Archive for the ‘Homeschooling and Health’ Category

Record: David Wachob and Robert Alman, “Parental influence on the cardiovascular health and body composition of homeschool children.” International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health, 8, No. 3 (2015): 305-311. [Abstract]

Summary: In this article, Wachob and Alman from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania analyze parents’ influence on the cardiovascular health and body composition of homeschool children. (more…)

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Record: Coalition for Responsible Home Education, “A Complex Picture: Results of the 2014 Survey of Adult Alumni of the Modern Christian Homeschool Movement, Installment Four” Homeschool Alumni Reaching Out (1 April 2015). [Available Here]

Summary: This post reviews the fourth installment of HARO’s survey of homeschool alumni. For the other installments in the series please click on the following links:

  1. Installment 1: Background and Summary
  2. Installment 2: Demographics
  3. Installment 3: Academics and Non-Academics
  4. Installment 4: Food and Health
  5. Installment 5: Religion

The fourth installment of HARO’s survey explores the attitudes of respondents’ families towards food and modern medicine.


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Record: Barbara L. Knox, Suzanne P. Starling, Kenneth W. Feldman, Nancy D. Kellogg, Lori D. Frasier, and Suzanna L. Tiapula, “Child Torture as a Form of Child Abuse” in Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma 7, (2014): 37-49.

Summary:  The authors, affiliated with a range of medical and educational institutions across the country, here come together to report on 28 cases of extreme child abuse, finding that the term “torture” aptly summarizes what these children experienced. (more…)

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Record: Jeremy E. Uecker and Jonathan P. Hill, “Religious Schools, Home Schools, and the Timing of First Marriage and First Birth” in Review of Religious Research 56, no. 2 (June 2014): 189-218. [Abstract Here]

Summary: Uecker, a sociology professor at Baylor University, and Hill, a sociology professor at Calvin College, are both familiar names to readers of these reviews.  In a 2008 article Uecker found (among other things) that there was no difference in levels of adult religious commitment between graduates of public or home schools.  Parent religiosity, not school type, made all the difference.  In a 2013 article Hill found that homeschooled young adults were less likely to engage in volunteer activities than demographically equivalent graduates of public schools.  Both of these articles had drawn from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), a remarkably ambitious project that has borne great fruit in understanding the religious and political lives of young adults in the United States. (more…)

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Record: Douglas E. Long, Lisa M. Gaetke, Stephen D. Perry, Mark G. Abel, and Jody L. Clasey, “The Assessment of Physical Activity and Nutrition in Home Schooled versus Public Schooled Children” in Pediatric Exercise Science 22, no. 1 (February 2010): 44-59. [Abstract Here]

Summary:  Previously I reviewed a recent article by Cardel et al. that found a sample of Alabama homeschoolers to consume on average 120 fewer calories per day than a comparable group of public schoolers.  That article cited this 2010 piece, which I had previously failed to notice.

In this 2010 article a similar study was conducted to compare the food intake and amount of exercise between comparable groups of home and public schooled children.  (more…)

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Record:  Matthew G. Johnson, Kristy K. Bradley, Susan Mendus, Laurence Burnsed, Rachel Clinton, and Tejpratap Tiwari, “Vaccine-Preventable Disease Among Homeschooled Children: Two Cases of Tetanus in Oklahoma” in Pediatrics 132 , no. 6 (December 2013): e1686-e1689. Available Here.

Summary:  Johnson and colleagues begin by noting that rates of vaccination among homeschoolers are unknown because in many states they are not subject to the same school-entry vaccination requirements as are other schoolchildren.  The authors then explain that tetanus has become extremely rare in the United States thanks to vaccinations.  In the entire United States there were only 37 reported cases of tetanus in 2012.  In Oklahoma there were only two.  Both were homeschoolers, one of whom had never received a vaccination and the other of whom had not received the 10 year booster shot. (more…)

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Record: Michelle Cardel et al., “Home-Schooled Children are Thinner, Leaner, and Report Better Diets Relative to Traditionally Schooled Children” in Pediatric Obesity 22, no. 2 (February, 2014): 497-503.  Abstract Here.

Summary:  In this piece 11 authors compare the diets of 47 home schooled children in the Birmingham, AL area with 48 demographically similar children from the same region who attend public schools.

Going into the project the authors wondered, given that both homeschooling and childhood obesity have grown markedly since the 1970s, if homeschooled children might be more prone to obesity.  (more…)

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Daniel Pollack, “Homeschooling and Child Protection” in Policy and Practice 70, no. 1 (February 2012): 29, 35. [abridged version available here]

Meggan Goodpasture, V. Denise Everett, Martha Gagliano, Aditee P. Narayan, and Sara Sinal, “Invisible Children” in North Carolina Medical Journal 74, no. 1 (February 2013): 90-94 [Avaliable here]


Pollack is a social work professor at Yeshiva UniversityGoodpasture et al. are all medical professionals affiliated with North Carolina schools of medicine (Wake Forest, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke).  As such all of these authors come to this issue as professionals concerned for the welfare of other people’s children.

Pollack’s article is very brief.  He cites the results of studies that have shown that the the most frequent source of referrals of abused children to Child Protective Services (CPS) are professionals, especially teachers.  Homeschooled children by definition do not have such outside surveillance.  He has no hard data that homeschooling increases the risk of abuse, but he does cite the horrific story of Washington, D.C. resident Banita Jacks, who “homeschooled” her four daughters, all found dead in her home in early 2008. (more…)

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This post reviews Alissa Cordner, “The Health Care Access and Utilization of Homeschooled Children in the United States” in Social Science and Medicine 75 (2012): 269-273.

Cordner, a graduate student in sociology at Brown University, here offers her first foray into homeschooling research.  She used the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), a government phone survey of over 91,000 households randomly sampled from the national population.  The NSCH asked families about the kind of schooling the child being reported on attended, including homeschooling, so Cordner’s got great data from which to draw conclusions. (more…)

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This post reviews Elizabeth L. Thorpe, et al., “Homeschooling Parents’ Practices and Beliefs about Childhood Immunizations” in Vaccine, 30, no. 6 (February 2012): 1149-1153.

This paper, written by a group of physicians and medical researchers, noting the rise both in occurrences of “vaccine preventable disease” (VPD) and the rise in homeschooling, tries to probe the attitudes of homeschoolers toward vaccination. (more…)

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