Friday, May 29, 2009

Survey - how many boys and girls do you homeschool?

I am really fascinated with the Condition of Education 2009 report. Greg Toppo of USA Today brought this to my attention. The report found, among many other things, that there has been a dramatic shift in the demographics of children who are homeschooled.

In both 1999 and 2003 when similar surveys were done, the ratio of boys to girls was close to fifty-fifty. In 1999 the percentages were 49% boys, and 51% girls. Then in 2003 it flipped slightly to 52% boys and 48% girls. Now according to the recent report, in 2007 the ratio was 42% boys and 58% girls. This is almost two boys for every three girls.

I'd like to know if this is true for homeschoolers who read our blog. Could you please fill out the two surveys below? Please fill out both of them, even if you only homeschool children of one gender.

Thank you!

And if you have any insight into why parents might choose to homeschool their daughters, and put their sons in public schools, please leave a comment.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education


Jean said...

We have two girls in our family. If we had boys, we'd be homeschooling them too--but we don't.

heather said...

We have one boy and one girl, and homeschool them both. It's not about gender at all. I don't know why there might be a difference in the overall population. My guess is that it's just coincidence and within the margin of error of this particular study??

Brenda said...

I have the same reason as Jean.

All I can think of is I have heard some homeschoolers express that they believe their boys need to be able to be sole breadwinners and so a good education is really important for boys. They were speaking mainly of a college education being important, but that caused them to put their boys into public school in the high school years. That, and sports.

Lisa said...

I wonder if it has anything to do with the social pressure girls have to become sexual at an earlier age. Girls are also home makers where as boys are considered the bread winners. Not to say woman can't have careers because I do think that they can. I'm just tossing out ideas for you.

Anonymous said...

All of my children -- 1 boy and 2 girls -- are homeschooled and, for us, it has nothing to do with gender. I have heard families talk about discipline issues/rebellion making it more difficult for some moms to handle their boys, which could lead some families to send their boys to school Sports may be another reason. Many boys hope to pursue a career in sports and, in many areas, the only place for them to really pursue that, once they reach high school age, is in a public school setting.

Mercy Eizenga said...

I believe that it is the sports issue. I only have boys, but would obviously homeschool any girls that I have. I have been tempted to stick my son back in public school to participate in sports when he gets into high school.

Jacque said...

To me, it seems that this will just show how many boys and how many girls there are in home school families.

If we had 42 boys and 3 girls, we would still home school them all and same with vice-versa.

We would never think to put our boys in school to get a better education, because we know that home school is sufficient at the least and better all around for the most part. Boys can learn skills to be the sole breadwinner at home as many home school graduates have proven.

We home school to teach them all better than the ps as a whole, and to keep them FROM all the garbage in any other school.
Boys and girls.


Dawn said...

I wonder if this is skewed because of some Christian homeschoolers who are going back to raise their girls as "help meets" and limiting their education to what they (the families) believe is "necessary" for girls being raised to aspire only to wifehood/motherhood.

My experience in our real life homeschool world is that boys are over-represented, which I figured had something to do with the likewise over-representation of boys being diagnosed with ADHD/spectrum disorders since I know many parents who HS their boys after feeling frustrated by IEPs and the like.

Me, I'm a feminist homeschooler and am HSing both our son and our daughter.

David Friedman said...

We home schooled both our son and our daughter in recent years; our daughter is now a college student.

One possible explanation for the pattern you describe is concern about sex. Boys can't get pregnant.

Judy Aron said...

I homeschooled 2 boys and 1 girl - that's just the way our family turned out - I would have homeschooled them no matter what the sex was.

I think the data has more to do with population in general - aren't there more girls in our population than boys?

Anonymous said...

In the earlier elementary years, there didn't seem to be any option *but* homeschooling my three boys, all of whom had been "diagnosed" by some well-meaning preschool or kindergarten teacher with ADD. It's a common reason. But as regular boys grow up and settle down, normal boys don't show ADD tendencies anymore. The problem seems to be erased, and new homeschooling problems crop up. Sports and competitive academics are high on the list of reasons many boys go back to school.

