Home Schoolers Score High in Socialization

  • In findings that counter one of the major criticisms of homeschooling, a University of Florida study has shown that Home schooled youngsters don't lag in social development compared with children who attend conventional schools.

    The Study compared two groups of 70 children from 8 to 10. One group was educated exclusively at home; the other in public or private schools. The children were videotaped at play, and their behaviour was observed by trained counsellors, who did not know which children were educated at home and which in traditional schools.

    The study found no big differences between the two groups in self concept or assertiveness. But the videotapes did show that youngsters who were taught at home by their parents had consistently fewer behavioural problems, says psychotherapist Larry Shyers, who did the study for his dissertation in the university's College of education.

    "The results seem to show a child's social development depends more on adult contact and less on contact with other children than previously thought," he says.

    He says the study suggests that children taught at home behave better because they tend to imitate their parents, while traditionally schooled children model themselves after other children in the classroom.

    Traditionally schooled children were considerably more aggressive, loud and competitive than home schooled children of the same age, Shyers says. Home schooled children on the other hand, tended to talk quietly, play well in groups and take the initiative in inviting other children to join them.

    Homesohooling has become more common as dissatisfaction with public schools has grown. Shyers says, more than 6,000 homeschools are registered in Florida, estimating that between 100,000 and 1 million students nation-wide are educated at home.

    The Executive Educator, Sept.. 1992

    Copied from a photocopy provided by Maryborough Christian Academy, which they made from LIGHT OF LIFE magazine June 1993.