This article, Socialization: Tackling Homeschooling’s “S” Word on the PBS web site, claims,

The mainstream perception of homeschool students is that they are an antisocial bunch, toiling away lonely hours at a kitchen table with only their parents for friends. But homeschoolers themselves will tell you that socialization—the “S-word,” as some call it—is really a nonissue.

National Home Education Research Institute president Brian Ray agrees. He says socialization is not a problem for the vast majority of homeschool students, many of whom are involved in community sports, volunteer activities, book groups or homeschool co-ops. “Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in groups, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers,” says Ray.

As the title asks, are home schooled kids more likely to be less socially adept than non-home schooled kids?

  • @Oddthinking Why didn't you think that this is one of those question which should have been accepted without its providing any specific notable claim?
    – ChrisW
    Apr 6, 2015 at 17:49
  • @ChrisW: I'll confess I was editing on my phone on the way to my desktop. I closed it and planned (and did) come back to it a few minutes later.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 6, 2015 at 17:51
  • 1
    @ChrisW: At first glance, the reference you've added might be enough to answer the question to the satisfaction of the OP - effectively raising the bar much higher for the answerers. "Fortunately", the article only quotes anecdotal evidence and the Discovery Institute, who I wouldn't trust to research their way out of a wet paper bag, so now I would love to see that bar jumped.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 6, 2015 at 17:59
  • @Oddthinking Would it be better to rollback to the original version of the question, leave it more open? What I added doesn't serve very much purpose, IMO, except to prove notability and perhaps to help define "socially adept".
    – ChrisW
    Apr 6, 2015 at 18:05
  • 1
    What is socialization? Is it covered during teacher training? Does it figure in any end-of-school exams? Most often it seems to me that the definition is "I don't know really, but it only properly happens at school".
    – Benjol
    Apr 7, 2015 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


Searching around a bit, I found this which looks something like a meta-something of the question, though slightly dated.

I don't have access to it other than where I saw it quoted.

Susan McDowell, author of "But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature,” has researched 24 studies on the socialization of homeschoolers, according to Bristol Herald Courier.

"It’s a non-issue today," said McDowell, who earned Ph.D. in educational leadership from Vanderbilt University. "All the research shows children are doing well."

  • 4
    I wouldn't call it a meta-study/meta-analysis. It is an non-peer-reviewed literature review.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 9, 2015 at 11:17
  • @Oddthinking, ok, edited :)
    – Benjol
    Apr 9, 2015 at 13:19

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