I'd like to see the survey broken down into elementary and high school ages. I would bet that many more elementary age boys are homeschooled, and many more high school girls are homeschooled.

Our area is blessed with a remarkable homeschool athletic association and our teams (all 11 varsity and JV teams) play private and public schools as well as other homeschool teams. We also have access to competitive academic opportunities at the high school level. If these weren't available I'd have a very difficult time keeping two of my three boys at home.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that it is even percentages until highschool.Many long time homeschoolers will put their boys in school for highschool just for sports.I have been homeschooling for 18 years and have seen this pattern repeated many times.It is usually at the request of the boys BTW.

Athalia said...

This is strange. I am surprised it's not more boys than girls being home schooled, since the public education system is designed for girls, not boys. There would probably be a lot more boys homeschooled if there weren't all those "miracle drugs" to sedate the suposedly ADHD boys just to make a teacher's job easier.

Unknown said...

Anecdotal only:
* I've known people whose idea of homeschooling is exclusively unschooling - and whose boys fail miserably to actually learn anything other than how to have Mario save the Princess without external driving.
* Boys are more likely to be interested in hard sciences, engineering, sports, computer programming, etc. which are all expensive to teach at home.
* Some homeschoolers want a male role model for their sons (not that you'll find many in public school anymore).
* Some girls look at the lack of distracting boys around as a feature. Boys look at the lack of girls around them as a problem.

Silvia said...

This is an interesting survey. Till now, I had assumed, from the families I know, that people might come to homeschooling sooner if they had an oldest child who was a boy. And then they would proceed to homeschool the younger children as well. I figured they would be able to see more easily the problem with trying to keep an active young child restrained in a school setting. Girls don't necessarily exhibit the same activity level as boys (and maybe are more daydreamers which doesn't show to the teacher as readily), or are maybe expected to be more compliant in school, and so they are. I know more families with oldest boys who homeschool than those with oldest girls. I have one of each and my oldest is a girl, and I came to homeschooling for different reasons--the initial ones were based on the decrease in abilities in math and science around middle school age. But that was my theory anyway. :)

Rob said...

My suspicion is that this is just statistical noise.

But there are a few hypotheses which are at least plausible:

A) Boys are much more likely to have an interest in team sports – public school teams offer more opportunities.
B) Boys are much more likely to be diagnosed with any of several different learning disabilities – from ADHD to AS to Autism – homeschooling as a “customizable” educational setting may attract parents who are seeking the best for sons with a diagnosis.

Just thought experiments for now… It would be fun to research and test both possibilities (and of course, it’s never JUST one thing, but always a complex interaction of factors)

- Rob Shearer
Publisher, Greenleaf Press
3761 Hwy 109 North
Lebanon, TN 37087

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~Charles W. Eliot

Bizzell Land said...

We have 4 girls and 1 boy, if I had 5 boys, I would home school all of them. I think this is an unfair assumption to say that boys aren't being home schooled for a specific reason. It may just simply be that we (home school parents) haven't been given as many boys to teach at home! :)

Tami said...

I probably skewed your results a bit. We have 5 boys and 1 girl in our family. Currently, we homeschool 4 school-age boys, and we just graduated our daughter. We actually started homeschooling our son when he was having problems in a public school classroom. In kindergarten, there were 26 children in his class. Of these 26, twenty of them were boys. He was diagnosed by his doctor with ADHD, and he thrived in our home. So it just made sense to homeschool him. Our daughter asked us to homeschool her after she saw how much fun we were having. Our youngest child is 2, so we are in this for the long haul.

Interesting poll!


Amber (EyesofAmber) said...

We have four boys, the oldest two are school-age and they are both homeschooled. If we had girls, we'd homeschool them. The consideration of gender never entered my mind.

Spunky said...

Sports was the reason given by many of my friends. We homeschooled our two sons through high school and I know they would have loved to play high school sports. Instead, we joined a homeschool basketball team, that my husband now coaches. In the state tournament (Michigan) there were 70 homeschool teams. The competition was spirited and intense and every bit as exciting as any other high school game.

