de Carvalho, E and Skipper, Y (2019) “We’re not just sat at home in our pyjamas!”: a thematic analysis of the social lives of home educated adolescents in the UK. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 34 (3). pp. 501-516. ISSN 0256-2928

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A common perception of home education is that despite potential beneficial educational outcomes, children who are home educated lack social experiences and therefore show poor social development. However, previous research in this area suggests that home educated children demonstrate a range of age-appropriate social skills. This research has mainly focused on children younger than twelve, thus we have much less of an understanding of the social impacts of home education on adolescents. Furthermore, previous research has often used social skills questionnaires and has not explored the experiences of home educating families from their own perspectives. The current study addresses these gaps in the literature by interviewing three home educated adolescents and their mothers about their social experiences and development with the research question of ‘how do home educated adolescents and their parents experience and understand socialisation?’. In one-to-one interviews, young people (aged 11–14) were asked about their experiences and perceptions of their social lives. In a separate interview, mothers were asked about how they facilitated these social experiences and their perceptions of the impact this had on their child’s development. Data from the interviews was thematically analysed. Results suggested that adolescents participated in a range of social experiences that promoted their social skills, happiness and confidence. Participants felt that this created a positive social environment and sense of community, and encouraged the adolescents to interact with a diverse range of people. However, further research is needed to explore whether this finding is generalisable to the broader community of home educated adolescents.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Springer at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: home education, socialisation, homeschooling, social experiences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF712 Developmental psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2018 14:00
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2019 11:15

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