As more and more parents choose to homeschool, the concerns by critics over this issue have been largely laid to rest. Most children who have been educated at home are bright, articulate and capable of interacting with all age groups. While peer pressure is reduced, children are able to interact with others by choice (just like adults). Children have a unique opportunity to be apprenticed by their parents; not only academically, but socially as well.
One thing homeschoolers are good at is questioning preconceived ideas and accepted methodologies. There is one source of Truth. You won’t find the term “socialization” there. You will, however, find God’s design for families!
[Your answer is] like other answers I hear, where home schoolers say that their children have church activities and team and club activities and so forth. And I think it’s fine to give these answers that your critics understand. But I can’t help wondering if most home schoolers don’t feel they’re playing a little game here with the larger society. To meet the question in this fashion is in a sense agreeing with the world that children need many hours of association with their age mates, and saying that home schoolers provide those hours just as schoolers do. But do we agree? Is it natural to grow up spending many hours per waking day with thirty age-mates? Is this best? Is it Biblical? Or is this just an artificial child life that our part of the world has adopted in fairly recent history?”
Dr. Ruth Beechick, Dr. Beechick’s Homeschool Answer Book
Home-Schooling: Socialization Not a Problem
“Now we have a new longitudinal study titled ‘Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults’ from the Canadian Centre for Home Education. This study surveyed home-schooled students whose parents participated in a comprehensive study on home education in 1994. The study compared home-schoolers who are now adults with their peers. The results are astounding.” From the Washington Times.
Researchers Say Socialization No Longer an “Issue”
Facts for those who need them.
The Socialization Deception
Important article by Jonathan Lewis at Homeschool Enrichment Magazine that looks at the way we answer the socialization question. “I would submit to you that if the purpose of socialization is to teach our children how to be well-rounded adults who know how to appropriately interact with others and experience healthy relationships, there are more effective ways to accomplish this goal than what society in general tends to believe. In other words, there are better approaches to socialization than the intensely age-segregated, peer-based model we typically see.” Very much in line with the Ruth Beechick quote above!
Socialization: Homeschoolers Are in the Real World
Homeschoolers are frequently criticized for sheltering their children from the “real world.” Is spending 180 days a year in a classroom environment with forty or so children your exact age the “real world?” Great article by Chris Klicka.
Socialization: Homeschooling vs. Schools
Research on the various aspects of socialization including discipling, negative socialization, operating in the “real world,” and witnessing. Article at CBN.com concluding, “Most home educators would not trade the blessings that homeschooling brings their families and society for the world.”