As a side note, if you have a way of contacting the reporter you might want to mention that his editted article is a bit confusing in the second paragraph. It reads:

"What else has nearly doubled? The percentage of girls who are home-schooled. They now outnumber home-schooled boys by a wide margin."

Bonnie said...

Hadn't heard anything about a disparity in gender in homeschooled kids before your post. We only homeschool more boys than girls because we have more boys than girls :-)

kat said...

Right now we are homeschooling 2 girls and 1 boy, but next year we will add another boy to the tally.

I can imagine all sorts of reasons it would be skewed: girls are easier to homeschool and in dispair parents send the boys to ps to not have to fight with them as much, the families who responded just have more girls, the older boy sports angle already discussed, the idea that boys are more likely to be diagnosed with "something" and receiving services that only are free with ps enrollment...

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Honestly? I think the parents of the hs girls were able to sit through the 15 minute survey (or however long it took) without taking away markers/bathing certain kids, unclogging the toilet, rescuing the puppy, breaking up fights, etc.

I don't answer the phone at certain times of the day, mostly b/c someone will hear all that happen. :]

Spookygirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spookygirl said...

I have one older boy whom I was unable to hs because of his father. Of my two youngest, they are both homeschooled, 2nd grade daughter and preschool son.

But, if I were to answer your question as to why daughters are more likely to be homeschooled, as much as I hate to say it, it would be to protect her. From many of the things that previous commenters have mentioned.

Kim Anderson said...

Gender never came into it for us. I have two daughters who have graduated and I'm still schooling my son. I have felt the pressure to switch to public school though as my children have entered the high school years.

Principally, the pressure comes from the public school hybrid programs that offer free computers, free curriculum, free special classes, free community college classes...if only you will designate your child as a public school student. In my state (Colorado), if your homeschooled student takes one class on one day a week with the hybrid, the school system gets funding for a 1/2 time student. If your student takes 2 or more classes, they get tax funding for a full-time student. And if your student signs up for community college classes through the public high school, the high school gets funding for a full time student - even if the high school is only paying for one community college course.

So homeschoolers' involvement in the public schools is a huge cash cow for the public school. And it's difficult to know what to call those students. The state claims them.

It's only a matter of time before the state starts asking for more oversight than the hybrid participants are willing to cooperate with. But right now, a lot of folks are taking public funds to help them put their high school students in community college. I'd imagine that happens more with boys, given the gender stereotypes homeschoolers have begun to use with their children.

Nichole "Nikki" Warren said...

I have one of each! (one boy/one girl). I voted in the poll above too. I hope I did that right :)

Michelle said...

I agree that sports and an interest in math and science are reasons boys might be sent to high school. I have heard many many people express concerns over being able to teach higher levels of these more intimidating subjects. And these subjects do tend to appeal to boys more than girls, especially if mom-teacher isn't comfortable teaching them and making them seem interesting.

But, I do think an age breakdown would be beneficial. I know of programs for pregnant teens where they can do their school work at home to avoid the social discomfort of their situation. They still do the public school work under the supervision of a paid (by the school system) tutor, but I wonder if they would count as "homeschooled."

Unknown said...

We have three girls in our family and no boys. If I had boys, I would be homeschooling them as well.

As for why there are more girls than boys being homeschooled, has anyone looked at the ratio of boys to girls in public/private schools? I wonder if there aren't just more girls in the world than boys? At least, that's what I always heard when I was still single at 25! ;)

It could also be that boys are perceived as being "tougher" than girls and can weather anything other students (or teachers) can do to them?

Or maybe it's because most boys are louder and more energetic than most girls? At least that's what I have deduced from helping to teach the class of mostly boys. Maybe some parents of boys just get frustrated and don't really know how to work with the extra energy?

I'm really not sure. I belong to a co-op and helped out in the preschool/K class this past year. We had several more boys than girls.

It could be a number of things, but I believe, if studied, it would come down to there being more boys than girls.

Queen of Carrots said...

I didn't answer the poll because none of ours are officially school-age yet. My gut feeling is that sports is the most likely reason. Also, I doubt you'd find many if any families that are consciously keeping their girls home and sending their boys off (whether from gender bias or other reasons)--rather the gap probably mostly comes from families that don't have the other gender, or there's a wide age gap that makes the decision seem very individual.

