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Homeschooling and the Socialization Argument

Updated on July 31, 2010

We homeschooled our children for four years and were questioned about socialization frequently. There is a myth out there that homeschoolers have no social skills. I believe this goes back to the very early years of the homeschool movement when homeschooling was illegal in many states. Parents who chose to homeschool their kids sometimes had to hide their children in order to do so. This led people to believe that homeschoolers were not capable of being socialized.

According to Webster's online dictionary socialization means "1. to make social: especially: to fit or train for a social environment". I see nothing in this definition that means children that do not go to public school will not be trained for a social environment. Honestly, I believe that homeschooled children are better socialized than children who attend school.

Just because I chose to teach my kids at home did not mean that they were never around other children. First of all, they have many cousins of all ages. Second, there are many children in our neighborhood that they play with on a regular basis. Third, my children were involved in many activities in our community and knew people in almost everything they did. Fourth, we are actively involved with our church allowing them to be with friends there for a couple of hours each week. Fifth, there are many homeschool activities available and we hardly found ourselves at home enough some weeks to get our school work done.

All of these things listed above gave my children ample opportunity to be socialized around other children. One of the things I found most interesting when homeschooling my kids though was because they were home with me and went everywhere with me, they were also much more socialized to the real world. They interacted with numerous adults and were able to be social with people of all walks of life in many various situations. I was frequently complimented on how polite, well-mannered and interesting my children were when we were out in public. If my kids had been in school all day every day they would have missed out on a lot of necessary life skills that they gained by going everywhere with me for four years. They can carry on a conversation with anyone of any age and keep it going for some time.

Think of the school setting. Kids are in one room, with 20 to 30 people exactly their age and one or two teachers for most of the day. How is this anything like the real world? Homeschoolers are typically out in the real world much more often than their public school counterparts.

I am not saying the public school children are not socialized. For the most part all children end up being socialized just fine and people should not worry so much about whether homeschooled children will be socialized or not. I think no matter how your children end up getting their education it is up to the parents to teach them the right way to interact with people of all ages in all situations. People like to make a big deal out of the socialization argument, but I believe that it shouldn't even be an issue anymore with the way kids are homeschooled today. There is just nothing to worry about.

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    • profile image

      Steve Brogan 

      6 years ago

      Are homeschooled students, who most likely are being homeschooled because the parents are ardent conservatives really going to be able to get into a college where the graduates actually get jobs? And if by some chance they do will they be able to cope with the acceptance of different lifestyles? I guess might be ok if you just want to raise some children and they go on to be working poor.

    • Shawna Van Trease profile image

      Shawna Van Trease 

      6 years ago

      Interesting hub. I don't intend to homeschool my daughter when she is of school age, but I like learning about the motives and curricula used by active and thoughtful homeschooling parents. I use some of what I learn to guide her preschool learning activities.

    • profile image

      legendindia 

      8 years ago

      Great hub. I am also a teacher.it is good homeschooling.I have read and heard about home-school.It is a good for teaching.

      www.artoflegendindia.com

    • Seakay profile image

      Seakay 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I am a teacher. I also have a friend who is doing a great job homeschooling her children. Home schooling has developed into a great way of for parents to present opportunities that may be limited in the regular classroom. It is not for everyone but I have seen and heard about some very good homeschool programs.

    • Slytle90 profile image

      Slytle90 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      You are so right! I was home schooled and am am very social...and I too am able to have conversations with people of all ages. I did go to public high school but I think being home schooled in my early years gave me a leg up in life. I am very happy that my mother decided to home school me.

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      If the parents are caring and responsible, they will not let their children become hermits. My children can socialize better than most of their public school peers. I get so many compliments from adults about my teens and how well they can carry on a conversation with them. I noticed at a graduation party how the public school teens would gather together in small clicks, but the homeschooled teens would actually talk with every age group. I agree, socialization should not even be an issue for homeschool families.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Living in England I wish had done homeschooling. Most of the High schools are awful and I am sure they learn more at home.

    • FCEtier profile image

      Chip 

      8 years ago from Cold Mountain

      Some friends who home schooled their two kids had their son involved with our kids in both "Indian Guides" through the YMCA and flag football. He had a blast and was well adjusted. They were active with their church, too, so their kids had plenty of socialization.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      As a former education administrator and "know-it-all" I too had the same opinion about the socialization skills. I told my sister she was "crippling" her four children's future by "secluding" them in a home school environment.

      Wrong! I was was wrong... Of course home schooling depends on the teacher as does public schooling. My nieces and nephews are outstanding! They were k-12 home schooled. The first to attend a public college at age 16 was elected class president. Next year she was elected school president.. She went on to become statewide young Republics spokesperson.. I learn! Thanks for a great hub!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Jennifer, Great hub with a lot of good info. I have a hub with free web sites for homeschooling. For free supplies and lessons. Have a look it may be helpful. Also I would like to link to your hub.

      Tina

      https://hubpages.com/art/TEACHERS-ART-AND-CRAFTS-S...

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Great article . Thank you. I also found that my home-schooled daughter was able to interact with adults on a level not possible for many of her peers who went to school. It´s also a good point you made , that parents, surely should have the right to choose how their children are educated..

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 

      8 years ago

      You make excellent points. Home schooling in Michigan is very popular and here we have associations that home schoolers may enter to become involved in sports and music activities. Kids lives are about so much more than just the classroom. Great hub!.

    • profile image

      Jeanine 

      8 years ago

      You are so correct Jennifer! I homeschooled my children thru high school, and yes, they can maintain a conversation with any age people! We even did fund raising events which provided them excellent marketing skills that others do not have. My children are 30 yrs, 25 yrs, and 20 yrs now....and all agree that the homeschooling provided them with more skills for real life issues than they imagined. However, one child is still struggling with some social issues, but he's researching and developing those on his own. (at least he can - whereas many public schooled people lack the ability to research for themselves)

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