Homeschooling and Socialization

March 8th, 2007

“What about the socialization?” One occasionally hears this question with regard to homeschooling.

Here’s a quote from psychology professor Richard G. Medlin’s article, “Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization,” Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 75 (2000): 107-23.

Shyers (1992a, 1992b), in the most thorough study of home-schooled children’s social behavior to date, tested 70 children who had been entirely home-schooled and 70 children who had always attended traditional schools. The two groups were matched in age (all were 8-10 years old), race, gender, family size, socioeconomic status, and number and frequency of extracurricular activities. Shyers measured self-concept and assertiveness and found no significant differences between the two groups.

The most intriguing part of the study, however, involved observing the children as they played and worked together. Small groups of children who all had the same school background were videotaped while playing in a large room equipped with toys such as puzzles, puppets, and dolls. The children were then videotaped again in a structured activity: working in teams putting puzzles together for prizes.

Each child’s behavior was rated by two observers who did not know whether the children they were rating were home-schooled or traditionally schooled. The observers used the Direct Observation Form of the Child Behavior Checklist . . . , a checklist of 97 problem behaviors such as argues, brags or boasts, doesn’t pay attention long, cries, disturbs other children, isolates self from others, shy or timimd, and shows off. The results were striking — the mean problem behavior score for children attending conventional schools was more than eight times higher than that of the home-schooled group. Shyers (1992a) described the traditionally schooled children as “aggressive, loud, and competitive” (p. 6). In contrast, the home-schooled children acted in friendly, positive ways.


3 Responses to “Homeschooling and Socialization”

  1. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » Home Education in Norway, a criticism Says:

    […] socialization argument is MOOT. Of course, anyone that has done a real study of HE and is willing to report about it without a biased agenda, knows that lack of socialization is a myth propagated by people who are hostile to Home Education. […]

  2. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » Pete Darby Nails it Says:

    […] Finally, his report has nothing to do with education, and they knew that they could not attack Home Education using ‘lack of education’ as a pretext as it is well known that Home Educated children outperform state schooled children by every measure, even socialization. […]

  3. BLOGDIAL » Blog Archive » Who do they think they are?! Says:

    […] Home educators are better at socialising than schooled children. SCIENTIFIC FACT. Dysfunctional adults in the […]

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