"Socialization" and Homeschooling


#1

Jumping off another thread, can someone give me a list of good responses to the objection that homeschooled kids miss out on “socialization”?

I have several negative ones, but please note that some are reserved only for extremely cases. I need some nicer ones.

[LIST=1]
*]And you trust the ***government ***to socialize your children? :eek:
*]Twelve years of training in total obedience to absolute authority under irrational zero-tolerance rules in an age-segregated environment is socialization? Maybe if your destiny is a cubicle on the 34th floor of glass box downtown.
*]I’m not going to let someone else raise my children.
*]Ever have an intelligent conversation with a teenager socialized ***your ***way? Yeah me neither.
*]You mean the rest of the family and the other kids in the neighborhood and other homeschooling families in the area and homeschooling-organized team sports aren’t just as good as 10 hours a day of socialization that you really have no control over?
*]Were you socializing your kid when you got divorced?
*]If socialization is so important to you then why don’t you pull Bryttanie out of St Wealthius Academy and send her to Diversity High? Or are you afraid of getting carjacked?
[/LIST]


#2

“The only time in our lives when we’re segregated by age is in school. We’d like to create a more ‘real-world’ socialization scenario. That’s just us, though; we know not everyone thinks that way.”

“Our family has people of various ages, our parish has people of various ages, and the larger community has people of various ages, so we’d prefer to have the kids ‘socialized’ this way, instead of in school. It just makes more sense to us, to keep up with the continuity of how the rest of the world interacts.”

“When you think about it, they don’t really get much ‘socialization’ during the school day, since everyone sits at their own desk most of the time. The only time they have to really ‘socialize’ is recess.”

“We were severely bullied as children. We do not think it’s beneficial to segregate children by age, since bullying seems to be a greater problem among same-age peer groups. At least, in our experience, it was this way.”

“Despite not spending as much time in large groups of same-age peers as most kids, our kids still manage to play well with others.”


#3

How about, “Umm, I thought kids get ***punished ***for socializing - at least that’s how it was when I was a kid.”


#4

I don’t know if this is much of a “come-back” but my thinking on the issue is that if homeschoolers are missing out on socialization then people really must have been screwed up 150 years ago before children spent 13 years of their lives in a school with several 100 kids at a time. The school systems we have now really are a “new” thing for humanity…almost like an experiment of it’s own or something. And I’d say the experiment may be going bad if you look at the things teens and young adults are doing with their time.


#5

I don’t have a come back, but I do have a testimony!

I home schooled for 14 years…started in 1990. Those were the days when everyone thought you were nuts to do it.

There were hardly any textbook companies out there that would even let us purchase books.

All my husband and I knew was that the Lord was calling us to do it. In the end that was the thing I shared with people. I had no other answer BUT that because all the great support books hadn’t been written yet ! :slight_smile:

My children are now in their 20’s and we couldn’t be more proud of them. Almost once a month I get a call from one of them thanking me for all the hard work, tears laughs and great times. No one thought we’d make it. One had a full academic scholarship another finished on the dean’s list last year. Many people who have met them through the years have told me they are two of the most socially adjusted kids you’d ever want to meet.

I didn’t have a clue how to answer people .I just kept doing what I was called to do because on the mornings I was frustrated and looking out the window wishing I could put my kids on the yellow school bus too …it was God’s grace that got me through. No body but Jesus was there to validate me.

God bless you on your call to home school.

Pax+


#6

[quote="masondoggy, post:4, topic:210463"]
I don't know if this is much of a "come-back" but my thinking on the issue is that if homeschoolers are missing out on socialization then people really must have been screwed up 150 years ago before children spent 13 years of their lives in a school with several 100 kids at a time. The school systems we have now really are a "new" thing for humanity...almost like an experiment of it's own or something. And I'd say the experiment may be going bad if you look at the things teens and young adults are doing with their time.

[/quote]

Well said. The "issue" of socialization is probably the worst argument against homeschooling considering the pressure by peers to use alcohol, drugs, and get involved in relationships before you're ready. I wouldn't want my kids socializing with just any school kids until they were old enough to make honest, responsible decisions.

When used as an argument, "socialization" really means "indoctrination." How else are the kids going to hear about the wonders and joys of birth control, drugs, premarital sex, and bullying!

