Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here is your chance to answer the Socialization question!

We have been offered an opportunity to weigh in on the socialization question by a former homeschooler who is researching development of social skills in homeschooled adolescents. If you haven't seen this yet, please consider whether you would be willing for your child to participate.

Dear Homeschool Family,

My name is Jason Downing, and I am a former homeschooled student who benefited from the support of homeschool organizations like HSLDA. As a doctoral candidate, I am looking for individuals to participate in a research project relating to the development of social skills in homeschooled adolescents. Eligible homeschool participants are needed to complete a simple survey questionnaire.

As a former homeschooled student, I understand the importance in offering as much information to families as possible, as they weigh the pros and cons of home education. It is my personal belief home educated students develop the same social skills as their public school counterparts. Your participation in this research is of vital importance, as the home education option is continually debated.

My research centers on a comparative study between homeschooled and publicly educated adolescents. The focus of the research is to determine if a measurable difference exists in the development of social skills between these two groups.

The research consists of a social skills questionnaire developed by Pearson Assessments. Pearson is a nationally known as creating accurate and effective research tools. The questionnaire itself will take approximately 15–20 minutes and consists of the eligible participants answering 39 fill-in-the-blank questions.

I am looking for participants who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Homeschooled for at least two years;
  • Between the ages of 12-18 years of age;
  • Currently enrolled in a homeschool program.

A packet will be mailed to all willing participants. This packet will consist of the following:

  • Pearson’s Social Skills Rating Questionnaire;
  • Instructions on how to complete the survey questionnaire;
  • A pre-paid return envelope;
  • As the research will involve individuals under the age of 18, a consent form will be distributed for the parent(s) or legal guardians of the chosen individuals. Consent forms will also be distributed to the participants.

As a former homeschooled student, I also understand the importance of privacy for any participants of this research project. In order to protect the identity of the participants, no participant’s identity will be collected or disclosed during the course of the research project. Only the overall results from the total population of participants will be used as part of the research.

If you are willing to participate in this research, please contact me directly—by phone at 571-212-1355 or by email at Jason.downing@waldenu.edu. I will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding this project.

Thank you for your time and willingness to participate,

Jason Downing

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