Effectiveness of an Outdoor Education Program with Homeschool Students


  • YuChun Chen Western Kentucky University
  • Allie McCreary Auburn University
  • Tammie Stenger-Ramsey Warren County Public Schools




Compared to public-school peers, homeschoolers are less physically active. The purpose of this study was to examine the impacts of an outdoor education program (OEP) on increasing adolescent homeschoolers’ physical activity and life skills. Homeschoolers were recruited to participate in a nine-week OEP that included activities such as hiking and mountain biking and a pre- and post-test to assess physical fitness and life skills. Descriptive and inferential (e.g., paired-samples t-tests) statistics were used to analyze the resulting data. Findings reveal that male homeschoolers self-report higher levels of life skills and that the OEP had a greater positive impact on males’ fitness outcomes. Recommendations for OEP practitioners include developing OEPs that increase the frequency and decrease the duration of physical activity time and emphasize skills such as emotional control. Recommendations for future research are to utilize large, diverse sample sizes and to consider at-home activities that may influence variables of interest.






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