Rice University study: Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time

1 Jun

Moi wrote about homeschools in Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream:

Parents and others often think of school choice in terms of public school or private school. There is another option and that is homeschooling. Homeschooling is one option in the school choice menu.  What is Homeschooling?

Family Education defines homeschooling.

Homeschooling means learning outside of the public or private school environment. The word “home” is not really accurate, and neither is “school.” For most families, their “schooling” involves being out and about each day, learning from the rich resources available in their community, environment, and through interactions with other families who homeschool.
Essentially, homeschooling involves a commitment by a parent or guardian to oversees their child or teen’s educational development. There are almost two million homeschoolers in this country.

There is no one federal law, which governs homeschooling. Each state regulates homeschooling, so state law must be consulted. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a summary of each state’s laws. State Homeschool Laws The American Homeschool Association (AHA) has resources such as FAQ and the history of homeschooling at AHA https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/homeschooling-is-becoming-more-mainstream/

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/homeschooling/

Science Daily reported in Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time: Better sleep, diet habits help counter shortfalls in formal exercise:

Years of home-schooling don’t appear to influence the general health of children, according to a Rice University study.
A report by Rice kinesiology lecturer Laura Kabiri and colleagues in the Oxford University Press journal Health Promotion International puts forth evidence that the amount of time a student spends in home school is “weakly or not at all related to multiple aspects of youth physical health.”
“Although there may be differences in the health of elementary through high school home-schoolers, those differences don’t seem to change with additional time spent in home school,” Kabiri said. “In other words, staying in home school longer isn’t related to increased health benefits or deficits.”
Earlier this year Kabiri and her Rice team reported that home-schooled students who depended on maintaining physical fitness through outside activities were often falling short.
The flip side presented in the new report should come as good news to parents and students. The study was conducted by Kabiri and colleagues at Texas Woman’s University and the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at San Antonio.
The results from studies of more than 140 children in grades kindergarten through 5, who were tested against statistically normal data for children of their age and gender, accounted for prior published research that showed home-schooled children have less upper-body and abdominal muscle strength and more abdominal fat when compared to public school students. Additional studies also showed that home-schooling benefited sleep patterns, overall body composition and diet.
However, to the researchers’ surprise, these differences in home-schooler health did not appear to be affected either way by increased time in home school…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190523142212.htm

Citation:

Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time
Better sleep, diet habits help counter shortfalls in formal exercise
Date: May 23, 2019
Source: Rice University
Summary:
Years of home-schooling don’t appear to influence the general health of children, according to a new study.
Journal Reference:
Laura S Kabiri, Allison Butcher, Wayne Brewer, Alexis Ortiz. Youth physical health and years in American homeschools: are they related? Health Promotion International, 2019; DOI: 10.1093/heapro/daz047

Here is the press release from Rice University:

Home-schoolers see no added health risks over time
MIKE WILLIAMS
– MAY 23, 2019POSTED IN: CURRENT NEWS, FEATURED STORIES
Rice-led study finds better sleep, diet habits help counter shortfalls in formal exercise
Years of home-schooling don’t appear to influence the general health of children, according to a Rice University study.
A report by Rice kinesiology lecturer Laura Kabiri and colleagues in the Oxford University Press journal Health Promotion International puts forth evidence that the amount of time a student spends in home school is “weakly or not at all related to multiple aspects of youth physical health.”
“Although there may be differences in the health of elementary through high school home-schoolers, those differences don’t seem to change with additional time spent in home school,” Kabiri said. “In other words, staying in home school longer isn’t related to increased health benefits or deficits.”
Earlier this year Kabiri and her Rice team reported that home-schooled students who depended on maintaining physical fitness through outside activities were often falling short.
The flip side presented in the new report should come as good news to parents and students. The study was conducted by Kabiri and colleagues at Texas Woman’s University and the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at San Antonio.
The results from studies of more than 140 children in grades kindergarten through 5, who were tested against statistically normal data for children of their age and gender, accounted for prior published research that showed home-schooled children have less upper-body and abdominal muscle strength and more abdominal fat when compared to public school students. Additional studies also showed that home-schooling benefited sleep patterns, overall body composition and diet.
However, to the researchers’ surprise, these differences in home-schooler health did not appear to be affected either way by increased time in home school.
“Body composition can relate to sleep as well as diet,” Kabiri said. “And as far as muscular health goes, these kids are still active. We’re not saying there’s not an upfront benefit or detriment to their health, but after an initial gain or loss, there aren’t additional gains or losses over time if you’re going to home-school your children for one year or their entire careers. The relationship between their health and the time they spend in home school seems to be irrelevant.”
Co-authors of the study are doctoral student Allison Butcher and Associate Professor Wayne Brewer of Texas Woman’s University and Alexis Ortiz, the Berneice Castella Endowed Allied Health Chair in Geriatric Science in the department of physical therapy at UTHealth San Antonio.
The research was supported in part by the Texas Physical Therapy Foundation. http://news.rice.edu/2019/05/23/home-schoolers-see-no-added-health-risks-over-time-2/

Many of our children are “unschooled” and a far greater number are “uneducated.” One can be “unschooled” or “uneducated” no matter the setting. As a society, we should be focused on making sure that each child receives a good basic education. There are many ways to reach that goal. There is nothing scary about the fact that some parents make the choice to homeschool. The focus should not be on the particular setting or institution type. The focus should be on proper assessment of each child to ensure that child is receiving a good basic education and the foundation for later success in life.

Related:

‘Hybrid’ homeschooling is growing                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/08/16/hybrid-homeschooling-is-growing/

New book: Homeschooling, the little option that could https://drwilda.com/2012/10/12/new-book-homeschooling-the-little-option-that-could/

Homeschooled kids make the grade for college
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/02/homeschooled-kids-make-the-grade-for-college/

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