WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION?
Read about the most misunderstood aspect of homeschooling: socialization. Critics of the homeschooling movement claim that homeschoolers lack social skills. Is it a fact or a myth?
If you are a homeschooler, we invite you to give your insight on this important issue by adding your homeschooling family's perspective.
Please use the Submission Form or by email. Your comment will appear on this page upon review. We appreciate your help in informing people of the social benefits of homeschooling.
1) WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION? - BY THE HOWARD FAMILY
Whenever people find out that we homeschool, the most common question asked is "What about socialization?" Our typical answer is "We let our kids out of the closet on Sundays!"
On a serious note, we believe our two children (Brian, 13, and Elijah, 8) get the best socialization there is - positive socialization! They socialize with Mom and Dad, and they socialize with each other! They socialize with our friends, adults and kids, and babies too! They join sports teams, archery league, Sunday Schools, and more! The scope of their socialization isn't just limited to one room with 20 or more kids of the same age daily! They don't pick up bad habits and unacceptable language from other children and they certainly don't bring them home.
My husband and I were both educated in the public school system in the US and in the Philippines. We both turned out okay. However, things have changed. We now live in a culture that places the child's happiness above holiness. The authority of teachers have been virtually removed, therefore voiding all attempts to discipline the students when problems in the classroom arise. Teachers are often threatened with lawsuits. And now, students are even encouraged to call their teachers by first name - all in the name of raising the child's self-esteem.
With homeschooling, parents can control the environment for their kids, where they play, who they play with and how long. They learn to interact with people of all ages and various backgrounds, with this comes responsibility, obedience and respect. Discipline problems are consistently and immediately dealt with - by the same people. This type of socialization allows our kids to develop skills essential to prepare them for the life challenges that lie ahead when they are older.
In a classroom setting, everyone is trying to get ahead, and/or trying to be buddies (even with the teacher who is way older than the students). In our homeschool, our kids know where the line is drawn: they are the students, and Mom and Dad are the teachers and the parents. And when friends come over or if we are in a public setting, they know where to place themselves as children who respect adults and their peers.
As Christians, we try to instill in our children's young minds that everyone is made in the image in likeness of God, therefore everyone is precious. Homeschooling provides a well balanced environment for this training. Besides, what is the main reason why people send their kids to school in the first place? The answer is: EDUCATION! NOT Socialization.
(The Howards, Texas, December 2005)
2) READ MORE ABOUT SOCIALIZATION! WHAT OTHER FAMILIES SAY ABOUT SOCIALIZATION:
I have 5 children. They range in age from 1 year old to 11 years old. When I am approached with the "socialization issue", I use this as an open door to get on my soapbox about home education. The first thing I state is that my children are educated at home, they are not in solitary confinement. They willingly benefit from their parents experience and knowledge as well as the lack of knowledge. By lack of knowledge I mean that they are given examples to follow us on our quest to "find the answers" that are needed in any particular instance. The fact that nothing is too difficult when put in the right perspective and "all things are possible" is a scripture that is duly re-enforced. And with 4 other siblings at home with you, how can you be bored....or unsocialized? (by RUTH SPIERS, August 23,2001)
I loved your comments and answer on the famous socialization issue. I agree 100%. If the people and the parents that ask this question only stood in the playgrounds to watch their children during the day and found out what they are exposed to and vulnerable at such a young age. Our children, esp. the young are like sponges and soak everything up. I personally wouldn't want my child age 6 to come home speaking of the word s_ _, and telling me what he heard about it!! (by CHIP NEGRON, Sep.9,2000)
My homeschooled children are comfortable with people 8 days to 80 years old. They realize the world is bigger than the people their age and can comfortably socialize with all ages. When they are forty years old and have a job, etc., everyone else that they have to deal with will not be be forty. Why should they be limited to 14 years old now? (by KAREN MCIVER, Aug.9,2000)
3) SOCIALIZATION STUDIES AND ARTICLES FROM OTHER SOURCES:
HOMESCHOOLING GROWS UP! BY HSLDA.ORG - Homeschooling Grows Up is the largest research survey to date of adults who were home educated. Over the last decade, researchers, professionals, parents, the media, and many others have asked repeatedly: How do homeschooled students turn out? Can a homeschool graduate get into college or get a job? How do they fit into society? Are they good citizens? Are they happy?
4) WHAT'S YOUR FAMILY'S PERSPECTIVE ON SOCIALIZATION? ADD YOURS!
Related Page: Why We And Other Families Homeschool