The best kind of socializing is the kind you get from good friends when you're involved in good activities, not just anyone at school.

[quote="underhismercy, post:5, topic:210463"]
I don't have a come back, but I do have a testimony!

I home schooled for 14 years..started in 1990. Those were the days when everyone thought you were nuts to do it.

There were hardly any textbook companies out there that would even let us purchase books.

All my husband and I knew was that the Lord was calling us to do it. In the end that was the thing I shared with people. I had no other answer BUT that because all the great support books hadn't been written yet ! :)

My children are now in their 20's and we couldn't be more proud of them. Almost once a month I get a call from one of them thanking me for all the hard work, tears laughs and great times. No one thought we'd make it. One had a full academic scholarship another finished on the dean's list last year. Many people who have met them through the years have told me they are two of the most socially adjusted kids you'd ever want to meet.

I didn't have a clue how to answer people .I just kept doing what I was called to do because on the mornings I was frustrated and looking out the window wishing I could put my kids on the yellow school bus too ..it was God's grace that got me through. No body but Jesus was there to validate me.

God bless you on your call to home school.

Pax+

[/quote]

I love to hear stories like these. :) It gives new homeschooling parents hope for their own kids.


#7

After eight years of home education, I suggest you do something along the lines of smiling nicely, perhaps making a comment on how your children have opportunities to socialize, then politely allow them to hold a different opinion from you and change the conversation.

You do not need other people’s validation of your children’s education choice. You do not need to convince them or make some witty comment that might leave them feeling bad or defensive about their education choice.

If someone wishes to discuss homeschooling in a non-threatening manner or learn more about it, then I am usually more than glad to discuss it. But frankly, unless the person you are discussing this with is your spouse, (presumably the child’s parent) someone else’s negative opinion of homeschooling is completely irrelevant to your homeschool.

Probably the absolute best response along the lines of what Underhismercy already mentioned. The best response is well-socialized, well-adjusted, socially-responsible adults who were the product of your homeschool.


#8

[quote="Apollos, post:1, topic:210463"]
Jumping off another thread, can someone give me a list of good responses to the objection that homeschooled kids miss out on "socialization"?

I have several negative ones, but please note that some are reserved only for extremely cases. I need some nicer ones.

[LIST=1]
]And you trust the *government *to socialize your children? :eek:
*]Twelve years of training in total obedience to absolute authority under irrational zero-tolerance rules in an age-segregated environment is socialization? Maybe if your destiny is a cubicle on the 34th floor of glass box downtown.
*]I'm not going to let someone else raise my children.
*]Ever have an intelligent conversation with a teenager socialized *
your **way? Yeah me neither.
*]You mean the rest of the family and the other kids in the neighborhood and other homeschooling families in the area and homeschooling-organized team sports aren't just as good as 10 hours a day of socialization that you really have no control over?
*]Were you socializing your kid when you got divorced?
*]If socialization is so important to you then why don't you pull Bryttanie out of St Wealthius Academy and send her to Diversity High? Or are you afraid of getting carjacked?
[/LIST]

[/quote]

I'm glad you realize that your responses are rude and judgemental. There are many wonderful teenagers in traditional schools (public and private/parochial). If you asked me whether I've ever had an intelligent conversation with a teenager socialized my way, I would say, "Yes, many times."

But you do seem to recognize that your responses are utterly unacceptable and I'm glad of that. If you give any of those responses, even to the "extreme" cases, you will hurt homeschooling rather than help it. Please don't homeschool your child to be arrogant and have a sense that he/she is better than everyone else.

Keep this in mind--unless you've actually been homeschooling a child and can speak from experience, you really CAN'T answer someone who asks you about socialization.

You can only cite experieces of others, but their experiences are not necessarily going to be your experiences.

So be humble and admit that you really don't know if homeschooling will provide adequate socialization for your child(ren).

Your critics have a valid point and the only way you can respond to them is, "Here's what I'm going to try, and in a few months, we'll evaluate the situation and see if the plan is working and our child(ren) is/are socialized. Check back with us then."

Don't be too quick to scoff at the concept of socialization. I was a highly intelligent child and teenager, but I will be the first to say that I don't get along well with people, I don't make friends easily, and I tend to get involved in controversies and usually end up in trouble over it. I wish I were better socialized.

