Skip to comments.Children schooled at home have better social skills - Challenges orthodoxy
Posted on 10/15/2001 6:14:36 PM PDT by Clive
Children who are educated at home have better social skills and achieve higher grades on standardized tests than students in private or public schools, according to a new report.
Contrary to the popular belief that children educated at home are disadvantaged because of a lack of peers, the study by the Fraser Institute shows they are happier, better adjusted and more sociable that those at institutional schools. The average child educated at home participates in a range of activities with other children outside the family and 98% are involved in two or more extracurricular activities such as field trips and music lessons per week, the report says.
Home-schooled children also regularly outperform other students on standardized tests.
Children taught at home in Canada score, on average, at the 80th percentile in reading, at the 76th percentile in languages and at the 79th percentile in mathematics, the report shows. Private and public students perform, on average, in the 50th percentile on mandatory tests in the same subjects.
In the United States, students educated at home also achieve the highest grades on standardized tests and outperform other students on college entrance exams, including the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), according to the study.
Parents of home-schooled children in both countries are generally higher educated when compared to the national average.
They tend to be in two-parent families and have a higher-than-average number of children than the overall population.
Patrick Basham, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a conservative public policy group in Washington, and author of the report, said he was surprised to see such positive results linked to home schooling.
"People think these children are neurotic, unsocialized and can't function in normal society. But the opposite is true. I think the fact children educated at home do better than private school students would also surprise people. It is not something that is widely debated or studied," he said.
Home-schooled children are still a tiny minority in Canada, although an increasing number of parents are opting for this style of education. In 1979, 2,000 children were educated at home. By 1996, 17,500 students -- 0.4% of total enrollment -- were home schooled. The most recent figures show the number has risen to 80,000 children.
Parents educate their children at home for a variety of reasons, including the desire to impart a particular set of beliefs and values, an interest in higher academic performance and a lack of discipline in public schools, says the report.
"Although parents home school their children for myriad reasons, the principal stimulus is dissatisfaction with public education," said Claudia Hepburn, director of education policy at the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based conservative think-tank.
Home schooling is legal throughout Canada, but most provinces require parents comply with provincial education legislation, which means they must provide satisfactory instruction. Alberta is the only province that funds home-based education.
None of the provinces requires that parents have teaching qualifications. However, having one parent who is a certified teacher has no significant effect on the achievement of students educated at home, the research shows.
Gary Duthler, executive director of the Federation of Independent Schools in Canada, the association for non-public schools, said children educated at home likely do better and are more sociable because of the smaller student-teacher ratio and the fact students of all ages learn together.
"In institutional schools, there is social pressure for 10-year-old children to behave like other 10-year-olds and they tend to not play with any older children at school.
"In a home setting, that same pressure is not there, so it helps the children mature."
He said they probably also do well because they have access to education resources and teaching expertise over the Internet but their parents are controlling their education.
As in 2 "gazinta" 4 two times!
Of course we do. Big bump to the top.
It has been such a privilege to be able to homeschool. They (my youngest 2 sons) do take some classes outside of the home, such as Latin, Classical Studies, Logic, etc.
They keep me hopping with outside activities - orchestra, scouts, tennis, YOuth Group, on and on...
Again - I am so thrilled to have been able to homeschool all these years.
Mainly, Sir SuziQ just wanted to be able to spend more time with them. After the two older boys had gone off to college last year, he realized just how little real time he'd spent with them because they were in school and doing school activities. Now he's the Math and Science teacher, and spends a couple of hours a day just with the younger two. Both he and they love it!
One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is how little our children are affected by peer dependence. No, they're not immune. One of mine is less immune than some others.
There's nothing "real life" about being surrounded by 25 other ten year olds who are no more mature than you. It's truly a situation where the common group tends to sink to the lowest common denominator. Very, very few ten year olds have the ability to bring out the best in other ten year olds ON A CONSISTENT BASIS. Of course, I know countless parents who think their kids do. :)
Two of my grandchildren, ages 9 and 6, are being homeschooled and can hold their own in social situations with any age group--from their own peers, to teenagers, to adults of all ages. Not only that, but their 3 year-old-brother can do the same! Though the little one is not being "formally" homeschooled, he is reaping the benefits of being with his siblings while they are learning.
