A Homeschooling Experiment
Families displaced by Hurricane Katrina are turning to that old-fashioned, albeit non-traditional, method of learning: homeschooling. See this AP article from Belle Chasse, LA.
From the article:
>>Nationally, about 1.1 million students are home-schooled, according to the U.S. Department of Education, a movement that's been growing steadily for decades. Usually, though, it's not a decision made under duress, since home-schooling demands patience and commitment from both parents and students.<<
This could be an interesting data point in homeschooling research (many parents of gifted children choose to homeschool at some point in their children's school careers).
All the studies of homeschooling contain a selection bias. The kinds of parents who choose to homeschool are often better educated and more committed to learning than those who don't. I have only come across one study that removed some of that bias. That study looked at rural Alaskan families who homeschooled out of necessity, not choice. The state would provide lessons by radio, and centrally located teachers would consult with parents on occasion. These students did as well as their conventionally schooled peers.
The Louisiana situation could provide a similar study, since parents are homeschooling "under duress" as the article says, not as a long-planned choice. We will see how these children fare when they return to their schools. My guess is they'll do pretty well.