anonymous. A comparison group of eighty non-homeschooled college students at a public four-year university in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States was invited to complete the internet questionnaire. The study was approved by the researchers' campus institutional review board. Ultimately, of the 1,580 college students who were invited to complete the questionnaire, 185 responded, an 11.7% response rate. This should not come as a surprise since response rates for surveys are often low. In this instance, it is particularly low because of the special nature of the target population. (37)

The online questionnaire included twenty-nine closed-ended items about educational background and present student engagement on campus. Several items from the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) were included. The NSSE is a questionnaire that measures student participation in academic and extracurricular activities at four-year colleges and universities across the United States. (38) Items from the NSSE used in this study include: internship participation, student-faculty research, attendance at plays and concerts, and impressions of relationships with fellow students and faculty.

To measure one's social and personal adjustment to college, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was employed. This is a widely used ten-item measure of self-esteem that has demonstrated high levels of reliability over the years. (39) Another measure of adjustment used in the online survey is the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). (40) This is a twenty-item code-ended inventory of self-reported symptoms of depression. (41) The CES-D is a reliable measure that has shown high levels of internal consistency. (42)

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (43)

Instructions: Below is a list of statements dealing with your general feelings about yourself. Please indicate whether you strongly agree (SA), agree (A), disagree (D), or strongly disagree (SD) with each statement.

Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) 44

Please indicate how often you have felt the following during the past WEEK.

Rarely or none of the time (less than 1 day)

Some or a little of the time (1-2 days)

Occasionally or a moderate amount of time (3-4 days)

Most or all of the time (5-7 days)

To measure pre-college engagement, students were also asked whether they participated in any of the following activities before entering college:

* Boy/Girl Scouting

* Religious/Church groups

* Organized sports

* Volunteer organizations

* Other clubs

* Jobs for pay

Several background demographic questions (age, ethnicity, sex) also appeared on the questionnaire.


The data collection efforts resulted in a sample of 185 undergraduate college students. Within this sample, 150 respondents had at least 1-3 years of homeschooling during their primary or secondary school years; 35 respondents had no homeschooling experience in their educational history. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (64%) were homeschooled for 10-12 years of their primary and secondary education (see Figure 1).

The average age of the respondents is 20.39 (SD=1.63). Sixty-one percent (113) of the sample is female; 39 percent (72) is male. When comparing gender to schooling status, one finds that males in the sample are slightly more likely than females to be homeschooled for 10-12 years (69 percent for males; 60 percent for females). Females are more likely than males (22 percent for females; 14 percent for males) to have had no experience with homeschooling (see Figure 2).

Most of the respondents (64%) are Protestant. As shown in Figure 3, Protestants are more likely to be homeschooled over a longer period of time (10-12 years) compared to other religious groups. Catholics and those who reported "none" for their religious preference were more likely to have had no experience with homeschooling.

The ethnic composition of the sample is predominantly white (89%). Four percent is multi-racial, one percent is Native American, one percent is African American, and one percent is Hispanic/Latina/Latino. The rest of the respondents preferred not to identify themselves with any ethnicity.

The Impact of Homeschooling, on Self-Esteem and Depression Levels-in College

The average self-esteem score in the sample is 22.4 (SD=4.9). A multiple regression with dichotomous ("dummy") independent variables tested the impact of age, gender (male=1, female-0), homeschooling status (homeschooled=1, not homeschooled-0), as well as whether or not the respondent participated in various activities during his/her primary and secondary schooling on the dependent variable, self-esteem. These activities included: scouting (yes=1, no=0), church activities (yes=1, no=0), sports (yes=l, no=0), volunteer activities (yes=1, no=0), jobs for pay (yes=1, no=0), and "other clubs" (yes=1, no=0). As shown in Table 1, respondents who were homeschooled at any point during their primary or secondary schooling did not have significantly different levels of self-esteem compared to students who were never homeschooled. No other independent variable in the model has a statistically significant impact on self-esteem, with the exception of scouting, which decreased self esteem levels (p<.05).

As noted earlier, depression was measured by the CES-D depression inventory. The average depression score for the sample is 10.7 (SD=8.4). A multiple regression with dichotomous ("dummy") independent variables tested the impact of age, gender (male=1, female=0), whether or not the student was ever homeschooled (homeschooled=1, not homeschooled=0), and whether the respondent participated in various activities during his/her primary and secondary schooling. As shown in Table 2, respondents who were homeschooled at any point during their primary or secondary education have significantly lower levels of depression (p<.05). Interestingly, students who participated in scouting activities have significantly higher depression scores (p<.0l). None of the other independent variables have any significant influence on depression levels.

