Generation Cedar

Homeschooling Myth Busters

Read Part 1

What about socialization?

Welcome To Homeschooling Myth Busters. I don’t know when the beaten-to-death subject of socialization is going to die, but until it does, I guess we’ll keep talking about it! It has become such a popular response to homeschoolers, that most people spout it off without even understanding their accusation. “But how will your children know how to act in the real world?”

SOCIALIZATION (according to my Webster’s Dictionary): the act of bringing under public ownership and control.

I don’t think most people are referring to the above definition of socialization when they bring it up…although the public school institution does just what the above infers.

The word “sociable” may be a little closer: it means “fond of the company of others and apt to seek or welcome it.”

It think the main reason for the assumption that homeschooled¬†children can’t be socialized, is that the questioner pictures a child/children who never leave the house or have any contact with other humans. Which is so absurd, I can’t believe we even have to clarify.

If socializing my children is my main concern (and it is not, by the way), then the last place I would send them is into a building where they will spend the majority of their day with children all the same age, and very little interaction with wiser adults. The socialization they get in that setting is nowhere close to “real life”. And for many children, it can be extremely damaging and permanently impair their emotional well-being.

I am amazed at how many teenagers I encounter who, when I speak to them, (Hi, how are you?) just look at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language. Is that socialization?

Preparation for real life?

Sitting in a desk, in a room all day, with 25 other people my age, and a teacher trying to get us to learn something when I am much more interested in my “socialization”…not very realistic.

Back to our unsocialized homeschooler…we leave the house at regular intervals. We have many, many friends, we go to social gatherings, we welcome families into our home, and in a nutshell, we see our children becoming much more widely associated with people of many different ages and walks of life. They are comfortable and helpful with small children, and they enjoy conversing with the elderly…it’s a beautiful thing.

We want our children to find their self-worth in who they are in Christ, and not be measured, in their sensitive years, by what other children their age deem them to be. (A few children are resilient to the cruelty and meanness of others, but most are not. Parents deceive themselves by thinking that exposure to ridicule at a young age will make them better, or tougher people.)

Plenty of opportunities

They have plenty of opportunities to learn to share (believe me!) just within our own family. My desire for my children is not only to learn to communicate well with people, but to be courteous, respectful, and welcoming to every person they meet…a feat difficult to accomplish among a peer-segregated group all day.

We do not have to create “opportunities” for our children to socialize. Our lives are much more centred around a real-life model so opportunities are present all the time. There is no need to join clubs, or groups to “expose” them…they are plenty exposed, sometimes more than I think is good!

I had an interesting encounter with a relative one day…she said, “Kelly, you’re children are so sweet and well-behaved–they’re precious.” An hour later she was arguing with me about how my children are going to suffer socially because they are not in school. (????)

And if my opinions and observations aren’t enough, I challenge you to look into the research that has been done. It is no longer a theory, but there is proof that homeschooled children fare better socially than their peer-segregated counterparts. (Bearing in mind that there are always exceptions on both ends of the scale.)

Better prepared?

Just an interesting note…I was talking with a homeschooling friend whose two oldest sons were applying for entrance into college to pursue an engineering degree. (By the way, they both received full academic scholarships.) The college rep said to the mom, “We don’t tell people this, but we much prefer homeschoolers. They are just better all-around students!”

Disagree with homeschooling if you must, but please find a validated subject to base your opinions on!

Up next, the myth buster of sheltering!

Homeschooling Busters
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