What would be interesting would be to get a longitudinal study of how people make the decision through time. Probably beyond the realm of an internet poll, but that might give insight into whether proportionate numbers of boys and girls were starting in homeschooling, but a greater number of boys were leaving later.

KimC said...

I answered your poll, but I already know why the scales have tipped toward girls.
It's our fault.
It's because we have 8 girls and only 1 boy, and he's not even school age yet.

jugglingpaynes said...

I think it might have to do with how involved fathers are in homeschooling. Many homeschooling moms in my community seem to have a harder time communicating with their sons as they get older. If their father is there to help out, I've noticed the boys continue homeschooling longer.

Another issue has to do with how much the child wants to be involved in team activities. I know two kids (one boy and one girl) who left homeschooling because they wanted to be involved in marching bands.

Anyway, as we always say, there are as many reasons for choosing homeschooling as there are homeschoolers!

MamaBugs said...

We have three daughters and homeschooled them all. I would have done the same if we had boys though.

My best guess (from what I've heard in homeschool groups) is sports being the catalyst for returning boys to school.

Barbara Frank said...

We've homeschooled two girls and two boys....#3 is about done and #4 is 16 but will be homeschooling for a long time because of his dev. disabilities.

I was thinking those stats odd because today's feminized schools are so hard on boys, so you'd think more boys would be homeschooled than girls. I think those commenting here about boys and sports are probably on the right track. I do know of several teen boys who had been homeschooled all their lives but asked to go to high school for sports. Glad my eldest son did not ask us that!

Unknown said...

I haven't read all the comments but I think it probably has to do with getting boys ready for college and sports scholarships. I am probably skewing your results. I have graduated 4 homeschooled sons and have 4 more at home. 2 went on to get academic and baseball scholarships to college. They went to small Christian schools. They would have had more opportunities to attend state schools on scholarships if they had been on a public high school team. But it was never an option for our family. Still many families do send their older boys to public high school for scholarship reasons.

Unknown said...

We have homeschooled all our children, three boys and one girl. Currently we only have two boys left at home.

Gender did not matter.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Sarah Rainsberger said...

The article doesn't mention the ratio of boys to girls in traditionally-schooled settings, so it's difficult to know whether this shift is unique to homeschooling or simply indicative of a population shift in general.

There have been many stories recently claiming that toxins in the environment are skewing the overall birth ratios towards females. If the school-aged population were now say 53 - 55% female, then it might not even be statistically significant if 58% of homeschoolers are female.

The vast majority of homeschooling families I know homeschool *every* child, so I would assume it's more commonly a family-by-family choice vs. a child-by-child choice. Population stats might shed more light on the subject.

Kim said...

I don't think it has anything at all to do with preferring to homeschool one gender over the other, I think it's just that not every homeschooling family has a balanced number of boys and girls. We happen to have a son and a daughter who are both homeschooled, but what about fam's that have 3 girls or 3 boys..that could easily skew the results in favor of one gender or the other. I highly doubt that a family who chooses to homeschool would do so only for their daughters and send their sons to public school...especially since it's boys who tend to have a harder time in school and are most often diagnosed with attention disorders and learning disabilities. All that to say I think it's just based on which families were polled and how many children of each gender they have. I for one was never polled! :)

R. Hansen said...

We have only one boy school-aged, but I homeschool the preschool girls, too.

Susannah said...

I have seven children--three are girls and four, boys. All will be homeschooled (but not all are school age yet).

I think stats on homeschooling are most likely not accurate, as many homeschoolers try to have as little to do with the state as possible, and will not answer questionnaires, participate in studies, etc. I generally assume these sorts of things fall into the lies/d* lies/statistics category. They make nice eye-catching headlines for journalists, though.

Cat said...

I have been seeing the opposite. I am finding it impossible to find female age mates for my daughter(9). Luckily she gets along with boys! I would think there would be more boys homeschooling just because they are less suited to a traditional school environment.

Ronak Jain said...

In fact i can say that it is the very good concept of the homeschooling .

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is not even true. Or maybe just a sampling error in the mix of boys and girls. In the years we have been homeschooling there has never been any comment by the parents we know which would give a reason for the differences in mix.

