Building Social Skills Among Homeschooled Children.

There are many places outside of school where children interact.
There are many places outside of school where children interact.
Many homeschoolers contend that their children are actually better adjusted socially.
Many homeschoolers contend that their children are actually better adjusted socially.

Your Exeperience with Homeschooling

What is your background regarding homeschooling?

See results without voting

Your Opinion Regarding Homeschooling and Social Skills

Do you believe that children can acquire social skills while attending homeschooling classes?

See results without voting

Your Overall Opinion of Homeschooling

What is your opinion of homeschooling?

See results without voting

Children Can Socialize Outside of the Schoolyard.

One of the most prevalent questions posed to parents who homeschool their children concerns the perceived absence of the opportunity for children to develop social skills. Frequently cited by opponents, one of the most enduring myths is that children can only be "socialized" by attending an organised school system. However, there are just as many, if not more, options for homeschooled children to develop and maintain relationships outside of the schoolyard. Many home schooling parents actually feel that their children are better equipped and more well adjusted than those who attended conventional school. And, in fact, several studies have supported that belief.

Homeschooled children don't grow up within a vacuous alternative world separated from all the children living in their neighborhood, visiting nearby parks, and attending local churches or community centers. In reality, outside of the time that other kids are confined to the classroom, homeschoolers can and do play with other children. Also, children registered as a homeschooler with their local public school district are allowed to participate in sports programs and extra curricular activities offered by their district. In addition, most parents of homeschoolers enroll their children in outside activities such as Scouts and church groups, art, ballet, swimming and dance lessons, etc. They don't live their lives as hermits locked away in their houses watching from afar as all the other children play and frolic outside.

Another advantage homeschooled children often have over traditionally educated children is increased exposure to children outside of their own age group and adults. Research has shown that this leads to increases in self confidence, maturation rates, and ability to adapt to different environments and social groups. In addition, it encourages independent thinking, creativity, and a strong will all of which are often suppressed by peer pressure.

In recent years, as interest in homeschooling has soared, many online resources have sprung up to aid fellow homeschoolers in connecting and planning mutual social activities. These include meetup groups, yahoo groups, and social networking sites in which parents can participate in field trips, play-dates, support groups, collective planning of curriculum, and sharing in resources such as textbooks and school materials.

Homeschooling - Socialization and Community

More by this Author

Comments 27 comments

Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 8 years ago from Louisiana

Thanks! :)

Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 8 years ago from USA

Are you a new homeschool mom, Hope?

Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 8 years ago from Louisiana

Actually, no. I've homeschooled before. I'm just interested in hearing other people's opinions on some of these topics. ;)

Christian Mother 8 years ago

I homeschool my children because I don't like the type of civilization that public schools are "building"

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

I'm planning on writing about the true history of publc schooling and the real purpose behind its methods. They were designed to turn children into trained factory workers and promote consumerism.

Ditto Ned 8 years ago

Children need an actual structured education to prepare them for college and for the real working world. They won't get that on their mother's couch.

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Actually, studies have found that homeschooled children have a higher rate of both acceptance and success in colleges. They also have graded higher in the social skills that tend to relate to success in the business world.

As far as the structured environment and the "real working world," the public school system was actually intentionally designed to train children to be subservient in order to make them good, obedient factory workers. If that's the only option that you aspire for your children to have, then public schools are doing a great job.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

I'm sorry I didn't home school my kids, or a couple of them anyway. Children are not built to sit on their behinds all day, listening to the droning of a teacher. Children need a variety of activity and movement and can learn well in many different settings. The socialization they get in public school often leads them into contact with the dregs who often seem appealing to teenagers. The monotony of the regualr public school can crush young minds.

I hope you write that other hub you mentioned, eye, I'll be sure to read it.

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks Dolores,

I am still working on that hub and it covers many of the points you mentioned. I'm hoping to get it done soon, but I've just had a lot of other stuff happening and it does require some fair amount of research. Which is also why I didn't respond sooner, but I'm always very glad to hear from you.