I received my education at public schools as did most of my peers. While most of my friends educated their children in public schools, I chose to send my own four children to private schools. Additionally, I became a school teacher myself and taught in private schools for about fifteen years. My children are all grown and are successful, productive adults.
However, after observing the homeschooled education of my grandchildren, I have come to the conclusion that, if I could do it again, I would definitely, positively homeschool my own children.
My grandchildren are happy, out-going, and comfortable in almost all social situations. They are eager students of many subjects--from the "three R's" to history, science, music, and art. They are compassionate and caring individuals who love their family and their country.
The episode we are currently putting together is on homeschooling, and, in the intrest of the aforementioned "balance" I have sought in my reserch to find information on "both sides".
I have been shocked to find that it is almost impossible to find credible anti-homeschooling information on the web, or in libraries.
Now, mind you, I am not shocked that there is no credible evidence against homeschooling, I already knew that, but I was suprised that there weren't more ATTEMPTS to pass of psudo-scientific "reserch" in order to discredit homeschooling.
If anyone can point me to a site with something other than pure opinion speaking in the negative about homeschooling, please post a link.
Oh, BTW, 3 cheers for homeschooling and a big ol' BUMP!
Today I was in the Post Office with my two girls, the seven-year-old dividing numbers using the distributive property and reciprocal multiplication like it was cake and the nine-year-old factoring quadratics in her head to entertain the people in line. Then when they asked about literature...
LOL! I had to explain that math was their weakest subject!
Oh dear. It's a good thing I'm homeschooling my kids because someday I will actually know what you're talking about! :^)
The few I know that are home schooled are about average or a little less.
I wish you all could have heard my son give his speech the other day about his trip to Washington DC for the Bush inauguration. He told all about the three branches of the government that we visited all in one day. He was so excited about the trip, he just could hardly stand it and it showed. He used only notes, and spoke clearly and logically. Pretty good for a just barely 6 year old, huh? One of the people in attendance took me aside and told me that listening to him brought tears to her eyes. Here was a child that knew more about how his government works than most adults. And when he spoke of Lincoln and Washington, the Korean War Memorial and the Viet Nam Wall, it was really very moving.
We are now in our eleventh year of homeschooling. My oldest is in the tenth grade. Last year his Stanford Achievement Test score was in the 97th percentile overall. And he's a great kid! My others do almost as well (in the nintieth percentile or above). They have varying social skills, but none of them have poor social skills. Some are shyer than others, but they all have friends and can converse with adults. I guess sometimes I wish they initiated convesations with adults like some kids I know, but I can't change their personalities now, can I? LOL!
I've enjoyed reading all these posts from other homeschoolers. It makes me proud to be one of you. I can't wait to see how my children turn out. I have four of them, ranging in age from 4 to 15. My four year old just read a book to me last night. What an honor to be the one to teach her to read. It is the most exciting thing I do as their mom/teacher. I always get chills once my child grasps the concept of reading and starts to fly. I wish I had more little ones to teach to read. It makes me sad that I have taught my last one to read :-( .
I agree with the poster above who said something to the effect that any child with loving or caring parents is homeschooled. Parental involvement is the key. May God bless the efforts of all Freepers as they oversee the education of their children.
Yes, this is true. My parents sent me to public school but my mom was very involved in my education and I told her that most of what I learned came from her. She realized this was probably true and slacked off giving me grief about the homeschooling.
And yes, teaching your child to read is such a priviledge. Much like when they learn to walk, and you know it's one last thing they depend on you for and your heart breaks a little, but what joy when you see them run.
