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Research on the Socialization of Home Schoolers
from Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada


  1. Home schooled students have a higher self-esteem than conventional students.
    A study done as part of a dissertation at Andrews University showed that 50% of the 224 home schooled children studied scored above the 90th percentile when using the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. Only 10.3% of home schooled children scored below the national average.1

  2. Home schooled students are less concerned about peers when compared with private school students.
    A study comparing nine-year-olds from private school and home school settings found no significant differences in virtually all psycho-social areas. In the area of social adjustments, the researcher found that the "private school subjects appeared to be more concerned with peers than the home-educated group."2

  3. Home schooled students are not isolated from social activities with others.
    A survey of 5,402 home schooled children revealed that, on average, they were engaged in 5.2 activities outside the home, and that 98% were involved in two or more.3 This substantiates a 1989 study finding that home schoolers are not socially deprived or isolated.4

  4. Home school students have demonstrated leadership ability.
    A 1989 study concluded that home schooling may nurture leadership as well as the conventional schools.5 A 1994 investigation of 212 home schoolers at Oral Roberts University found that many are dormitory chaplains, 88% are involved in one or more community outreach ministries, with many leading particular outreach groups.6 In 1997, the results of a four-year study of 180 students (60 graduates each from public, private, and home schools) at Bob Jones University revealed that home schoolers ranked first in campus life leadership activities.7

  5. Home schooled students are better socialized and more mature than their public school counterparts.
    A 1992 study compared twenty home schooled children with thirteen demographically matched public school children using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales to evaluate social maturity. The results showed home schoolers scored in the 84th percentile whereas the public school students scored in the 27th percentile. The researcher concluded that, "Home educators seek to socialize their children vertically, toward responsibility, service, and adulthood, with an eye on eternity."8

  6. Home schooled students do not lag behind conventional students in social development.
    A 1992 study compared the behaviors and social development test scores of 70 home schooled students with those of 70 public and private schooled students. The results showed no disparity in social development between the groups. In fact, home schooled children showed fewer behavioral problems, causing the researcher to conclude, "The results seem to show that a child's social development depends more on adult contact and less on contact with other children as previously thought."9

  7. Home schooled students grow into adults who meet or exceed social norms.
    A survey of 53 adults who were taught at home found that two-thirds were married, none were unemployed or on welfare, and three-fourths felt that being taught at home had helped them interact with people from different levels of society.10



  1. Taylor, John (1986). Self-Concept in Home Schooling Children. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International.
  2. Delahooke, Mona (1986). Home Educated Children's Social/ Emotional Adjustment and Academic Achievements:A Comparative Study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Los Angeles, CA: California School of Professional Psychology.
  3. Ray, Brian D. (1997). Home Education Across the United States: Family Characteristics, Student Achievement, and Longitudinal Traits. Home School Legal Defense Association research study.
  4. Montgomery, Linda (1989). The Effect of Home Schooling on Leadership Skills of Home Schooled Students. Home School Researcher. V5 #1.
  5. ibid.
  6. Mitchell, Mike. "Home Schoolers at Oral Roberts University." Fall, 1994. Tulsa, OK, Oral Roberts University Home Education Center.
  7. Galloway, Rhonda & Sutton, Joseph, "college Success of Students from Three High School Settings: Christian School, Home School, and Public School." October 10, 1997. Boston, MA, National Home Educators Leadership Conference.
  8. Smedley, Thomas C. (1992). Socialization of Home Schooled Children: A Communication Approach. Unpublished Master of Science thesis. Radford, VA: Radford University.
  9. Shyers, Larry (1992). Comparison of Social Adjustment Between Home and Traditionally Schooled Students. Ph.D. dissertation. Univ. of FL.
  10. Knowles, J. Gary (1991). Now We Are Adults: Attitudes,Beliefs, and Status of Adults Who Were Home-educated as Children. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April 3-7.


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