M.L. Zupan profile image

M.L. Zupan 7 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

Love how you addressed the "socialization" issue. I get so tired of hearing it over again... Some of the nicest compliments we have gotten from "normal" adults about our 10 and 12 year old is that these people are surprised they can actually have an intelligent conversation with our (home schooled) kids. I personally expect no less, but apparently that is not the norm for children that age at all.

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks MLZ,

The supposed inability of children to develop social skills is by far the biggest myth of public schooling. This need for "socialization" is the number one rationalization for the school system and it's also the most negative, damaging effect that public schools have on children. Studies have shown that the average homeschooled children are not only better educated, but much more socially adjusted than those who attended public schools.

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

I was fixing a bad link and I decided to update this hub (it was one of the first I wrote) with a new video, links to related hubs, a few polls, and some informative news feeds. So even if you've already read it, you can read it again for the first time.

loubeeloo 7 years ago

Excellent hub. In the Uk the government are currently in the process of trying to force us all to teach to their prescription or send our kids back to school. They have used all sorts of dirty tricks against home educating families to try to back up their claim that home education is a haven for abuse & neglect, even tho, as you say here, studies have been done which prove the conventional home education myths, to be inaccurate!

As for schools..."They were designed to turn children into trained factory workers and promote consumerism."... indeed!!! I am NOT anti-schools, there are some excellent ones around, however this is not the case across the board nor do I believe that the majority of them are capable of providing a suitable or efficient education to every child. What is more I did not have children so that they can be raised according to the morals & ideologies of our governments whose principles are frequently shown to be dubious if not entirely devoid of good ethics!

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks loubeeloo,

If you look into the history of the public school systems, they were created for very specific reasons and providing an education was very low on that totem pole. So it's not at all surprising that the government goes to great lengths to try to maintain that hold on children.

Ms Re profile image

Ms Re 7 years ago from Memphis, TN

I resent when individuals make unfound, uneducated comments and conclusions about something they really have no real understanding of. I have homeschooled for 6 years. When you meet them (my children) you would never know,socially. When they play with their peers, they appear like any other child. The one main thing that tends to stick out to people is how polite and mannerable they are. I have found that I am more of a soccer mom now than when the oldest was in public schools. In a week we have 2 basketball practices (with our local homeschool association) , girl scout meeting/activities,piano class, church youth activites, bible class, archery, and the list goes on. And for anyone who wants to balk about the inability to learn sitting anywhere other than a rigid desk...consider this, you can focus and pay better attention when you are not forced to feel inferior when it takes you maybe 2 minutes longer than another student to catch on , or maybe because the one style of teachiing in a corporate classroom is only effective for say 12 out of the 35-40 children in that class completely disregarding the multiple intellect theory. Another thing that we completey enjoy is the flexibility to control our lives. No last minute stuff from teachers seeking to meet their scheduled agendas.

Ms Re profile image

Ms Re 7 years ago from Memphis, TN

Too each its own...we just shouldn't be judgemental especially when uninformed.

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

I agree Ms Re (cute, BTW),

It's always bad when someone comments on stuff they don't even understand. It's especially bad in regards to home schooling issues, because people generally are just spouting rhetoric they've been fed. Usually it's rather easily countered if someone looks at the situation objectively, but that's often lacking.

Children actually grow up much more well adjusted, confident, and self assured when they aren't subjected to the age segregation of public schools. It's much better socially when students are allowed to interact as equals and progress at a pace they are actually comfortable with, rather than on some arbitrary level based exclusively on a numeric age.

BodybuildingBuddy profile image

BodybuildingBuddy 7 years ago from USA

Didn't kindergarten literally mean "child garden?"

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Yeah, that's what it literally means in German. The term was coined by Friedrich Froebel around 1837 as a system of teaching that enabled children to grow in various ways intellectually, emotionally, and phsically, which is why he used that name. The originally program he created was actually pretty effective and well meaning. Not surprisingly, it was banned by the Prussian government in 1852. The current manifestation of kindergarten really just functions as a transition phase where children are taught to adjust to being separated from parents and away from home for large periods of the day.

Literature Fairy profile image

Literature Fairy 7 years ago from England, UK.