I think another couple of surveys would be needed to really verify this as a trend.

Jesse said...

Respectfully, homeschooling is the wrong thing to do. Here's why:

christinethecurious said...

Since both of my students are boys, we don't fit that description. I do remember that there were more young women than young men at Houghton ("a private Christian liberal arts college in a rual setting,") when I was a student, so perhaps families do tend to feel more protective towards their girls than their boys, although the friction from a bad educational fit for a boy in the younger grades seems to me to be a really, really, really compelling reason to homeschool.

But then, I'm not explaining us, I'm explaining the mythical statistical people out there. We did have trouble finding play mates for B until we sponcered a Lego club. M is still looking for playmates even after we did a lego club for him. So, around here, yes there do seem to be more girls than boys being homeschooled.

christinethecurious said...

Since both of my students are boys, we don't fit that description. I do remember that there were more young women than young men at Houghton ("a private Christian liberal arts college in a rual setting,") when I was a student, so perhaps families do tend to feel more protective towards their girls than their boys, although the friction from a bad educational fit for a boy in the younger grades seems to me to be a really, really, really compelling reason to homeschool.

But then, I'm not explaining us, I'm explaining the mythical statistical people out there. We did have trouble finding play mates for B until we sponcered a Lego club. M is still looking for playmates even after we did a lego club for him. So, around here, yes there do seem to be more girls than boys being homeschooled.

momluvs4kidz2000 said...

This may sound simple, buuuut...aren't there simply more girls than boys in the world?

Angie Phipps said...

We have two boys and one girl. My sister-in-law has three boys and one girl. All homeschooled. Perhaps it is (as many other said) just demographics--more girls than boys.

In reply to Jesse's article railing against homescooling, I wanted to also post my comment here (since he probably won't publish it).
You are so ignorant. Every point you made is wrong, wrong, wrong!

#10. Who cares what the jocks and popular kids are saying about homeschoolers? They fail out of school, while the intelligent ones get degrees and become leaders of our country.
#9. We have a separate school room with desks, posters, and a marker board. We do our school work there, and live in the rest of the house--separately. We don't watch TV during the week either.
#8. Of the homeschoolers I know, NONE are rich and most are middle-class working families who wish to give their children the best possible education while also remaining close to them. They sacrifice a lot to make sure they can homeschool. How is that selfish?
#7. Not all homeschoolers are fundamentalists. We are secular homeschoolers and do not attend any kind of church, but we do study all religions as a subject.
#6. Yes, I do believe I can teach better than you. I received a BA in English and also have minors in education and history. I graduated with a 3.9 and got many awards and recognition for honors work. I had been trained to become an English teacher and spent 160+ hours working at schools. I now work as a writer while I homeschool my children. My husband also has a degree, a BFA with minors in art education and zoology (he was going to be a vet, but fell in love with art). We are both returning to graduate school next year and will continue to homeschool our three children.
#5. Sorry that homeschooling pisses you off. Perhaps when you have children, you will feel differently. Don't be offended. There are plenty more parents that don't care for their children, and surely they will send them to public school.
#4. Is your family interracial? Perhaps this is why you are ingnorant. We have people in our families and well as our circle of friends that are all colors, creeds, and religions.
#3. Homeschooling produces intelligent and caring individuals that are mature beyond their years. When we go to the park, swimming lessons, sports meets and other activities, it is the public-schooled kids that don't know how to behave in social settings.
#2. There are many risks in life. It's a part of growing up. I feel that my chances are much better with homeschooling than public schooling.
#1. Again, your own ingnorance shows. Most celebrities choose to homeschool their children. Are they "geeky?"

I think your experience with homeschoolers has been very limited, and you like to classify people into stereotypical groups. Next time, open your mind to the possibility that homeschoolers are intelligent people who are self-sacrificing when it comes to the welfare of their children.

AlabamaBrands said...

I think the survey maybe a little off the mark.

I have NEVER heard of anyone homeschooling one gender and not the other.
I personally will swing the vote in your favor b/c I have 4 girls and one boy.

Anonymous said...

