“What About Socialization?” – Are Homeschoolers Deprived?
Chances are if you have contemplated homeschooling, then someone has said to you “what about socialization.”
Amusing isn’t it?
Apparently there is a myth that all homeschoolers and their families are reclusive and never have the opportunity, much less the need, for human interaction.
I have never met one of those families, have you?
The majority of homeschool families, for that matter most families, are involved in an array of out-of-the-home events. Religious youth groups, football, baseball, ballet, cheerleading practices, scouts, etc. There are neighborhood children, family, and homeschool cooperative gatherings for homeschoolers to be involved in as well.
There is a fear for homeschoolers that this is not enough.
The following is from an article that I found through Oak Meadow Homeschool Curriculum by Lawrence and Bonnie Williams:
“Research indicates that homeschooled children are not being deprived socially. In a nationwide study, Dr. Wesley Taylor of Andrews University found that homeschooled children scored significantly higher than their conventionally-schooled peers on a measure of self-concept, which is generally considered to reflect socialization. Dr. Taylor concluded that the socialization issue “favors homeschoolers over the conventionally-schooled population.”
“In another study, Dr. Delahooke from the California School of Professional Psychology, using a standard personality measure, compared two groups of children: a home school group and a matched private school group. Dr. Delahooke determined that “the private school subjects appeared to be more influenced by or concerned with peers than the home-educated group.”
“The results of these studies suggest that home schooling improves a child’s self-concept and helps children develop the ability to withstand peer pressure. Both of these outcomes are indications of positive socialization experiences.”
So, where are we lacking?
Consistently homeschoolers score well above state standards on tests, are able to easily interact with their peers as well as adults, and still maintain good self esteem.
I see the concern.
Socialization is the one thing that critics think that they have pinpointed as the fallacy of homeschooling. I am homeschooling an only child. With outside homeschool classes, sports, etc. he never has a dull moment. There is too much opportunity available for anyone to believe that homeschoolers are somehow left behind when it comes to socialization.
Socialization occurs with peers, small children, elderly, and business people all on a daily basis for a homeschooler.
As I write this it is 8:00 p.m. and my son has a homeschool class at church tomorrow. He is on the phone with some friends from the church now.
If only there was a way for homeschoolers to socialize. (sigh.)