Friday, May 23, 2008
Measuring Homeschool Socialization
My friend Cay at Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks http://caygibson.typepad.com/ has a link to a post by Dr. Laura Schlesinger on homeschool socialization. Dr. Laura reports on research that was done comparing homeschooled college freshmen at a Christian college to non-homeschooled college freshmen at the same college. The researchers look at anxiety levels, etc. Of course, the homeschoolers came out great--less anxiety, higher g.p.a.'s, etc.
While I am always glad of any positive "research" I wish it could convey more important information. As a culture, we are so hung up on measuring. I guess that's the triumph of the industrial North. And the measuring that is done is to answer questions that are not even the ones that need answering. For instance, I believe that researchers need to ask, "What method of education will most likely produce a moral society?". Partial results are in on that one. We know that government schools do not. As this was never their goal in the first place, it's understandable.
In my years of watching homeschoolers socialize, I have seen some characteristics over and over:
Homeschoolers play with different age groups; they do not categorize other children by what grade they are in;
Homeschoolers do not see adults as "the enemy"; they generally talk and visit with them eagerly;
Homeschoolers are more accepting of differences--be it a physical handicap or a manner of dress. I have never seen any bullying, never heard any labeling;
Homeschoolers are open to learning all the time; they do not see it as something that happens during certain hours, with a certified teacher, with textbooks;
I could go on.
I won't, though. Those that believe in public schools do so because they want to. Their minds won't be changed by any anecdotal evidence from me. But truth is always relevant, whether or not it changes anything.