I homeschool all my children. Currently that means 2 school aged boys and one school aged daughter - but I have six total- 4 boys and 2 girls. They will all be homeschooled. And we are a big sports family with my 8 and 10 yo boys playing travel hockey and lacrosse for the past several years. They can continue to play hockey all the way through high school withOUT going to a school. Lacrosse through junior high at least. In our area one can also do competitive dance, gymnastics, tennis, swimming, soccer and more withOUT attending school. With how few kids will make college level, never mind pro level, sports, I would NEVER select my educational option based on sports.

James Marcus Bach said...

I think the theory is that parents of girls are more likely to consider homeschooling in the first place, simply because public school is a pretty dangerous place for girls (at least for parents who still think in terms of ideas such as "chastity" and "virtue" and "innocence", which is, I suppose, not everyone).

I'm not worried about my son being preyed upon (he's more likely to be the predator). We homeschool him because neither he, nor I, nor his mother consider school to be a good use of his childhood. But if I had a girl, for her own safety, I might not let her go to school even if she wanted to.

Yes, girls are different than boys. Deal with it.

MissMolly said...

I have a son I am home schooling, but if I have a daughter I would home school her too. My son is a Camo belt in Taekwondo. many of the children he is in class with are also home schooled. In Indiana and several other states, you can talk to the local school system and your kids can join any education based groups, and if they take 1 to 3 classes in that high school, they are allowed to then compete in the high schools sports. I think it may not be best to put your child in school just for sports, but at the same time keep an open mind, there may just be three classes your son OR daughter may benefit from at a public high school. Maybe wood or auto shop, computer literacy (I feel as fast as I learn about computers, It seems to change twice as fast.) Maybe a sculpting class or foreign language. They could be fun and enriching, if the child also wants to do it.
Check out the state's website for the dept. of education.
Personally I think if a parent chooses to Home School, it won't be based on the child's sex.

Janine Cate said...

Most of our friends who homeschool choose to homeschool all their children. However, sometimes people choose to homeschool or send their children to school for different reasons.

In our homeschool co-op, one family homeschools their daughter and sends their son with learning difficulties to a special private school. Another family in our co-op sends their daughters to school but homeschools their son with learning difficulties.

Either way, it averages out.

Janine Cate said...

I just love Angie's response #6.

"#6. Yes, I do believe I can teach better than you."

Rob said...


You may be able to teach English better than the average high school mom. On the other hand, I'd be willing to bet that I can find a homeschooling mom who CAN teach English better than you - for starters, I'd nominate my wife, BA, Summa Cum Laude (in 3 years) Queens College, honors thesis on T.S.Eliot, MA, Cum Laude, University of Virginia.

But that's really irrelevant. The relevant question is, "Is the average homeschooling mom as well-qualified to teach her children as the average public school teacher to teach their classroom?"

Homeschooling moms win, hands down. Don't take my word for, I refer you to the numerous peer-reviewed studies which show that homeschooled students perform better on every measure than their public school counterparts.

Really, do you want to argue that the current American public school system provides the model that homeschoolers should want to emulate? I would contend that (with a few stunning exceptions here and there, where courageous teachers are not afraid to break the rules), the American public school system has been a colossal failure.

Did you know that in the 1930s, Army inductees scored a 98% literacy rate? That fell to 86% by the Korean War and to 73% by the end of the Vietnam war.

How should we judge a system of education that systematically reduced the national literacy rate from 98% to 73%?

Would you call it successful?


Rob Shearer

Sparkle Chi said...

This is not a polite thing to say, but having one girl and two boys, I find it quite true. The boys are more rambunctious, and there brains integrate at a later age than most girls. I had a very rambunctious girl first...I never imagined my boys could be more so!

Perhaps a lot of parents find it challenging to educate their boys because they don't know how to approach them, or how to be patient. On top of that, it is harder to "keep it quiet", which is so necessary in so many places. I have lived plenty of places where I felt it was better to stay inside during normal school hours. Of course, we move promptly. You can not live life and learn while hiding!

The Princess Mom said...

We don't have any girls, but if we did, I would homeschool them, too. I think girls, in particular, try to hide their academic abilities in school. I'd prefer them to be home where they are free to be themselves.

