I Can’t Homeschool Because My Kids Need Socialization… really? Homeschool kids ARE socialized. If anything, we are too social because we try to make up for the perceived “lack” of socialization. Homeschool socialization is not a myth, believe me!
I’m sitting at the park watching my kids play when another mom approaches me. She sits down, and we begin to chat. Then, the question comes up,
“Why aren’t your older kids in school today?”
I calmly respond, “Oh, we homeschool”.
“Oh, wow! I have thought about doing that, but I never could. My kids NEED socialization”. She smiles, gets up, and walks away.
This happens to me ALL the time, and chances are if you homeschool, it has happened to you too. I want to run after them and say “Do you not SEE my kids right here, playing?” But, I don’t. Because honestly preaching to a person is not going to make a difference. They have their minds made up on socialization, and I am not going to change it.
However, if you are really, truly concerned about homeschool socialization, and if that is really, truly why you are hesitant to homeschool, then I am here to reassure you. Homeschool kids ARE socialized. If anything, we are too social because we try to make up for the perceived “lack” of socialization.
Homeschool Socialization Ideas
Let’s share the facts about the homeschool socialization myth. The truth is there are tons of ideas out there for homeschool socialization. Here is just a rundown of the extra activities my kids are involved in every month:
- Quiz bowl practice twice a week
- Quiz bowl match once a month
- Keepers of the faith twice a month
- 1-4 homeschool activities each month, it varies depending on what is scheduled
- Homeschool storytime at the library
- Girls book club at the library
- Weekend camp
- Cross country
That is not counting church three times a week, or extra things like playdates, church activities, birthday parties, family trips, or other things that do not happen on a regular basis. They are socialized. Believe me. I can promise you, your kids will be too.
What is socialization?
Wikipedia defines socialization as:
Socialization is the process by which human infants begin to acquire the skills necessary to perform as a functioning member of their society, and is the most influential learning process one can experience. Unlike other living species, whose behavior is biologically set, humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive.
How to Help a Child with Social Skills
For most of us, socialization comes naturally. It comes from being around other people and means that the person is able to function in society. You do not have to send your child to public school to socialize them.
If you are thinking to yourself, “Yes, but I met this kid this one time who was homeschooled, and he was just WEIRD, I don’t want my kid to be that way”. Then, stop and think back to public school. Were there any weird kids there? Chances are, yes. You know why? Because being homeschooled did not make that kid weird that was in his DNA. Chances are he would have been just as “weird” in public school.
Good and Bad Socialization
So, what is the importance of socialization in school? The truth is it is public school socialization is not going to always be good. There are things kids are exposed to early, that they should not have to deal with. Homeschool socialization is different. When our kids get together, there are always a number of moms around to diffuse a situation. Also, most of the time, the families have similar beliefs as we do, so we don’t worry about what our kids are being exposed to.
Does this mean homeschool socialization is always good? No. We have had to deal withchild socialization problems and even “mean girl” issues despite being homeschooled. We have had to have conversations about appropriate and inappropriate behavior. But, I was there. I knew about it, and I knew the parents of the children involved. So, it was able to be handled by me and the other parent appropriately. This does not always happen in public school.
If you decide to homeschool, you will probably still worry about socialization, it is normal. It takes an effort to get out, make friends, and be involved. You will have to find other homeschoolers, and a group to be involved in. These can be found just about anywhere, and if you can’t find one, then consider starting one of your own.
Is there a Lack of Socialization in Homeschooling?
If you are looking for homeschooling and socialization statistics be sure to check out the research completed by the NHERI. Socialization takes time, and effort, but it is really not that different in homeschooling than in public school. Also, believe me when I say, don’t NOT homeschool because you are worried about socialization. Socialization is natural, it happens, and it does not require a public school building.
Make sure you come back next week for the final post in the I Can’t Homeschool Because…. series where I will be addressing YOUR questions and concerns!