AP Reports on Socialization of Homeschoolers

Home-schooled children get along well : by the Associated Press
GAINESVILLE – Youngsters taught at home by parents do not lag in social development when compared with those of the same age who attend conventional schools, a University of Florida study finds. Educators and parents have feared that students taught at home might not develop needed social skills because they lacked regular contact with other children, said Larry Shyers, who did the student for his doctorial dissertation in UF‟s College of Education.

The study‟s findings suggest that home-schooled children behave better because they tend to imitate their parents, while traditionally schooled children model themselves after other children in the classroom, Shyers said. “The results seem to show that a child‟s social development depends more on adult contact and less on contact with other children than previously thought, he said. Home-schooled children score as high or higher on standardized achievement tests than children in conventional schools, said Shyers, a psychotherapist.

About 630 students in Palm Beach County are taught at home. Jean Chiriboga of Boca Raton teacher her three children at home and sees a difference in the way her daughter behaves.   “I can see when she gets around children who attend public schools, she tends to act like them. „ But when she gets around me or other adults, she tends to act more mature.” Chiriboga said. Education Writer Earl Daniels contributed to this report.

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