Thag Jones said...

I just happen to have two daughters, but I have decided to give up home schooling this September for various personal reasons, but mostly it's the issues that arise doing this as a lone parent. (Of course, I will be countering any attempts at brain washing the public school might do on them).

Still, I would have done the same thing no matter the sex of my children, so I have no real idea why there would be a discrepancy between the number of boys and girls home schooled. Maybe it's just chance, maybe the tendency for boys to be more energetic (although my oldest daughter has enough energy to run a small city) makes them more difficult to home school. Are more girls being born than boys? Are families who are likely to home school more likely to have girls? Answering questions with more questions is a hobby of mine, lol.

Knittingmama said...

I just read the article against homeschooling to my mother. She was appalled to the point of sputtering. We are geeky, and we are proud of it! We love schooling at home because it works for our family. BTW, we have three boys and one girl hs-ing now, and will have another boy in a few years.

Lisa said...

I'm thinking sports. Some dad's (or mom's) just can't give up that dream of their sports star son.

kitten said...

I was homeschooling 2 boys and my little girl. My middle child went back to public school because of sports. Why did I pull them out of school? My little girl was having the same problems as my middle child and the school was giving me a headache over it! With JB they would say things like... oh, he's a boy, he is a little immature, blah, blah. When KB started the say things like, she is not suppose to act like that because she is a girl, she is a problem child, maybe you have home issues, maybe blah, blah! Found out both had dyslexia. They were willing and still are to tolerate this problem out of boys but not girls. They hurt her self esteem. So, she will not go back!!!!!!! It has took me almost years to get the school torment out of her vocabulary.

Duane said...

I agree with those who have suggested that it is an inequality in the number of boys and girls born, rather than a choice to homeschool girls and not boys. I know of no families in our area or church who homeschool their girls and send their boys to public school. It is an all-or-nothing family choice. We are currently homeschooling one boy and one girl of school age, but have two younger girls and one boy who will all be homeschooled as well.

girlwithmoxy said...

I've seen some comments regarding the sports issue, but that has nothing to do with us. If we wanted to, there are MANY options available to join for sports. I homeschool because it is right for our family, but because of gender. So far, I have found my son easier to school than my daughter. :)

Debbie said...

hmm, I've read through many of the comments but haven't found my idea, which I thought would be predominant.

We now have 7 children and I would have thought I would home school them all, right through high school as I did with my oldest daughters.

However the reality in our family was that our boys just don't want to "do what Mom says." I believe it is a difference in psyche rather than "rebellion"

Here's an example I can give to show what happened at our house. My three older children (G-G-B)had learned many Latin and Greek root words one year. At the end of the summer, before starting in again, I quizzed the children orally on these. My girls answered one after another. My son didn't seem to know any. I couldn't quite believe he remembered none. He's a bright kid-true he is younger. . .So I tried to sweeten the pot-OK, a stick of gum for any you know. He knew them all!

We heard a psychologist talk one time about an underlying difference between men and women being that women like to be in positive relationship with people-they want to please-keep everybody happy. Men, he said, on the other hand, want to suceed.

To this day I believe that is what I was seeing. My son saw no reason to answer the question. He knew the roots. I knew the roots. What was the point? Making Mom happy didn't even enter into his radar. Once there was a reward involved he saw a point to succeed.

This little difference became bigger and bigger in our homeschool until by the time he was in 10th grade he had all his classes in co-op and online because he would not produce work for me.

As our other sons came along and showed a disinclination to work for themselves, or for Mom, I began to see school as the way to get them the competition they seemed to desire.

So far two of them have gone to school, done well and decided they'd rather work from home.

But I've met other moms who have told me they have sent their son's to school because they could not get them to work or show interest the way they expected or the way their daughters' had.

Well, that was a lengthy comment! For what its worth. . .

Janine Cate said...


Thanks for the perspective on boys. We are currently schooling three girls, but it looks like I'm going to have to change my style when our little boy is ready.

Brandy Vencel said...