Additional analysis (45) of the impact of homeschooling on the respondents' reports of their grades in college reveals that homeschooled students are more likely to state that most of their grades in college are 'A's,' while students who were never homeschooled are more likely to report that they earn mostly 'B's'. None stated that they received mostly 'D's' or below (see Figure 4). The students' overall impression of the educational experience at their college or university is also higher among those students who were home schooled. Forty-five percent of the respondents who were homeschooled rated their entire college educational experience as "excellent," compared to twenty percent of those who had no homeschooling experience (see Figure 5).

Discussion and Conclusion

The focus of this study is to investigate the impact of homeschooling on two components of adjustment in college: self-esteem and depression. While the results show that homeschooled college students do not have higher self-esteem levels than those who were educated in traditional schools before entering college, the homeschooled students are not significantly lower in self-esteem either. One can conclude that whether or not the student has been homeschooled has no affect on their self-esteem in college. In regard to participation in extracurricular activities before entering college, one can see that activities such as clubs, jobs, sports, and volunteering, while they may have an important influence on self-esteem in high school, do not influence self-esteem in college. The results from this study also show that college students who participated in scouting before attending college had lower levels of self-esteem and higher levels of depression. This relationship between scouting and well-being was not hypothesized, but it should be examined in greater depth in future studies.

While homeschooling does not affect self-esteem, this study finds that those students with a history of homeschooling did have significantly lower depression scores than those who had never been homeschooled. It also reveals that homeschooled students report that they have achieved greater academic success and that they rate their entire college educational experience more positively than students who were never homeschooled. These results point to the positive outcomes of homeschooling. Despite the stereotypes about homeschooled students that may exist, this study finds that college students who have homeschooling backgrounds are not suffering from these stereotypes. Their self-esteem is not significantly lower than that of other college students, and a key indicator of mental health (depression) is significantly better among the homeschooled students. Those students in the sample with homeschooled backgrounds are not only adjusted psychologically, but they also report higher academic achievement in many different college and university settings, ranging from private colleges to large public universities. Equally important, they provide excellent overall evaluations of their entire college experience.

Over the past fifty years, attacking the American education system has become a favorite pastime among both conservatives and liberals. (46) The traditional structures of mass public schooling has been criticized for leaving many children behind while instilling a hidden curriculum of blind obedience to authority. (47) At the same time, private education is often taken to task for perpetuating inequality and elitism. (48) While it is easy to denigrate the American education system, alternatives to both private and public structures, such as homeschooling, have often been identified with skepticism as "on the fringe." Today, however, homeschooling provides an alternative form of education with sufficient examples of successes and failures that parents can seek out support and resources in order to provide the best education possible within a home environment. The evidence from this research indicates that homeschooling offers its students opportunities for success later in life. To be sure, homeschooling is not for everyone, and, obviously, not every family can effectively school their children at home. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that homeschooled students adjust quite well to a college environment.

The National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education have presented data on homeschooling since 1999, (49) but there has been little effort among government researchers or large research organizations to provide a nation-wide, comprehensive, scientific study of the outcomes associated with homeschooling. Proper random-sampling procedure must be utilized, and longitudinal, rather than cross-sectional designs must be attempted in future large-scale studies on homeschooling. Clearly, such studies are necessary to truly understand the costs and benefits of homeschooling throughout the life of the student.

Statistical analyses of college grades, psychological well-being, or community involvement may shed some light on the long-term effects of homeschooling. However, researchers should also consider the value of a qualitative inquiry into these topics. A carefully constructed interview-based study where participants are asked to describe their experiences in life following homeschooling would help one understand the nature of successes and struggles among homeschooled graduates. Ultimately, the information from a detailed qualitative study will help parents decide whether homeschooling is truly the best option for their children and perhaps learn what to expect as their homeschooled children are launched into adult life.


(1) John Cloud, Jodie Morse, Steve Barnes, Amy Bonesteel, Leslie Brice Everton, Beau Briese, Deborah Fowler, Kathie Klarreich, Jeanne McDowell, Maggie Sieger, and Rebecca Winters, "Home Sweet School," Time, August 27, 2001, 46.

(2) Stacey Bielick, Kathryn Chandler, and Stephen P. Broughman, Homeschooling in the United States: 1999 (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S Department of Education, July 2001), 3.

(3) "George Bush's Secret Army," The Economist, February 28, 2004, 32-33.

(4) Patrick Henry College, (accessed November 26,2011), 1.

(5) Hanna Rosin, God's Harvard. A Christian College on a Mission to Save America (Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 2007), 4.

