AgapePress - The first large-scale study of adults who were home-schooled as children has been released, and among other revelations, it debunks the notion that home schoolers become socially isolated.

The investigation by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute (http://nheri.org) revealed information that shatters many of the most common criticisms of home schooling. For instance, Ray says the study found "absolutely no evidence for the negative claims or allegations that the home educated will grow up and be socially isolated, tied to mommy's apron strings [well into middle age], and not interested at all in their neighbors."

The researcher says the survey results revealed no evidence of such traits in home-schooled individuals "who are now in what people call 'the real world.'" To the contrary, Ray says, the study indicated that adults who were home schooled are very normal in many ways and, at the same time, unusual in other particularly positive ways.

For example, the survey found that nearly 75% of adults who were home educated have gone on to take college courses, while only 46% of their peers who were not home schooled went on to study at the college level. Ray says home-schooled adults are, "at a higher rate than the national average, interested in continued formal education, college and so forth." And the researcher adds that home-schooled adults are also "very active in their local communities -- more so than the general population, and they appear to be very civically engaged -- again more so than the general population."

And the NHERI research shows that home-school graduates take an active role in shaping their society. Ray says the study indicates that home-educated adults care about the kinds of things most Americans believe are important and about their participation in civic life -- "that is, their voting rates, their rates of getting involved in political campaigns, and boycotting and writing letters to the editor" are higher than the rates of such activity among average citizens.

Since it was founded in 1990, NHERI has functioned as a non-profit research group dedicated to conducting, collecting, and chronicling research about home-based education. The organization publishes a quarterly scholarly journal called the Home School Researcher.