Study Refutes Anti-Social Myth
Special Report - December 17, 2009
A new survey of adults who were home-schooled found that students who were educated at home are more likely than their peers to be socially active, well-educated, religiously committed, and married. The study from the Canadian Centre for Home Education surveyed 15-35 year old Canadians from 128 families whose parents participated in a comprehensive 1994 study on home education. The study was prompted by persistent criticism that students who are home-schooled will lack social skills.
When home-schooled Canadian adults were compared to their peers, the study found that:
- 69 percent of home-schooled adults participate in at least one organized activity per week as compared to 48 percent of their peers.
- 63 percent of home-schooled adults attended university, community college, Bible college, or private college immediately upon high school graduation with 57 percent completing some form of postsecondary education.
- 76 percent of home-schooled adults acknowledge religious beliefs as very important, compared to 26 percent of their peers.
- 74 percent of home-schooled adults attend religious service at least weekly, compared to 13 percent of their peers.
- 90 percent of home-schooled 30 to 34 year olds, 59 percent of 25 to 29 year olds, and 24 percent of 20 to 24 year olds are married, as compared to 68 percent, 49 percent, and 18 percent of their peers, respectively.
- None of the home-schooled adults are in a common-law marriages, while 13 percent of the comparable population is common-law married.
- None of the home-schooled adults depend primarily on government support for income, while 11 percent of their peers are on welfare.
- 67 percent of home-schooled adults report being very happy, as compared to 44 percent of their peers.
- 96 percent of home-schooled adults thought that home-schooling prepared them well for life.
“The common criticism of home education that it limits socialization with other children was not a reality in the experience of most of our respondents,” write the study’s authors. “They mostly had more than enough opportunities for socializing. For the most part, parents made considerable efforts to ensure a high level of social interaction … [The respondents] were also very happy that they had been home educated, and for the most part felt that it had given them an advantage in life and in future education.”
The authors also noted, “Drawbacks included stigmatization and social prejudice, curriculum limitations and, for some, fewer opportunities to participate in group activities such as sports. The benefits included rich relationships, opportunity for extensive curricular enrichment, flexibility, individualized pace and program, development of independence and confidence, and superior academic education.”
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