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Laura Spivey Kabiri, Katy Mitchell, Wayne Brewer and Alexis Ortiz

Almost 2 million American children are homeschooled but no information is currently available regarding motor skill proficiency within this population. The purpose of this research was to describe motor skill proficiency among homeschooled children and assess differences in homeschooled subgroups. This crosssectional study screened 73 homeschooled children aged 5–8 years for overall motor skill proficiency using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition, Short Form (BOT-2 SF). Independent t tests examined differences in motor skill proficiency within the homeschooled population. Mann-Whitney U tests examined differences in motor skill proficiency classification within significantly different subgroups. Homeschooled children demonstrated average motor proficiency. Significantly different motor proficiency was seen among homeschooled children participating in 3 or more hours of organized sports per week, t(71) = 2.805, p = .006, 95% CI = 1.77, 10.49, and whose primary caregiver was employed versus unemployed, t(71) = –3.875, p < .001, 95% CI = –13.29, –4.26. Mann-Whitney U tests revealed significantly different motor skill proficiency classification in these same subgroups. Overall, homeschooling showed no detrimental effect on motor skill proficiency. Participation in 3 or more hours of organized sports per week or having an unemployed primary caregiver may improve motor skill proficiency among this population.

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Laura S. Kabiri, Katy Mitchell, Wayne Brewer and Alexis Ortiz

Purpose:

The growth and unregulated structure of homeschooling creates an unknown population in regard to muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness. The purpose of this research was to compare muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness between elementary school aged homeschool and public school children.

Method:

Homeschool children ages 8–11 years old (n = 75) completed the curl-up, 90° push-up, and Progressive Aerobic Capacity Endurance Run (PACER) portions of the FitnessGram to assess abdominal and upper body strength and endurance as well as cardiorespiratory fitness. Comparisons to public school children (n = 75) were made using t tests and chi-square tests.

Results:

Homeschool children showed significantly lower abdominal (t(148) = -11.441, p < .001; χ2 (1) = 35.503, p < .001) and upper body (t(148) = -3.610, p < .001; χ2 (1) = 4.881, p = .027) strength and endurance. There were no significant differences in cardiorespiratory fitness by total PACER laps (t(108) = 0.879, p = .381) or estimated VO2max (t(70) = 1.187, p = .239; χ2 (1) = 1.444, p = .486).

Conclusion:

Homeschool children showed significantly lower levels of both abdominal and upper body muscular fitness compared with their age and gender matched public school peers but no difference in cardiorespiratory fitness.