Socialization: Who and Why?

A lot of folks seem to get hung up on socialization issues when they think about homeschooling.  It seems to be the most frequent question I hear from people when they find out I homeschool.  My first response is normally …well that is why I homeschool.  I want my kids to be well socialized.  I don’t feel our school system does that very effectively.  It is geared toward children only learning how to associate with kids around their own age and fails to teach them how to talk, behave, and act around people outside their own age groups.  Think about it.  Kids are put in groups during school time mostly in their own age.  They are taught to sit quietly and not ask questions unless it is in an acceptable time such as waiting for the end of lectures instead of when the topic is fresh in everyone’s minds.  They have to raise their hands and wait their turn rather than learn the art of conversation.  They only have normally one adult or older person to converse with during class time.   While there is a time and place for this type of social setting, I believe there is a need to be different environments that kids are exposed to in order to learn how to properly converse and interact with all ages and diversity of people.  This is where I feel homeschooling shines in the area of socialization.  We expose our kids to all sorts of learning environments and diverse situations which helps them to learn to interact better in society.

Yes there will always be that small group of people that isolate themselves from others and do not do this but then again that occurs just as much in public schooled kids as well.  It seems like the people that cry out that homeschoolers are weird or unsocialized seem to grab those rare situations and incidents to make blank generalizations about all homeschoolers.  In general, I can normally tell a homeschooled kid from one who isn’t just by judging how they interact with others.  That is not to say that public schooled kids can’t be socialized properly but that they tend to have a harder time at it because they need to get that through their parents and home environment more.  Homeschooled kids are already at home which is why they tend to be more socialized.  I believe a person’s social skills are learned from their parents and family and from the diversity of situations and people around them.

Also, I think the term “socialization” holds a different meaning for everyone.  I think what people mean when they ask homeschoolers ” what about socialization?” that they really are meaning to say do you isolate them from the world?  I laugh because um no homeschoolers don’t lock their kids inside all day away from other people which I think is what some people actually believe.

What do I want you to take away from what I just said?  No, I don’t want you to think I am saying public schooling ruins kids social skills. I actually want you to see that it isn’t the school system’s responsibility to teach socialization to your kids because well they really are not set up properly to do that.  I want you to see it is the family’s responsibility to do so.  By realizing this you can see that socialization of a child is not going to be affected by your educational choice as much as by your family’s choices.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 25th, 2017 at 9:55 am and is filed under All Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.