VANCOUVER, BC, October 15, 2001 ( – Home schooled children are, on average, more academically and socially advanced than public and private school students, according to a new study, “Home Schooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream”, released last week by The Fraser Institute.

Contrary to the concerns of the educational establishment, the typical home schooled child participates in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including afternoon and weekend programs with public school students, day-time field trips and co-operative programs with groups of other home schooled kids. Ninety-eight percent of home schooled students are involved in two or more outside functions on a weekly basis.

Research also suggests that home schooled students are more sociable than their school peers, as well as more independent of peer values as they grow older. “Popular belief holds that home schooled children are socially backward and deprived, but research shows the opposite: that home schooled children are actually better socialized than their peers,” says Claudia Hepburn, director of education policy at The Fraser Institute. “Some studies have shown that home schooled children are happier, better adjusted, more thoughtful, mature and sociable than children who attend institutional schools.”

In 1979, just 2000 Canadian children were home schooled. By 1996, the respective provincial ministries of education put the number of home schooled children at 17,523 or 0.4 percent of total student enrollment – a 776 percent increase over just 18 years. Today, some estimates put the number of home schooled students in Canada as high as 80,000. The largest study to date in Canada found that home schooling students, on average, score at the 80th percentile in reading, at the 76th percentile in language, and at the 79th percentile in mathematics. The Canadian average for all public and privately educated students is the 50th percentile.

The study is available on the Fraser Institute website at: See the National Post coverage: