Homeschool Questions: Social Development and Academics

I received some email questions last weekend from a student who is researching homeschooling. This student had some very good and informed questions, and so I thought I would present some of his questions here, with my answers. The first questions involve my decision to homeschool. Another question asked about criticism and support. Here are some of the other questions that were asked:

The debate over whether homeschooling stunts social development is the focus of many criticisms, yet it has been show to not be a problem for homeschoolers. What do you feel contributes most to developing social skills at home?

I feel a parent with good social skills and values will produce children with the same attributes. Therefore as with publicly educated kids, children whose parents are reclusive are likely to remain reclusive. A child with outgoing and dynamic parents will be similar in demeanor.

Is it the duty of the parents or the responsibility of the child to explore these skills and adapt it to mainstream society?

The parent, of course! There will still be cases when a fully functioning outgoing parent will notice that a child is withdrawn, and may not get along well with others. Regardless of how that child is educated, it is the parents’ responsibility to help the child gain the skills he or she needs.

Academics: how have you dealt with struggling subjects?

When I could not get the desired results through my own efforts, I hired a tutor.

Are there any subjects you have chosen to shelter your children from learning? (If yes, is this because of your own beliefs on the subject or is it because the subject lacks worth in your child’s education/future?)

No, but I have waited until I thought they were mature enough to handle it. Puberty talks waited until I saw signs of puberty. My children brought up homosexuality, so we talk about it. They do not want to talk about sex. Therefore, we slip them information in very small bites whenever they appear to be mildly receptive.

*Have a question about homeschooling? Just ask.

*Want to know more about homeschooling? Start with the 2006 homeschool blog in review!

* Have you seen the homeschooling curriculum glossary?

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