Social Development vs. Homeschooling

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  • #72743

    Nathan

    I can see a lot of advantages to homeschooling, especially for parents who have a lot of time and are great teachers, or families who are concerned about the bad influences on their children in school. However, it seemed to me that several of my friends in high school who had been or were being home schooled, had a very hard time developing socially. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling? What can homeschooling parents do to help their children to learn the social lessons in addition to the academic lessons?

    #199889

    bellerd

    Nathan,

    Honestly, I don’t think there has ever been a real problem with homeschool children being socialized. These children spend time with their families, church members, other homeschoolers, etc. Our family has made the decision to homeschool our four children, beginning this school year. We’ll be relocating to Idaho, and I was very excited to find out the area has a large and active homeschooling “community”. There are regular field-trips, get-togethers, picnics, etc. with the other families.

    Maybe the friends you had from high school just had a hard time adjusting to the change from being at home to the public school system. High school is a tough place. Even someone who’s been in public school their whole life can have trouble fitting in when it comes to high school. ;)

    For me, I’m not worried about my kids being “socialized”. My two oldest children are miserable from the “socialization” they’ve found in school. I’d much rather have my children learning values from me, than from their “peers”. These classmates don’t know anymore than they do when it comes to life, but this is where most kids get their “life lessons”. If you would like to read more on the subject, I suggest Mary Pride’s Complete Guide to Homeschooling. The information is contains is priceless.

    Deanne

    #200269

    beth

    I’m with Nathan on this one. I think homeschooling creates an artificial environment, one in which the benefits are outweighed by the associated problems. School represents an opportunity for kids to interact with their peer group. And that peer group, whether we like it or not, has a more powerful influence than we as parents do once the child is of prepubescent age. Gender-segregated schools are not a good idea for much the same reason – basically we all have to learn to survive and thrive in the real world – not an insular one. I agree that some situations in some schools are best avoided, but I think it’s best to change schools than be homeschooled. Studies also show that academically, most home schooled children are not sufficiently challenged. I think too as a parent, homeschooling would present an enormous challenge to separate home-based issues (such as breaking the family camera when told not to touch it, for example) and school-based issues (such as not doing the set homework) in the schoolroom itself. It would take an extremely well-adjusted person to regularly deal with such a common issue in a consistently appropriate way. Most psychologists would tell you that socialization, not education, is the primary goal of school life. After all, the ability to survive and thrive in the real world is the best gift we can give our children.

    #200291

    bellerd

    I want my child to be educated, rather than “socialized”. If they’re not receiving an education at school, then what’s the point? Homeschooling creates an environment where the children are free to learn, and pursue interests they are not otherwise able to pursue in public school. I think the public school system is more of an artificial environment than my home and the real world. You’re right, their peer group has a powerful influence on them. It’s where most children learn about alcohol, sex, smoking, crime and drugs. By teaching them at home, then I am their most powerful influence. I don’t want my children learning about life from other kids who know nothing more about it than they do. My kids socialize plenty…they have friends in the neighborhood, at baseball, at church, their siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, people we meet at the store, the dr.’s office, field trips, etc. Homeschooling is not about sitting in a little room in your house all day. It’s about learning from a variety of sources…museums, concerts, seminars, camps, volunteering, educational tours, being out there in the real world everyday, not isolated in a classroom all day. Some of the top universties in this country are now actively recruiting homeschooled children because of the academic achievement and varied life experiences they have. Some of our most important historical figures were homeschooled, such as George Washington, Hans Christian Anderson, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Irving Berlin, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, The Wright Brothers, even Sandra Day O’Connor. The list goes on and on…

    In 2000, homeschoolers took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place at the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. In 1999, a homeschooler won the Intel Science Talent Search and was accepted at Harvard, Berkeley and Cambridge University in England!

    [indent]Perhaps three-quarters of universities now have policies for dealing with home-schooled applicants, according to Cali Cohen, author of ‘The Homeschoolers’ College Admissions Handbook’. Today Harvard admissions officers attend homeschooling conferences looking for applicants, and Rice and Stanford admit homeschoolers at rates equal to or higher than those for public schoolers. These schools compete for students like L.J. Decker, 17, from Katy, Texas, who scored 1560 on the SAT and was part of a team of homeschoolers who won the Toshiba ExploraVision contest for their futuristic scuba device that would use artificial hemoglobin to convert the oxygen in water into air.

    Some colleges, like Kennesaw State University in Georgia, aggressively recruit homeschoolers….

    John Cloud and Jodie Morse,
    “Home Sweet School,”
    TIME, August 27, 2001

    The number of homeschooled children has tripled over the past decade. Those in the first wave have graduated, gone to college and entered the workforce, and now employers are getting their first glimpse of what homeschoolers can do. Anecdotal reports show that homeschoolers are thriving. Long before they get their first full-time jobs, many have accrued years of experience through apprenticeships, part-time employment or work in their own enterprises or in their families’ businesses.

    “They’re well-versed in basic business principles,” says Gary Knowles, professor of adult education at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Knowles, who as studied home educated adults, says, “There’s a sense that if they want to do something, they can. They have discipline to either run their own business or become quite focused employees.”

    HR Magazine, December 4, 2001

    [/indent]I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Homeschoolers are doing great, and now they’re getting an opportunity to prove it. I’d much rather have my sons leave high school with an education and prepared for life, than knowing how to throw a really good party.

    #200314

    beth

    Winston Churchill was sent to Harrow, an English boarding school from early childhood, and graduated from there to go to Sandhurst Military College. Similarly, C.S. Lewis was sent to an English boarding school from his home in Dublin at the age of ten. A year later, he went to another English boarding school, before subsequently graduating and attending Oxford university.

    #200325

    bellerd

    It is true, there are some who only experienced a few years of home education. Churchill entered Harrow at the age of 14, after being privately taught for 4 years by a Misses Thomson, in Brighton. Up until the age of 10, when his father and brother died, C.S. Lewis was being educated at home. Still, this was only a small sampling of well-known figures. Here are some more:

    [url="http://www.home4schoolgear.com/famoushomeschooler.html"]http://www.home4schoolgear.com/famoushomeschooler.html[/url]
    [url="http://www.knowledgehouse.info/famous.html"]http://www.knowledgehouse.info/famous.html[/url][url="http://users.safeaccess.com/olsen/famous.html"][/url]

    Homeschooling does not have to be structured like a public school to be considered “school”. Any education that takes place in the home or with the parents can be termed “homeschooling”. It can even be supplemental and in addition to public school. My 9 yr old son has a friend from Germany, who spends his Saturdays at home practicing his German, learning German cooking, learning German traditions, etc. I would consider this to be homeschooling.

    My children were not thriving in the public school system. My 12 yr old son was actually afraid to go to school each day because of physical bullying that was taking place on the bus and in the hallways. The school said there wasn’t much they could do. My 9 yr old disliked school because he was so bored, even though they were both in gifted/talented programs. It’s not “cool” to want to learn, which my children learned the hard way.

    In the end, each parent has to do what he or she feels is right for their family. This is a decision I did not come to lightly. I’ve read many books, done a lot of research, and have been praying in earnest since March. It is a decision I feel God has led me to for my children’s sake. It’s not for everyone, and it’s a personal decision, just like whether or not to marry, family size, faith, etc.

    #200332

    babydawn

    Bellerd, I think it is great that you want and can homeschool. I personally don’t have the motivation to keep up with what it would take, plus, I feel we live an area where the school system, although not perfect, is pretty decent. I haven’t had the problems you have had or others on this board have had with public schools. I think that some children will do better in a homeschooled enviroment, especially the kind you are talking about where your children will be involved with other children still. I think that no two children are the same, they don’t all learn the same, they don’t respond to dicipline the same, they don’t think the same, so why would everyone say that they all HAVE to be in order to be successful in life. I have one brother in particular who was doing very poorly in school, he was very board, and at the legal age to drop out, he did. He is now in a nuclear physics program and has been offered many internships because of his intelligence and understanding of physics, something that many of us don’t even comprehend, and yet he was a high school drop out. He had 0 interest in homeschooling at that point and I don’t know that my mother, having 11 children would have been able to (he is the 3rd from the oldest). I feel bad because half of your posts I feel like you feel like you have to defend yourself for this decision you have made in what you feel is in the best interest of your children. I don’t think you need to. No one has the right to tell you how to raise your children, hopefully they don’t. No one knows your kids, or knows your circumstances and therefore, no one should judge. I think homeschooling gets a bad rap because there are types of parents out there who homeschool, do not allow their children around other children, so their children really don’t get sociallized, or there are parents that say they are going to and do well for a couple of weeks and then drop the ball (that would be me). However, you don’t seem to fit either of these criteria. You seem to be truely dedicated to your children and I commend you for that. I have read studies about homeschooling and have found similar results, that it can, for the right type of families, be a very successful venture. Good luck to you.

    #200336

    beth

    [QUOTE=bellerd]It is true, there are some who only experienced a few years of home education. Churchill entered Harrow at the age of 14, after being privately taught for 4 years by a Misses Thomson, in Brighton. Up until the age of 10, when his father and brother died, C.S. Lewis was being educated at home. Still, this was only a small sampling of well-known figures. Here are some more:

    [url="http://www.home4schoolgear.com/famoushomeschooler.html"]http://www.home4schoolgear.com/famoushomeschooler.html[/url]
    [url="http://www.knowledgehouse.info/famous.html"]http://www.knowledgehouse.info/famous.html[/url]

    Homeschooling does not have to be structured like a public school to be considered “school”. Any education that takes place in the home or with the parents can be termed “homeschooling”. It can even be supplemental and in addition to public school. My 9 yr old son has a friend from Germany, who spends his Saturdays at home practicing his German, learning German cooking, learning German traditions, etc. I would consider this to be homeschooling.

    My children were not thriving in the public school system. My 12 yr old son was actually afraid to go to school each day because of physical bullying that was taking place on the bus and in the hallways. The school said there wasn’t much they could do. My 9 yr old disliked school because he was so bored, even though they were both in gifted/talented programs. It’s not “cool” to want to learn, which my children learned the hard way.

    In the end, each parent has to do what he or she feels is right for their family. This is a decision I did not come to lightly. I’ve read many books, done a lot of research, and have been praying in earnest since March. It is a decision I feel God has led me to for my children’s sake. It’s not for everyone, and it’s a personal decision, just like whether or not to marry, family size, faith, etc.[/QUOTE]

    I’m not sure where your information is from regarding the schooling of famous people but C.S. Lewis was sent to boarding school after his mother died. His father was very much alive, as was his brother, who accompanied him! In the case of Churchill, prior to going to Harrow, he went to Ascot school at seven, then changed to the Brunswick Hove Prep School for the intervening years before Harrow. All three schools were elite boarding schools typical of those to which the English aristocracy routinely sent their sons. By contrast, Prince Charles was definitely homeschooled by tutors until adolescence, when he went to the Gordonstoun School at the request of his father who wanted to “make a man of him!”

    #200339

    babydawn

    Beth and Bellerd, your debate has encouraged me to do a little research on my own. I just searched online encyclopedias, but from what I found, C.S. Lewis was homeschooled, one said until he went to college, the other said until he was 10 when his mother died. Winston Churchill, however, neither encyclopedia mentioned any other schooling other than Harrow. They did both say however that Churchill did very poorly at Harrow, despite his intelligence.