(6) Bielick, Chandler, and Broughman, Homeschooling in the United States: 1999, 1; Daniel Princiotta, Stacey Bielick, and Chris Chapman, 1.1 Million Homeschool Students in the United States in 2003 (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S Department of Education, July 2004), 1; Stacey Bielick, 1.5 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2007 (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, December 2008), 1.

(7) For example, the National Home Education Research Institute's journal, The Home School Researcher, appears on the organization's website, but it has not been indexed in either the Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC) or Education Research Complete since 1989. The National Home Education Research Institute's website does not present critical analyses of homeschooling. See htt:// (accessed November 26, 2011).

(8) Gretchen M. Wilhelm and Michael W. Firmin, "Historical and Contemporary Developments in Home School Education," Journal of Research on Christian Education 18, no. 3 (September 2009):308-09; Brian D. Ray, "Homeschoolers on to College: What Research Shows Us," Journal of College Admission 185 (Fall 2004):5.

(9) John Caldwell Holt, How Children Fail (New York: Pitman, 1964); John Caldwell Holt, How Children Learn (New York: Pitman, 1967).

(10) Holt, How Children Fail, 59-90, 256-60.

(11) Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society (New York: Harper and Row, 1971).

(12) Ibid., xix, 93-95.

(13) Raymond S. Moore and Dorothy N. Moore, Better Late than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1975), 172.

(14) Raymond and Dorothy Moore, Homeschooling: The Balance of Academics & Work/ Service, (accessed November 21, 2011), 1.

(15) Other publications on homeschooling by the Moores include: School Can Wait (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1979); Home Grown Kids: A Practical Handbook for Teaching Children at Home (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1981); Home-Spun Schools: Teaching Children at Home--What Parents Are Doing and How They Are Doing It (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1982); The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook: A Creative and Stress-Free Approach to Homeschooling (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson Publishers, 1994).

(16) Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972).

(17) Chad Olsen, "Constitutionality of Home Education: How the Supreme Court and American History Endorse Parental Choice," Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal 2 (2009):415-21; Eric Isenberg, "What Have We Learned about Homeschooling?" Peabody Journal of Education 82, no. 2-3 (2007):388; Ray, "Homeschoolers on to College," 6; Chris Lubienski, "A Critical View of Home Education," Evaluation and Research in Education 17, no. 2-3 (June 2003):170.

(18) Wilhelm and Firmin, "Historical and Contemporary Developments in Home School Education," 303.

(19) The issue of whether or not Americans actually hold these stereotypes or whether the media is responsible for perpetuating them is one of the major factors that has influenced this study. Empirical evidence of the stereotypes is not available.

(20) Bielick, 1.5 Million Homeschooled Students in the United States in 2007, 1.

(21) Brian D. Ray, "2.04 Million Homeschool Students in the United States in 2010," National Home Education Research Institute, (accessed November 1, 2011), 1-5.

(22) Ray, "Homeschoolers on to College," 10.

(23) Mitchell L. Stevens, "The Normali[z]ation of Homeschooling in the USA," Evaluation and Research in Education 17, no. 2-3 (June 2003):90.

(24) The National Home Education Research Institute was founded by Brian D. Ray and the organization's journal, Home School Researcher, is edited by him. While the mission of the organization appears to be objective, the website unfailingly promotes homeschooling. See (accessed November 26, 2011).

(25) Ray, "Homeschoolers on to College," 9-10.

(26) Molly Duggan, "Is All College Preparation Equal? Pre-Community College Experiences of Home-Schooled, Private-Schooled, and Public-Schooled Students," Community College Journal of Research and Practice 34, no. 1-2 (January-February 2010):32; Phillip P Marzluf, "Writing Home-Schooled Students into the Academy," Composition Studies 37, no. l(Spring 2009):55-59; Michael H. Romanowski, "Revisiting the Common Myths of Homeschooling," Clearing House 79, no. 3 (January-February 2006): 127-29.

(27) Duggan, "Is All College Preparation Equal?" 32. Duggan teaches in the Community College Leadership doctoral program in the Darden School of Education at Old Dominion University.

(28) Ray, "Homeschoolers on to College," 29.

(29) Nancy Schlossberg, "Marginality and Mattering: Key Issues in Building Community," New Directions for Student Services 48 (Spring 1989):9.

(30) Richard Medlin, "Homeschooling and the Question of Socialization," Peabody Journal of Education 75, no. 1-2 (2000):112-13.

(31) See, for example, Stevens, "The Normali[z]ation of Homeschooling in the USA," 92. Wilhelm and Firmin, however, suggest that homeschoolers can no longer be dismissed as on the "fringe." Wilhelm and Firmin, "Historical and Contemporary Developments in Homeschool Education," 303.

