2015 MASH Survey Results

Here is a summary of the MASH survey results compiled for 2015.

Total Respondents: 85

    From the initial mailing to the membership email list and a posting on the MASH Facebook group, there were 54 responses. This represents about a 22% response rate. (The average response rate for email surveys is about 24%.)

    An additional 31 responses were recorded after the survey was released to other homeschooling groups.

Demographics Section

    Religion:

      40% identified as Christian
      18% as Catholic
      30% as atheist/agnostic or no religion
      6% as Buddhist
      6% as other (Hindu, Pagan, refusal)

    Sexuality

      10% of the respondents identified as something other than straight

    Marital Status:

      Almost 5% of the respondent are possibly single parents.


    Language:

      14% identify French as their primary language and 12% homeschool in French

    Geography

      About 1/3 of the respondents live in rural areas
      The three major centres are Winnipeg (70%), Steinbach (12%) and Brandon (7%).
      11% do not live near a major community.

Homeschooling Section

    New to Homeschooling

      4-6% of the respondents have never homeschooled.
      75% of them have been homeschooling for 6 years or less and 30% have been homeschooling for less than 3 years.
      50% have preschoolers that they plan on homeschooling in the future
      Veteran Homeschoolers
      16% of respondents are homeschooling high school
      10% have graduated homeschool students

    Public School Attendance

      ⅔ of the respondents’ children have never been to public or private school
      of those who withdrew their children, the grade at which that happened was evenly distributed from K-7.

    Top 3 Reasons for Homeschooling

      personalized education (93%)
      concern about peer environment (85%)
      preserve close family ties (81%)

    Learning Challenges

      1 in 5 are homeschooling a child with learning challenges.

    Top 3 Homeschool Styles

      Unschooling (46%)
      Relaxed (45%)
      Eclectic (41%)

    Comparing Homeschool to Public School Approaches

      64% prefer a more unstructured approach to education than public school
      52% track what grade levels their children are in
      55% say they teach different knowledge to their students than the public school would
      90% say they use different method of teaching than the public school
      7% of respondents have children taking classes at a local school

    Notification

      97% of all respondents who should notify do so.

    Funding

      38% say no
      34% say yes
      29% say said other (expressing concerns about how it would work or that it would depend on certain conditions)

    Homeschool Frustrations Summarized

      MASH connections seems to happen only on Facebook
      time management
      teaching different ages
      finding time for self
      self-doubt/lack of confidence
      need mentoring
      existing co-ops and groups are full
      rural disconnect
      need French resources
      need secular resources
      need connections to other families
      comparisons to others – peers, school-going children, other homeschooling families
      need places to host meetings, co-ops, classes, etc
      “The feeling that homeschooling in Manitoba is very fractured and cliquish and that there is no one place where everyone can feel welcomed.”

    Homeschool Benefits Summarized

      letting kids be themselves
      creating a love of learning
      building relationships with children, with siblings, with greater family
      freedom to set schedules, timetables, etc (Flexibility)
      tailored education
      unconventional, unhurried lifestyles.


MASH Membership Section

    MASH Membership

      66% of the respondents are MASH members
      20% of the respondents appear to be on the Facebook group, but are not official members of MASH
      86% have not visited the webpage recently
      50% belong to the facebook group, but only 30% had recently visited that page


    Other Homeschool Affiliations

      35% belonged to LIFE
      32% belong to MACHS
      10% belong to the Westman group (in Brandon)

    Homeschool Community Connectedness

      50% of people do not feel connected
      10% of respondents do not know another family who is homeschooling

    MASH Goals

      all three were relatively tied with “providing information” slightly ahead of “government liaison work”, followed closely by “building community”.

    Creating Community

      the top answers were:
      providing co-ops
      providing lessons
      offering regular newsletters, emails, and an updated website
      running parental support and mom’s meeting
      other fill-in-the-blank answers included: rural connections, workshops, local support groups, secular conference with secular speakers, and free play opportunities (picnics, park days)

    Workshops

      82% of respondents would be interested in workshops
      the most popular answer was “How to teach specific subjects”
      high school and post-secondary information was next
      workshops on information about how to homeschool were lowest but still significant

    Sending out MASH Information

      most people prefer a weekly email and a monthly newsletter

    Desired Information

      73% respondents want a complete listing of all homeschooling groups in the province
      78% want a listing of all lessons and activities available in the province
      other fill-in-the-blank suggestions included: post-secondary information, comprehensive FAQ, area contacts, a list of homeschooling parents willing to teach or tutor, and homeschooling stats and successes

    New Homeschooler Information

      Most people equally desired a workshop, an information package, and networking.
      other suggestions included a mentoring program, networking for families of similar philosophy, stress reduction information (addressing the common worries of homeschooling) and a place for shared personal stories

    MASH Involvement

      the top three answers were willingness to arrange a field-trip, willingness to arrange a group lesson, and willingness to host a support group

    Membership Fee

      these responses were somewhat equally divided among the answers with a slight lead to “pay for what I attend” (17%)

Summary of the Final Comments

  • a rural presence is required
  • the need for an exhaustive list of groups, co-ops, field trips, lessons and activities
  • the need for French activities
  • a desire for adult only events
  • a desire for whole family events
  • the need to better connect people
  • a listing of homeschool friendly lessons and teachers
  • an overview of all the rich diversity that is present in our homeschool community

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