One thing that might impact this is the fact that boys are more likely to have autism (depending on the research you read, it'll say three or four times as much), and parents of autistic children are, at least in my area, much more likely to use the public schools because it will pay for all of the therapies.

I also know a family that sent their son to private school while still homeschooling their girls because he was so difficult for his mother to handle and the father simply could not be home during the day...

Ruralmama said...

Yeppo, agree with Jean. We have 2 girls, we homeschool them. If I had boys, they'd be homeschooled too!

Tami in Memphis said...

I was surprised by the boy-girl results in this survey too. I would like to see the breakdown by age though - I would guess that there would be more boys at home in early elementary school, for maturity issues, and fewer boys at home in high school, for sports opportunities. We have 2 sons and 2 daughters. Our older son graduated this spring from public school. He was never homeschooled, we just didn't know any better back then. He did just fine and is headed to a well-known Christian university on the west coast this fall, but knowing what I know now, I would never have sent him to public school in the first place. Our second son attended public school until the beginning of ninth grade, when he began homeschooling. In his case, one of the reasons he was in favor of it was that he would have more time (and travel opportunities) to play competitive golf. Our daughters have never gone to public school and never will. If we ever decide to send them to school, it will be private. (We will never send our son back to a public school either.) We have several issues with public schools, including the low academic standards, the indoctrination into the government religion, and the general lack of concern for any individual student. We will make future educational decisions based on the best interest of each individual child. Unfortunately, in our city at least, the private schools don't have to be much better than the public schools to have a market. The result that I found most incredible in the survey was not the boy-girl mix, but the finding that 6.8% of all college-educated parents home-school their kids.

Bob Durtschi said...

When we home schooled we had one boy and four girls because our oldest was already in High School I suspect when you get to the point of home schooling all of the children in your family it will be a ratio of 3 girls to 1 boy. Note that the ratio of girls to boys in college has also skewed towards more female than male

Unknown said...

Came back to catch up on the comments and it occurred to me that often mothers are criticized, usually in the church, for homeschooling sons. The mother/son dynamic can be overwhelming for many mothers and the criticism can hit home.

As someone who has homeschooled 4 sons through graduation and is still homeschooling 4 more, I personally believe mothers can deal with this issue at home with a little common sense and strength of resolve.

But it may explain why more daughters are homeschooled through high school.

Jennifer Hyatt said...

I homeschool both my son (age 9) and my daughters (ages 5, 7, and 11). I am from the over $50,000 range in income. Homeschooling is not about gender at all in my family. Actually it was my son who we first decided to pull out of PS- he was being abused by his teacher (in example, he was locked in a free standing closet as a punishment). My son was also in the third grade but the teachers were teaching him 1st grade material because he was bored and would not complete anything higher (was their reasoning). I brought him home and he is now entering the fourth grade level in academics- which is the level he is suppose to be on. I agree- he was bored but he was willing to complete the work if it was presented in an alternate way. How many creative boys really want to complete worksheets day in and day out? My son was not being challenged. He needed his creativity to be fed not extinguished. I decided to pull my girls out because the results with my son were so wonderful and I did not want the day in day out conformity to what others thought my children should be. Homeschooling allows my children HOW TO THINK NOT what to think. Another main reason is- we are Christian and I did not want the Public Schools secular ways to be instilled in my children. Look at our Nation! As far as the article- boys are just as much bullied as girls. Unfortunately PS's see bullying as something that comes with the territory- this does not have to be. Bullying is wrong and not something that should be allowed to occur. My Wonderful, joy-filled first grader girl was bullied everyday at recess. I could see her welting the way a flower would without the Sun. Her spirit was being broken and when I confronted the school- I was lead to believe it was normal! Another occurrence- My first grade daughter took cupcakes in for her birthday. There was pushing in line by a little boy and when asked who started it- the little boy pointed to my daughter. My daughter got to sit at the isolation table while the rest of her class devoured her birthday cupcakes- so in my opinion it is NOT just the students who bully but the school itself too. Back to the point- I value my son's well- being as much as I do my daughter's. My children receive a quality education at home. An education they would not otherwise receive in the one way fits all mentality of Public School.
Jennifer Hyatt
Bachelor in Science with specialization in Psychology and Education