One of my favorite stories is when my eldest son was five, before the presidential elections, he had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Rep. Steve Largent (R-OK) at a party we were attending. He spoke with him for about 15-20 minutes about the Revolutionary War and taxation w/o representation. He was very serious about it and Mr. Largent actually seriously discussed it with him. At the end of the conversation, Mr. Largent asked him if he wanted to be president when he grew up and my son said no, he wanted to be a gardener.
What I would like you to mention, if possible, is that many home-schooled kids are disadvantaged.
I'm either missing the sarcasm, or the sentence is missing a "not," since the rest of your post is positive on HS.
Either way, your post is worth it for this phrase: "...a popular whizdumb of so many educrats...."
"Whizdumb." I like that!
You mean the NEA types have been lying to us all these years?!
Every argument of the government school advocates continues to crumble before reality...
I have three boys that I homeschool. I am in control of socialization. I know exactly when they are having a problem with other kids. I don't have to wait for the principal to call me on the phone and arrange for a parent-teacher conference. I handle it right away. I have worked it so that by the time they are teenagers they are good jugdes of character. Kids really need to have that ability under their belts by the time they enter the high school years.
BUMP from this homeschool family!
Okay, fine; I'll be the lone voice of disagreement if only because I like to see words keep their meaning.
"Home schooling" in this context clearly means "doing something at home instead of what is attempted in public schools."
So if you are saying (as I don't think you are) that all parents who send their children to public schools are irresponsible, per se, I would have to disagree with you.
And if you are saying that parents who send their children to public school, but spend "quality time" with them and, say, read them the occasional story, are home schooling them as surely and meaningfully as parents who make the necessary commitments and sacrifices genuinely to home school their children, I would again have to disagree with you. Vociferously.
And if you are saying, similarly, that just by virtue of being "responsible" parents (whatever that means), parents who send their children to public school so they can afford new homes and new cars and new tech-stuff, and have prestigious careers, are doing just as much good for their children as parents who make the sacrifice and commitment to home school them, again I must disagree, enthusiastically.
But if you're just using words a little squishily, and saying that all responsible parents teach their children important truths, wherever they send them to school, you might have a point, though it's afield of the focus of this article and this thread.
The first year a 5 yearold goes to public school is about the end of their positive social development until they either join the army or try to earn a living on their own.
The author was probably not home-schooled or she'd know the difference between average and median. :)
Tonto Junior, age 6, is flourishing. For those worried about development of social skills, as I admit I was, I recommend the Tiger Scouts, intro to Cub Scouts.
LOL! I thought that was funny, too, when I read it.
Maybe homeschooled children are better "socialized" because they interact with people of all ages? Ya think? We need a study to figure this out? Sheesh.
A great critique of mass-schooling here.
My comment indicated that a large fraction of home schooled children were doing so badly in government schools that the parents had to act. These kids were either behavior problems (having the intelligence to rebel against bureaucratic tyranny and endless psychobabble) or they had developmental or genetic disabilities that the bureaucratic system would not or could not address. Removing them raised government test scores and lowered home-school test scores (at least temporarily :).
In sum, if both home-schools and grubbamint-schools were given the same population of kids, the spread in test scores in favor of home schools would be even larger. Think of what would happen if home-schooled kids were offered the same financial resources.
BTW, my kids are upstairs spontaneously singing America the Beautiful as they get ready for school.
I guess they like the song.
By definition, the average will be the 50th percentile.
So is one of mine.
BTW, my kids are upstairs spontaneously singing America the Beautiful as they get ready for school.
Times like that, don't you just want to get down on your knees and thank God, pinch yourself, cry, hug them 'till they squeak, or all four? Happens a lot with HSing, other things being equal. I just took my two oldest HSed boys (6 and 15) to the mountains, staying in friends' guest house. The adults we were around kept remarking about what great kids they were, specifically praising their attitude and behavior.
Honesty forced me to agree. (c8 Glory to God.
Duh! I'm no statistician, but Translated, this says: "The median of the the entire set is exactly in the middle." This guy must have gone to public school.