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.
40% identified as Christian
18% as Catholic
30% as atheist/agnostic or no religion
6% as Buddhist
6% as other (Hindu, Pagan, refusal)
10% of the respondents identified as something other than straight
Almost 5% of the respondent are possibly single parents.
14% identify French as their primary language and 12% homeschool in French
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.
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
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%)
1 in 5 are homeschooling a child with learning challenges.
Top 3 Homeschool Styles
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
97% of all respondents who should notify do so.
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
teaching different ages
finding time for self
self-doubt/lack of confidence
existing co-ops and groups are full
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)
unconventional, unhurried lifestyles.
MASH Membership Section
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
all three were relatively tied with “providing information” slightly ahead of “government liaison work”, followed closely by “building community”.
the top answers were:
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)
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
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
the top three answers were willingness to arrange a field-trip, willingness to arrange a group lesson, and willingness to host a support group
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