All of the children had aerobic capacity
(VO2) levels within the healthy range for
their respective age groups. The mean
VO2 scores for all female age groups were
on the lower side of what is considered
to be the acceptable healthy range. All
but one of the male age groups were in
the upper half of the acceptable healthy
range. This suggests that homeschool
boys have a higher aerobic threshold
than do the girls.
A moderate relationship (r = .667, p
< .01) was found when comparing the
parent-teacher’s aerobic capacity to their
children. The researchers said that this
suggests that aerobic capacity of the parent-teacher is “casually” associated with
the aerobic capacity of their children.
About one-third of the children were
considered either overweight ( 16.7%) or
obese ( 16. 7), based on the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)
BMI chart for children. Nearly half of the
parent-teachers ( 42.9%) were in the normal BMI weight status. Half (50%) of the
parent-teachers were in the overweight
category; none were in the obese weight
“The relationship between the parent-teachers’ BMI and their respective children were moderate (r = .663, p < .01);
suggesting that the weight status, or BMI,
of the parent-teacher is casually associated
with their children’s weight status” (p. 4).
Wachob and Alman wisely pointed out
some limitations of their study. For example, it included a relatively small sample
size, so the results cannot be generalized.
Another limitation of this study includes
the fact that it “… focused on a group
of homeschoolers who participated in a
weekly physical education program at a
local university. This demonstrates that
these families have an established interest in physical activity and health based
on their voluntary participation in a program of this nature” (p. 5).
Their study did find, however, that the
primary caregiver, or parent-teacher, is a
“moderate variable” for predicting home-
school children’s health indicators. This
finding supports the literature on this
relationship. The researchers propose
that future studies “… should seek to
establish more environmental variables
unique to the homeschooling population
(i.e. daily schedule, mealtimes, social in-
fluence, etc…) that may contribute to the
overall health of the children enrolled in
this type of education” (p. 5).
The focus and findings of this study
might remind the reader of some his-
torical truth laid out about two millennia
ago, as follows:
He [Jesus] also told them a parable:
“Can a blind man lead a blind man?
Will they not both fall into a pit? A
disciple is not above his teacher, but
everyone when he is fully trained
will be like his teacher.”
Parents should strive to be good role
models to their children regarding the
care of their bodies and physical health.
After all, a Christian should keep his or
her body healthy because it to be used
to the glory of God in advancing the
kingdom of God (the Lord’s purposes)
and serving others. Research like this
once again confirms that parents play
a crucial role in many aspects of their
Brian D. Ray is president of the National
Home Education Research Institute (www
. nheri.org) and internationally known
for his research on homeschooling (home
education, home-based education). He is
a former professor at the undergraduate
and graduate levels and classroom teacher
in public and private schools, and serves
as an expert witness before many courts
and legislatures. He holds a B.S. in Biology
from the University of Puget Sound, an
M.S. in Zoology from Ohio University, and
a Ph.D. in Science Education from Oregon
1. Wachob, David A., Alman, Robert E. (2015).
Parental influence on the cardiovascular health
and body composition of homeschool children.
International Journal of Child and Adolescent
Health, 8( 3):305-311.
2. Luke 6: 39-40, ESV.
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Research like this once again confirms that parents play
a crucial role in many aspects of their children’s lives.