Social research has examined the social aptitude of homeschoolers.
According to Patrick Basham, author of the Fraser Institute’s 2017 examination of homeschooling’s growth from extreme to mainstream, “…the academic and socialization outcomes for the average home schooled child are superior to those experienced by the average public school student.”
Socialization Versus Sociability
When the socialization of homeschoolers is questioned, it’s important to clearly define what the critic is asking. For example, how is socialization, an institutional training process, different from extracurricular social interactions, socializing, and sociability?
“Homeschooling Socialization,” a lens on the social aspects of homeschooling, lists articles on homeschool socialization, or not, with titles such as “No, Thank You. We Don’t Believe in Socialization,” and “A Homeschoolers Deliberate Choice Not to Get Socialized.”
The social science research findings below support Basham’s assertion that homeschoolers not only outperform their schooled peers in academic skills, but also in social skills.
Social Science Research on Homeschoolers
This summary of research findings on the immediate and long-term social effects of homeschooling on social skills comes from Patrick Basham’s Homeschooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream (2nd Edition, 2017):
- The average homeschooler is regularly involved in eight social activities outside the home (Van Pelt, 2003).
- The social activities of homeschoolers include afternoon and weekend programs with public school students (i.e., sports, scouts, church groups, ballet, neighborhood play, part-time employment, and volunteer work), and field trips and co-op programs with homeschool groups (Mattox, 1999).
- Homeschoolers are as involved in extracurricular activities that predict leadership in adulthood as are their private school peers, both higher than those in public schools (Montgomery, 1989).
- Homeschoolers observed during free play and group interaction activities were found to have significantly less problem behaviors than school children (Shyers, 1992).
- Homeschoolers are more mature and better socialized than their public or private school peers (Knowles, 1991).
- Homeschoolers have significantly higher self-esteem than those in public school (Taylor, 1986).
- Homeschoolers are happier, better adjusted, more thoughtful, competent, and sociable children than their public school peers (Moore, 1986).
- Homeschoolers watch significantly less television than their public school peers: 65 percent watch one hour or less daily (U.S.); 75.8 percent watch less than 2 hours daily (Canada).
- Homeschool students enjoy a life satisfaction score considerably above that of their public school peers (Van Pelt, 2003).
According to a variety of social science research studies over the past several decades, homeschoolers have shown themselves to be happy, sociable people with healthy self-esteem and leadership qualities.