Both my amazing husband and myself were homeschooled growing up….all the way from preschool to our senior year of high school. We both had very positive experiences with it.
One of the things I love most about homeschooling is the fact that each child can get one-on-one time from the teacher. We were able to explore and pursue our individual talents and interests. While I have great respect for public school teachers, they are limited as to how much they can help each individual. In some class rooms, the student/teacher ratio is 30 to 1. I have heard it said that teachers have to teach to the “average” student in the class. Unfortunately, this can leave the advanced students bored and the struggling students frustrated.
I also love the real world experience that homeschooling allows. Rather than sitting in a classroom with their peers all day, homeschoolers get to interact with people of all ages and in various places.
But this is not a blog post about why people should homeschool. I believe that God can lead different families to do different things. Homeschooling was amazing for both of our families growing up and, at this point, we do plan on homeschooling our children. But homeschooling is not the only way. My only caution for parents who are unsure or who have decided to go the public/private school route is to just remember that you are still the parents. You are still responsible for their spiritual upbringing. Whether you homeschool, private school or public school….your child’s ultimate education and spiritual upbringing lies in your lap…not the teacher’s.
All that aside, my purpose in writing now is to talk about the big S word. Socialization. I find it somewhat humorous when, in discussions on schooling options, people put homeschooling and socialization in juxtaposition to each other. It’s as if you can only choose one or the other and people are torn as to which to choose. Should you homeschool? Or have your children socialized?
Obviously, there are a lot of different kinds of homeschooling….but for us growing up, homeschooling and socialization went hand in hand.
As I already mentioned, I love that growing up, my sisters and I were around people of all ages, not just our peer group. We were around babies, young kids, kids our age, older kids, adults, and seniors. We knew how to interact well with them. There were so many opportunities for us to socialize….whether it was park days, play dates, field trips, co-op classes, and more. Lots of homeschoolers participate in things like Girl Scouts, 4H, dance, or karate.
According to research done by the Home School Legal Defense Association, adults who had been homeschooled are flourishing socially. “In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.” (see this Washington Times article)
Studies have shown that homeschooled kids have fewer behavioral problems, avoid a lot of negative peer pressure, and tend to enter college as adults, rather than kids looking to party.
I really appreciate this blogger who explains well the importance of socialization and how you can accomplish both socializing and homeschooling!
HSLDA offers more insight and research here.
Again, this is not to say that homeschooling is the magical solution for all children. This is merely to point out that homeschooling does not doom a child to sitting at home all day, staring at the same four walls, never to see another person (much less someone their own age). Socialization is very important, and homeschooling can offer that in unique ways.
Hear hear!!! 🙂 Wow – so cool to hear that you both homeschooled all the way through because I did too, but I rarely meet other kids who also did. I actually don’t have a high school diploma (I finished high school – just didn’t get the paper to show for it) but I now have two university degrees (one with highest distinction). And I have lots of friends. 🙂 I have a lot of homeschooling friends who are also very successful (and well socialized) as well, so every time I hear someone say something about socialization, I want to snort. I think that homeschooled kids are better socialized because, like you say, we get the chance to hang out with kids of a variety of ages, rather than just our own peer group. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Love this! We recently started homeschooling and EVERYONE comments on the social aspect. Maybe it is because I have a child who already struggles with this. It seems I list this all off and then the next comment is, well what about structure. LOL glad to see there are like-minded people out there.
Well said! Growing up being constantly around different age ranges has really helped me as an adult in the business world.
Love that article from Heather Haupt! So on-target! It really doesn’t make any sense how people think that being in an environment with strictly kids your own age is the best way to learn social skills. But I guess whatever people think is normal they will most likely not question.
On Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 7:21 AM, Life with You
My sister and brother-in-law homeschool their three kids. My brother-in-law is like “I get so tired of people saying homeschooled kids don’t get socialization. My kids socialize so much I can hardly keep track of them!” 🙂
I nominated you for the Liebster award!=)
I’m really glad you make the point that homeschooling is not for everyone. I saw this firsthand with my siblings. My sister went to a private Christian school all the way through, I went to the same school for 3 years then was homeschooled, and my brother was homeschooled for 3 years, went to private school for 2 years, and then finished out in a public school.
We were all very involved in activities no matter which “school” we attended. But I can see how each child is different and each of us had different school environment needs.
For my sister, the private school gave her a strong Christian base while my parents were baby Christians.
For me, homeschooling allowed me to get involved with 4-H and travel the east side of the country showing horses.
For my brother, he needed teachers other than my mother due to personality clashes, plus he really enjoyed being a part of a good football team.
Thank you for sharing Bonnie!
While I agree that homeschooling is a fantastic option for certain children and parents, as an educator, I have also seen a lot of families who have chosen the easy way out with homeschooling. A lot of homeschooling children do not get the attention and socialization that you experienced—and I strongly feel that you had an exceptional experience because of your mom’s background in education. I have met many parents who have stepped up to the plate as educators, but there are also many parents who choose to sit their children in front of a computer screen with the intent of a software program teaching them and providing them with the skills that are necessary for successful adult life. When assessed, those children lack considerable cognitive ability and socialization skills—so I understand where the questions come from. It sounds like everyone commenting on this had parents who were extremely present in their homeschooling education, but that is definitely not always the case.