Anyone who educates their children without school must come up against the biggest criticism of home-education there is: socialization. Many home-educators refer to it as the big S question-"What about Socialization?"
For those of us who are well seasoned in the field of home-education the question can be hugely tiresome, mostly because we know our kids are civilized, and socialized (to the community at large rather than to a peer group).
So it's a nice break when we hear about studies confirming what we already know. A friend recently sent me a link to an article about one such report study and I have included an excerpt from the article by Michael Smith, president of Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA):
"Until recently, “Homeschooling Grows Up” was the only study that addressed the socialization of home-schooled adults. Now we have a new longitudinal study titled “Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults” from the Canadian Centre for Home Education. This study surveyed homeschooled students whose parents participated in a comprehensive study on home education in 1994. The study compared homeschoolers who are now adults with their peers. The results are astounding.
"When measured against the average Canadians ages 15 to 34 years old, home-educated Canadian adults ages 15 to 34 were more socially engaged (69 percent participated in organized activities at least once per week, compared with 48 percent of the comparable population). Average income for homeschoolers also was higher, but perhaps more significantly, while 11 percent of Canadians ages 15 to 34 rely on welfare, there were no cases of government support as the primary source of income for homeschoolers. Homeschoolers also were happier; 67.3 percent described themselves as very happy, compared with 43.8 percent of the comparable population. Almost all of the homeschoolers—96 percent—thought homeschooling had prepared them well for life.
This new study should cause many critics to rethink their position on the issue of socialization. Not only are homeschoolers actively engaged in civic life, they also are succeeding in all walks of life. Many critics believed, and some parents feared, that homeschoolers would not be able to compete in the job market. But the new study shows homeschoolers are found in a wide variety of professions. Being homeschooled has not closed doors on career choices....
Both “Homeschooling Grows Up” and “Fifteen Years Later” amply demonstrate homeschool graduates are active, involved, productive citizens. Homeschool families are leading the way in Canadian and American education, and this new study clearly demonstrates homeschool parents are on the right path."