    #200343

    bellerd

    Well, I certainly didn’t think the few innocent comments I made trying to give a positive image to homeschool would turn into all this! :) The original information was from Mary Pride’s Complete Guide To Getting Started in Homeschooling and from the websites I posted. Beth, after your post concerning the facts, I went to [url="http://www.cslewis.org"]www.cslewis.org[/url] to see what I could find. I misread the entry in his bio, it was actually his father’s father and brother which died when he was 10. Sorry for the misread. For the info on Winston Churchill, I went to [url="http://www.winstonchurchill.org"]www.winstonchurchill.org[/url]. Under the 1884 entry, it says he left St. George’s to be instructed by a Misses Thomson, but did not list a school affiliation, which led me to believe he was being instructed privately. I apologize for any facts which I listed incorrectly, I was going by published sources. I hope there isn’t any fault found with the other facts I listed. :o

    #200355

    hennypenny

    Here’s something that I found which is written in humour, but for me pretty much sums it up:

    Why Public Schooling Is Better Than Homeschooling

    Most parents were educated in the under-funded public school system, and so are not smart enough to homeschool their own children.

    Children who receive one-on-one homeschooling will learn more than others, giving them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is undemocratic.

    How can children learn to defend themselves unless they have to fight off bullies on a daily basis?

    Ridicule from other children is important to the socialization process.

    Children in public schools can get more practice “Just Saying No” to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

    Fluorescent lighting may have significant health benefits.

    Publicly asking permission to go to the bathroom teaches young people their place in society.

    The fashion industry depends upon the peer pressure that only public schools can generate.

    Public schools foster cultural literacy, passing on important traditions like the singing of “Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg…”

    Homeschooled children may not learn important office career skills, like how to sit still for six hours straight.

    #200610

    breharb25

    I was homeschooled from 4th grade on through highschool and I would never homeschool my children unless it was an absolute necessity. While it may be great for families that have three or four children, I was essentially an only child (my siblings were already out of the house by the time I was in school). Honestly, in certain social situations I feel extremely uncomfortable and I really have to talk myself into making appearances at gatherings and such. Even when I started college I was uncomfortable because I wasnt used to the setting. I believe that every child is different and for some it is a great experience and for others it turns them into a socially crippled adult. Are there any other adults out there that were homeschooled?

    #200663

    beth

    I had to homeschool my daughter in Year 9 due to an illness which lasted over twelve months. Although I had all the educational qualifications and experience necessary to teach her, and we get on together really well, I’m afraid I was no replacement for her social life at school which she missed badly. Academically, it certainly hasn’t affected her school progress, (in fact she learned lots that year!), but she’s a much happier person being well and back with the stimulation that only her peers can provide. I think if I had homeschooled her like you have been, and with her personality type, I think she too would have found it hard to get back into the mainstream of life. Thanks for sharing your experience of homeschooling!

    #200737

    lolo

    Wow! This subject has really struck a chord. I agree with babydawn. All children, and families for that matter, are different. I feel it takes a great deal more effort to deal with all the aspects of educating from academics to socialization when home schooling children and I would not have had what it takes to home school. I grew up as an Army brat and went to 11 schools in 12 years of education ( I did not attend kindergarten because there wasn’t one in South Carolina in the dark ages). There were five children in my family all with above average capabilities, not always applied. My younger brother, who is now a college professor, was diagnosed a genius at a very early age and at the time was quite a challenge for my Mom since there was no help for her to keep him interested and normal. He is as well rounded as any genius can be. My older brother became a recluse and has never married, my 2 sisters and I thrived on the travel and different school systems ranging from very low – to very high. My Mom deserves all of the credit because she kept herself informed of the schools’ requirements and our personal needs. We are all happy, healthy adults due to her involvement and efforts. My point is that each of us mothers need to look at our own capabilities and each of our children’s needs and make decisions that are best for our families.

    #201337

    cindyda1

    Hi, I know this thread is old..but i am new here and just saw it today..so i wanted to respond…i have 2 sons..and one is still in homeschool…it can be harder to keep them socially active, but if they like sports you can involve them in the ymca programs and other local recreation facilities..depending on their age there are lots of “free” activities in the community in most places that they can get involved in…

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