I'm am totally in favour of home education and I totally agree with you eyeam4anarchy when you say that public schools are "designed to turn children into trained factory workers and promote consumerism"

My Father and step mother are home schooling both of my younger brothers, and they are both very intelligent, happy, well emotionally and socially equipped little boys! (but of course I would say that!) I was never home schooled, and although I consider myself an intelligent person, I am currently a shop assistant with minimal qualifications, and no future prospects career wise! And even though I cant know for sure, I probably would have been better off had I been home educated. One thing that has struck me since my little brothers began being home schooled is how much resistance my family has encountered from their friends and even our family members! So called 'Christians' from my parents church started turning up at my parents house to talk them out of it (thinking that they had the right to tell my parents how to raise their sons?) And the number one negative assumption they all had was the lack of social skills my brothers would develop. But my little brothers (who are 5 & 7) have been in home education for 18 months now, and they have lots of friends, their own age, older and younger. And they are very good at holding conversations with adults as well as children off all ages, something I could never do at their age!

Sorry for the really long message, but this is an important topic to me! :)

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

That inability to relate to people of a differing age is one of the worst symptoms of the public school system Literature Fairy. Much like everything else, it's not wholly unintentional either. Prior to government schools, you generally had one community school where children of all ages attended(the proverbial one room schoolhouse) and were free to learn at whatever pace they were able to regardless of their age. The age segregation of public schools helps to reinforce arbitrary hierarchies and stifle independent thought.

Glenda Grosjean profile image

Glenda Grosjean 7 years ago from Wayne, MI

Thank you for taking the time to write this. The question of socialization is by far the most asked of any concern addressed to our family about homeschooling. It's ridiculous that people think, when they see how busy our family is, that our children aren't "socialized". I think you are absolutely right when you commented that people are probably just spouting rhetoric they've been fed. I'm not even sure that some of the people who have approached me on the subject even know what the word socialization means. On another topic, although I feel that many of our fundamental rights in the US are being stripped away, reading loubeeloo's struggle in the UK makes me grateful that the state of Michigan still has fair laws on homeschooling. Thank you again for this hub!

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

You certainly are welcome Glenda.

The word socialization has a pretty negative connotation for me because I know the history and true purpose of the public school system. But, I agree with you for the most part. I think when people hear "home school" they imagine that the children are in the house 24 hours a day and have no actual contact with other children.

In terms of our rights being stripped away, that's something that began the day after the country was founded. The function of a government is to control people and rights get in the way of that.

MomCrafting4Fun profile image

MomCrafting4Fun 6 years ago from Sunny Califronia

We homeschool our two daughters who are 7 and 8, and have homeschooled them all their lives.

It amazes me how many people when hearing that we homeschool automatically jump on the socialization train. And then they meet my girls and all questions are answered! ;)

My girls are able to talk with anyone, any age, race, color, religion, sex, etc.

We were visiting my husband's granma for the fourth, she lives in a small beach community where everyone knows everyone and I had so many people tell me how wonderful my girls were and how they communicated more like adults than kids their age. One lady couldn't get over it and was going on and on about how they were so mature and looked her in the ye and listened and responded to her questions and asked their own questions. And then she found out we homeschooled, and she said that she had never been in contact with homeschoolers and was against it before but now she fully supports it!

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks MC4F,

One of the most valuable and important advantages of homeschooling (and refutations of the socialization arguments) is that children aren't forced into accepting social divisions, such as the idea that children can't relate to adults on an equal level or that people from different economic, racial, and/or national origins are inherently different.

sandee martin 5 years ago

as for my child who is home schooled, i do not have problems with regards to his relationship to other people. his being homeschooled does not stop him from meeting new acquaintances. he is friendly and likes to talk to people. of course, as his parents, we let him see us to be friendly and approachable. we serve as his model. and we are thankful that by being simple parents we have given him so much to learn and to remember.

travelschooling profile image

travelschooling 4 years ago from Australia

I fully believe that my children are better socialized through normal daily life, meeting and interacting with a cross section of the community, than they could ever be in a school environment. Restricting their social group to 30 or so similar aged kids from one small town is good for them how? The school system actually impedes socialization and I wish people would stop going on about it, it's ridiculous. Most of these people don't actually understand what socialization means. I can think of many disadvantages of school socialization , not many advantages. Great hub.Best Wishes. Alyson.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article