There is a new study from August 11, 2022 (Brian D. Ray, Ph.D.) on homeschooling social skills and creative thinking. This is the exact opposite (!) of what we have been told and what many people think about homeschooling. The assumption is that homeschooling narrows social competencies. The researchers conclude that in their study, “… homeschoolers showed higher performance on social competence indexes than their counterparts who attended traditional schools.”
Study on homeschooling
Schools also have major social disadvantages, including bullying and peer victimization. Research shows that young people who were often victimized and bullied as children use drugs and other substances during adolescence. And even develop mental health problems…
Growth of homeschooling
Homeschooling has grown phenomenally around the world over the past 30 years, and especially in the past two years. For example, the number of home-schooled children in grades K-12 in the United States grew from an estimated 2.65 million in 2019-2020 to 3.72 million in 2020-2021 (Ray, 2021). In the Eastern Hemisphere, as another example, “The number of families approved by the Israeli Ministry of Education for homeschooling increased by 700% between 2005 and 2019” (Madara & BenDavid-Hadar, 2021).
Research into social competencies
Numerous studies have examined the demographics and academic performance of homeschooling families and their students (e.g., Ray, 2017). An increasing number of scholars are focusing on an increasing variety of topics related to homeschooling. Recently, Michal Unger Madara and Iris BenDavid-Hadar examined the social competencies and creative thinking of home-schooled children. This brief discussion will only touch on the previous topic in the study.
Methods of research
The researchers wanted to evaluate the social competencies of homeschooled children. There are two components of social competencies. One “… is adaptive behavior, defined as a set of conceptual, social, and practical skills that a person has learned to function in everyday life and to interact with the environment” (p. 9).
Findings of the study
None of the background variables were statistically significant in terms of explaining variance in social competencies. Simple regression results explained social competencies according to the type of education (β = 0.39*** [p < .001])”; “…homeschooled students have higher levels of social competence than students who attend public schools” (p. 18). Furthermore, differences in social competencies remained even after statistically controlling for student background variables. Furthermore, the scholars found that “…the greater the number of siblings, the higher the level of social competence of home-schooled students” (p. 18).
Final remarks and conclusions
Citing others’ research, scholars Madara and BenDavid-Hadar point out that some individuals attribute the development of social competencies to attending public and private institutional schools. On the other hand, they point out the following:
- “Schools also have major social disadvantages, including bullying and peer victimization. Research shows that young people who were often victimized and bullied as children use drugs and other substances during adolescence and even develop mental health problems…” (p. 19).
- The researchers conclude that in their study, “… homeschoolers showed higher performance on social competence indexes than their counterparts who attended traditional schools” (p. 20) and their data showed “… that 96% of [homeschooled ] children participate in some activity at least one hour per week and socialize with children of different ages,” which is consistent with other studies.
- Finally, the researchers conclude that their “…research shows that homeschooling can be more effective in terms of developing creative thinking and social competencies than traditional learning. Therefore, it can provide a high-quality alternative to public education or private schools for those who choose it. (p. 21).
This is a well planned, executed and reported study. The area of the social competencies and creative thinking of homeschoolers has been explored in a very limited number of studies and this piece is a great addition to the research base.
Ray, Brian D. (2021, 1 juli). Research facts about homeschooling, https://www.nheri.org/research-facts-on-homeschooling/