Critics of homeschooling often choose a single disadvantage when citing this type of program’s inferiority to public or private schooling-socialization. How can children who do not interact daily with others outside of the family learn the social skills necessary for introduction into an adult world? Socialization is a huge obstacle for parents to overcome when they choose to provide a homeschool education for their children, and this facet of learning cannot be overlooked as parent-teachers are preparing lessons in math, reading, and the sciences.
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In response to the article above I have received the following reply:
I appreciate your site. I arrived at it by doing some browsing of chicken raising, but as we home school, I couldn’t resist checking your thoughts on the subject.
In your article, I came across your statement:
“Socialization is a huge obstacle for parents to overcome when they choose to provide a homeschool education for their children, and this facet of learning cannot be overlooked as parent-teachers are preparing lessons in math, reading, and the sciences.”
Without being contentious, I have to disagree that socialization for home educated children is any greater an obstacle than the “proper” socialization of children under other educational models. There are a many valid replies to the nay-saying opponents of home education, but in an attempt to address both issues with one response, I offer the following:
Someone contending that home schooling puts children at a disadvantage socially, is making two assertions, neither of which is legitimate. The first is that public and private education, (where children are grouped in greater student to teacher ratios with others of like age) will develop ONLY persons who will be contributing, patriotic, law-abiding citizens, void of ANY psychological, educational, and/or “abnormal” (read outside the current “worldview”) traits. The second assertion is that home education ONLY produces persons who will not possess the aforementioned traits. Both of these claims fail when observing the results of public/private education as well as those of homeschooled children.
Sure, I will grant that there are many fine young men and women that are the product of public school. Additionally, there are some homeschooled children who do not fit the characteristics mentioned above. That isn’t the claim of those who attack socialization of homeschooled youth. The public/private institution does not guarantee good citizens, nor does homeschooling prevent it. Where do all the deviants, criminals, self indulgent, perverse and wayward come from? They must be the homeschooled group. No, actually they are not. In fact, as we move toward relativism, postmodernism and individual rights, while removing accountability, morality and absolute truths, any social behavior becomes acceptable and it is considered “audacious” to call anything wrong. So really, the claim is self refuting, but to a greater degree, we see that the normalization of deviance is what the “institutional” school advocates really wants. Unacceptable behavior becomes normal and anyone holding fast to “old fashioned” beliefs and teaching children to challenge the current worldviews, develop convictions about life issues and believe in absolute and objective moral truth and law given by an absolute moral Law Giver are label antisocial or lacking socialization.
Just Google “school problems”and you will see the challenges facing our public education system. Ironically, teachers and administrators are all pleading from the classrooms for more parent involvement. Take away all the gun, drug, overcrowding, underfunding problems and the school will still be lacking parental involvement. No child stands a chance against the pressures of today’s world without a loving parent devoted to instilling a sense of purpose, responsibility, accountability and values. “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
My goal in this is to encourage you to see that you don’t have to worry about socialization. When you teach your child to think critically, see the value in others and themselves, respect the world we are stewards over, and act responsibly as participating member of society; they may stand out from the crowd, but isn’t that the better way?
May God continue to bless your work.
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
P.S. I hope I didn’t give you the impression that you were attacking homeschooling. I appreciate that you are giving it a forum for discussion on your website and believe you are addressing valid questions regarding the home school option. Having heard many coworkers bring the same socialization charge against home school, I realize that they believe public/private school does give an advantage. In fact, being military, I have seen a real and legitimate bias against recruiting homeschooled children because they believe they are “disadvantaged” socially. Thanks for the reply and if you believe it helps shed light on the discussion, feel free to add my comments.