Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homeschooling and socialization

An article in the Washington Times begins:
One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack "socialization." It's a challenge that reaches right to the heart of home-schooling, because if a child isn't properly socialized, how will that child be able to contribute to society?
The critics had to attack socialization because they couldn't really attack the education since homeschoolers often outperform their public school counterparts. For example, one study "surveyed more than 11,000 home-schooled students. It showed that the average home-schooler scored 37 percentile points higher on standardized achievement tests than the public school average."

Now a new student shows that not only are the homeschooled happier and have a higher income than the general population, but they are more socially engaged as well.

May their numbers increase!

See the Washington Times for the article.


Kevin said...

Multiple questions come to mind:
1) What part of the US Constitutions gives the government the right to interfere in private citizens lives in order to ensure that they "contribute to society"

2) Free markets work really towards rewarding people who contribute towards society (good or bad)... so assuming we let our citizens spend their earned money as they please why should "we" be so concerned?

The reality is that the public grade-through-high school education system in the United States provides pathetic educations to children. Homeschooling, a system that receives no government funding and typically requires one parent to stay home and teach the children instead of earning income for the family, produces better results without relieving the family from the burden of paying taxes for the public school system.

3) Journalism has apparently degraded to the point of arguing about gossip and what "your neighbor does". If public schools provide the best education for my child then I'll send them there... who cares about the other kids... my child will have a better chance of succeeding if he gets the best education.

4) Homeschooling has gotten very sophisticated. In my Atlanta, Georgia their are numerous options for education. Including public, private, and homeschooling and mixes on how homeschooling works... some schools meet a couple day a week. There are home school athletic programs and other social opportunities. It seems to me that this stigma of homeschoolers is antiquated or perhaps limited to rural settings without the advantages of moderately sized cities (I highly doubt this though... I suspect many rural homeschoolers are highly involved socially in their churches).

Tammy said...

Something that can't be tested or measured, but what I see is that homeschoolers tend to be happier for one simple reason - they choose their life path. It's not necessarily a better one, or a perfect one, or even the "right" one. However, it's one that is of their own choice.

Granted there are many homeschool children who can't choose to go to school or not. That's not what I'm talking about. Most kids wouldn't even know what that choice means or is for. I'm talking about the day to day life of what to study, what to put their life energy into, and where to spend time. Although many homeschool kids don't have complete free range of that, they have a LOT more than school kids do, on average.

The school kids who have this, they are happier.

There is more that goes into happiness, of course, but internal vs. external drive and meaning is quite significant, and impossible to measure or schedule into a lesson plan.

Tammy Takahashi