Nail Clippers for Weasels

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Some Blog Business:
Blog comments are beautiful things. ...unless they are from "Anonymous" who is sharing links that are, well, less than ideal.

That is why I have fiddled with Blogger's code and finally figured out how to make Anonymous's comments no longer show up on a post's main page. They will still be in the "Post a Comment" section until I delete them, but at least my blog's posts will be cleaner. Now, on with the post!

All Things Being Equal, Who's Best?

I was forwarded a link to the August, 2009 NHERI findings summary. There are some interesting stats, but one idea really caught my attention:

There are no statistically significant differences in achievement by whether the student has been home educated all his or her academic life [or] whether the student is enrolled in a full-service curriculum...

There are [marginally] statistically significant differences in achievement among homeschool students when classified by ...amount of money spent on education, of structure in the homeschooling, [and] amount of time student spends in structured learning...

In other words: It looks like it doesn't much matter what curriculum you use or for how long.

At first that stung. I really want to be able to tell everyone that Sonlight is the shining difference in the homeschool marketplace. I would love it if the study had said, "Students who use Sonlight far and away out-perform their peers." But that's not what the data show.

Thanks for bursting my bubble.

But then I thought about it more: So what? This actually reinforces something I've said over and over again, "Homeschooling is a great option!" And Sonlight, Sonlight is one of the really great options; not because your students will suddenly become smarter, more gifted, test better, achieve great things or outshine their peers. Sonlight is a great option because of the very thing we guarantee:

You will love to teach and your students will love to learn with Sonlight, or your money back.

Your educational outcome will be more-or-less on par with other excellent homeschool results. Sonlight won't be what makes your students succeed. But Sonlight will provide you with a homeschooling experience that you and your family will love.

And if all other things are equal, that's a really big deal.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father

P.S. I don't know much about weasel nail clippers, but I do have a bit of experience with trimming rat teeth. Not very much fun. Thanks, Mrs. C, for this blog's title.

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  1. mom

    Funny you should mention that....I just changed a blog title from a recent post because two words innocently put together pulled up a phrase in an unsavory google search by many. Blech. Ugh. Yuck. Not the kind of characters I want stopping by anytime, thank you very much.

    Interesting research, Luke. Yes, curriculum may basically shake out to be equal in results, but have they done a survey on family relationships? How strong, healthy, and closely knit are the family units when comparing the two? I'll bet homeschooling families would come up on top of that survey. Just saying.....

    Tammy ~@~

  2. Luke

    Unfortunately, too many word combinations can be used inappropriately. And, no, I don't think there is much research on family bonds and the like. That'd be hard to quantify <smile>.


  3. Mrs. C

    OF COURSE you think your product is the best. But, see, it doesn't do a blessed bit of good if the parent doesn't open it and use it. I think that may have a good deal to do with the effectiveness of a given curriculum.

    Sometime I ought to blog about "curriculum disasters," but I think I'd embarrass myself publicly if it were known how much money I've wasted in the past on something that just doesn't work for me and/or my children.

    PS. Great blog post title. :)

  4. Luke

    I think you're right, Mrs. C... if people never give Sonlight a try they'll never benefit from it <smile>. I do my best to get people to at least try it by reminding them of the guarantee... but I can't twist anyone's arm and make they try it <smile>.

    Tons of homeschoolers have stories of wasted money and resources on stuff they never used or didn't work for them. That happened to my mom when she first started homeschooling. Her experience was one of the major reasons Sonlight has such an incredible guarantee.

    Glad you like the title <smile>.


  5. Thank you so much for this post - it is exactly what I needed. I have been going back and forth for literally two weeks trying to nail down the last of our curriculum for next year - specifically what to use for math. Bouncing between three options - this article has helped me to see the bigger picture and make a decision. Thank you so much - keep the good info coming!