(32) Robert E. Park, "Human Migration and the Marginal Man," American Journal of Sociology 33 (May 1928):881-93.

(33) For example, a transition to a new work situation can bring on feelings of marginalization. See Rebecca L. Sperling's account of the transition of lesbians to a professional situation where they feel marginalized in "Conspicuously Absent: Lesbians in Professional Social Work," Affilia: Journal of Women & Social Work 25, no. 3 (August 2010):250-63.

(34) Schlossberg, "Marginality and Mattering," 9.

(35) Ibid., 3.

(36) National Survey on Student Engagement, (accessed November 27, 2011), 1.

(37) According to Robert Kunzman, an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University-Bloomington, homeschoolers are known for refusing to complete questionnaires. Robert Kunzman, Homeschooling Research and Scholarship. (accessed, November 27, 2011). Patricia M. Lines, the former director of the Law and Education Center at the Education Commission of the States and former senior research analyst for the U.S. Department of Education, adds that homeschoolers are inclined to refuse to participate in surveys as they are "philosophically opposed to cooperating with researchers." Patricia Lines, "Homeschooling Comes of Age," The Public Interest 140 (Summer 2000):77.

(38) National Survey on Student Engagement, (accessed November 27, 2011), 1.

(39) Morris Rosenberg, Society and the Adolescent Self-Image (Princeton, N J: Princeton University Press, 1965), 18; Jim Blascovich and Joseph Tomaka, "Measures of Self-Esteem" in Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes', eds. John P. Robinson, Philip R. Shaver, and Lawrence S. Wrightsman (Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, 1993), 115-60.

(40) Laurie S. Radloff, "The CES-D Scale: A Self-Report Depression Scale for Research in the General Population," Applied Psychological Measurement 1, no. 3 (Summer 1977):385-401.

(41) In the field of questionnaire design, a closed-ended question refers to a question in which the answer categories are fixed, much like a multiple-choice question on a test. An inventory is a list of items from which a participant is asked to respond.

(42) The CES-D is widely used and free to the public. See Christopher Fisher's review of the reliability of this measure at Behavioral Medicine Report, http://www.bmedre_port. corn/archives/7139 (accessed October 30, 2011), 1-3.

(43) Rosenberg, Society and the Adolescent Self-Image, 18.

(44) Radloff, "The CES-D Scale," 400.

(45) Regression analyses were also conducted with the independent variable of homeschooling coded in the four categories described in Figure 1. The results of the additional regression analyses were similar in terms of significance.

(46) Norman J. Nie and Saar D. Golde criticize American education in "Does Education Really Make You Smarter?" Miller-McCune 1 (May 2008):56-64. For a review of the consequences of high school type on college admissions, see Daniel Berkowitz and Mark Hoekstra, "Does High School Quality Matter? Evidence from Admissions Data," Economics of Education Review 30, no. 2 (April 2011):280-88.

(47) Jennifer Booher-Jennings, "Learning to Label: Socialization, Gender and the Hidden Curriculum of High-Stakes Testing," British Journal of Sociology of Education 29, no. 2 (March 2008):150.

(48) Mingliang Li, "Is There 'White Flight' into Private Schools? New Evidence from High School and Beyond," Economics" of Education Review 28, no. 3 (June 2009):382.

(49) See, for example, Bielick, Homeschooling in the United States: 1999; Princiotta, Bielick, and Chapman, 1.1 Million Homeschool Students in the United States in 2003; Bielick, 1.5 Million Homeschooled Students" in the United States in 2001.

CYNTHIA K. DRENOVSKY is a Professor of Sociology at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. ISAIAH COHEN received his BA in political science, with a minor in sociology, from Shippensburg University in December 2011.
Universal education through schooling is not feasible, and
   alternative educational paths must be sought. It would be no more
   feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions
   built on the style of present schools. Neither new attitudes of
   teachers toward their pupils nor the proliferation of educational
   hard ware or software (in classroom or bedroom), nor finally the
   attempt to expand the pedagogue's responsibility until it engulfs
   his pupil's lifetime will deliver universal education. The current
   search for new educational funnels must be reversed into a search
   for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten
   the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living
   into one of learning, sharing, and caring. We hope to contribute
   concepts needed by those who conduct such counterfoil research on
   education and also to those who seek alternatives to other
   established service industries. (12)

Student engagement represents two critical features of collegiate
   quality. The first is the amount of time and effort students put
   into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities.
   The second is how the institution deploys its resources and
   organizes the curriculum and other learning opportunities to get
   students to participate in activities that decades of research
   studies show are linked to student learning. (36)

1. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.         SA A D SD

2. At times, I think I am no good at all.            SA A D SD

3. I feel that I have a number of good qualities.    SA A D SD

4. I am able to do things as well as most other      SA A D SD

5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of.         SA A D SD

6. I certainly feel useless at times.                SA A D SD

7. I feel that I'm a person of worth, at least on
an equal plane with others.                          SA A D SD

8. I wish I could have more respect for myself.      SA A D SD

9. Overall, I am inclined to feel that I am a        SA A D SD

10. I have a positive attitude toward myself.        SA A D SD

1. I was bothered by things that usually don't        R S O M
bother me.

2. I did not feel like eating; my appetite was        R S O M

3. I felt that I could not shake off the blues,
even with help from my family or friends.             R S O M

4. I felt I was just as good as other people.         R S O M

5. I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was        R S O M

6. I felt depressed.                                  R S O M

7. I felt that everything I did was an effort.        R S O M

8. I felt hopeful about the future.                   R S O M

9. I thought my life had been a failure.              R S O M

10. I felt fearful.                                   R S O M

11. My sleep was restless.                            R S O M

12. I was happy.                                      R S O M

13. I talked less than usual.                         R S O M

14. I felt lonely.                                    R S O M

15. People were unfriendly.                           R S O M

16. I enjoyed life.                                   R S O M

17. I had crying spells.                              R S O M

18. I felt sad.                                       R S O M

19. I felt that people disliked me.                   R S O M

20. I could not get "going."                          R S O M

Table 1: Multiple Regression of the Impact of Homeschooling on

Model             Unstandardized         Standardized
                  Coefficients          Coefficients
                B           Error   Betta      T      Sig.

Constant         8.197      4.861             1.686   .094
HOMESCHOOLD      1.120      1.296     .090     .864   .389
SCOUTING        -2.765 *    1.378    -.152   -2.007   .046
CHURCH            .558      1.139     .044     .490   .625
SPORTS            .848      .784      .083    1.081   .281
VOLUNTEERING    -1.078      .810     -.100   -1.330   .185
CLUBS            1.017      .778      .098    1.308   .193
JOBS              .331      .904      .027     .336   .715
GENDER           1.022      .755      .102    1.353   .178
AGE               .584 **   .224      .194    2.609   .010

* p <.05 =185

** p<.01

Table 2: Multiple Regression of the Impact of Homeschooling
on Depression

Model            Unstandardized       Standardized
                 Coefficients         Coefficients

                B            Error      Betta         T       Sig.

(Constant)      22.561       8.263                  2.730    .007
HOMESCHOOLD     -4.644 *     2.202       -.217     -2.109    .036 *
SCOUTING         6.351 **    2.342        .203      2.712    .007 **
CHURCH          -2.583       1.936       -.119     -1.334    .184
SPORTS            .602       1.327        .034       .454    .651
VOLUNTEERING     1.648       1.375        .089      1.198    .232
CLUBS            -.987       1.315       -.055      -.751    .454
JOBS             -.582       1.535       -.028      -.379    .705
GENDER           -.145       1.276       -.008      -.114    .910
AGE               .378        .380       -.074      -.994    .322

* p <.05

** p <.01


Figure 1

Schooling Status n=185

I was homeschooled for 1-3 years,      3%
I was homeschooled 4-6 years,          7%
I was homeschooled for 7-9 years,      8%
I was never homeschooled,             19%
I was homeschooled for 10-12 years,   64%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

Figure 2

Gender and Homeschooling n=185

                            Male   Female

Never home schooled         14%     22%
Home schooled 10-12 years   69%     60%
Home schooled 7-9 years      8%      8%
Home schooled 4-6 years      8%      5%
Home schooled 1-3 years              4%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Figure 3

Religion and Homeschooling n=185

                     Catholic   Jewish   Protestant   Other    None/No
                     (n=121)    (n=3)     (n=121)     (n=27)   Response
Never homeschooled     50%                  12%        20%       48%
Homeschooled for
  10-12 years          33%                  74%        65%       26%
Homeschooled for
  7-9 years            17%       33%         8%         3%        4%
Homeschooled for
  4-6 years                      33%         4%         3%       22%
Homeschooled for
  1-3 years                      33%         2%         8%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Figure 4 Homeschooling and College Grades n=185

                       Cs   Bs    As

Homeschooled           6%   47%   45%
Never Homeschooled    11%   69%   20%

Note: Table made from bar graph.

Figure 5 How would you evaluate your entire
educational experience at this
college/university? N=185

                       Poor   Fair   Good   Excellent

Homeschooled           1%      6%     47%    45%
Never Homeschooled     0%     11%     69%    20%

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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