In this day and age, a person's ability to get along with others and work as part of a team are vital skills.

On another thread in the Parenting section, I posted comments about homeschool co-ops. From what I have seen of homeschooling, these co-ops provide an excellent way for homeschooled children to be socialized. Perhaps you can inform your critics that you plan to get your child(ren) involved with homeschool co-ops.


#9

How about, “I’m too young to be a grandfather :smiley: did I smile nicely”?


#10

May I chime in without being flamed? :o

Honest, innocent discussion. :slight_smile:

I think many people have different interpretations of what “socialization” means. I truly believe homeschooled kids have plenty of opportunities to “socialize” with other children. I don’t think they’re isolated or unable to play with other children or any of that! :slight_smile:

I think the idea of homeschooling is that you desire to *control *their environment. That’s an individual parenting decision based on what works best for your family, and I totally respect that! :thumbsup:

However, my interpretation of “socialization” is not what I described above… that’s “socializing” (I know, I making up terms here, but just work with me :D)…
I view “socialization” as experiencing society - INCLUDING the good and bad aspects that kids will inevitably be exposed to.

I understand that many parents would have a hard time with this… that’s why homeschooling is a great option for you!

But, from a different parenting perspective - I WANT my kids to have these struggles. I WANT them to come home and have to work through challenging situations. For me, THAT’s part of my motivation for sending my kids to an away-school.
So I just view it as different parenting styles… one where “socialization” (aka, experiencing the good and bad aspects of real society) is part of the education process.

So, while I don’t know how other non-homeschoolers interpret “socialization”… I’m wondering if they may have similar as I do? Not so much from the perspective of spending time with other kids (aka “socializing”), but experiencing those challenges on their own as a matter of parenting style…

:o Don’t flame me… hope this explains a different point of view and why the questions may be asked in the first place. :slight_smile:


#11

Well, I myself was homeschooled after the 5th grade all the way through Senior year. I actually hated school, kids were mean. I was so happy when my parents decided to homeschool us. We had started going to a catholic parish where a lot of other homeschooling families went, I made a lot of friends. I had three other siblings, so we did things together as well. My brothers were in a homeschooling basketball team which played against other christian and catholic schools in the area. They actually won the National Basketball Championship one year. It does take a little more effort to make sure you socialize yourself, as a parent, so that your children may meet up and hang out with like minded families. All in all, socialization is just an excuse not to homeschool. IMO


#12

Anyway… what I meant to get at above (but lost track :p) is a way of answering the questions! :slight_smile:

I’d kindly reply with something like this:
My kids will be socialized through various activities and co-ops… but it’s our intention to avoid exposing our children to certain aspects of society… so in that regard we don’t want them socialized and exposed to those things. I understand some parents feel differently and that’s great… whatever works for them!

I think this would answer everyone’s questions respectfully without judging parenting styles… :thumbsup:


#13

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:10, topic:210463"]
May I chime in without being flamed? :o

Honest, innocent discussion. :)

I think many people have different interpretations of what "socialization" means. I truly believe homeschooled kids have plenty of opportunities to "socialize" with other children. I don't think they're isolated or unable to play with other children or any of that! :)

I think the idea of homeschooling is that you desire to *control *their environment. That's an individual parenting decision based on what works best for your family, and I totally respect that! :thumbsup:

However, my interpretation of "socialization" is not what I described above... that's "socializing" (I know, I making up terms here, but just work with me :D)...
I view "socialization" as *experiencing society* - INCLUDING the good and bad aspects that kids will inevitably be exposed to.

I understand that many parents would have a hard time with this... that's why homeschooling is a great option for you!

But, from a different parenting perspective - I WANT my kids to have these struggles. I WANT them to come home and have to work through challenging situations. For me, THAT's part of my motivation for sending my kids to an away-school.
So I just view it as different parenting styles... one where "socialization" (aka, experiencing the good and bad aspects of real society) is part of the education process.

So, while I don't know how other non-homeschoolers interpret "socialization"... I'm wondering if they may have similar as I do? Not so much from the perspective of spending time with other kids (aka "socializing"), but experiencing those challenges on their own as a matter of parenting style...

:o Don't flame me... hope this explains a different point of view and why the questions may be asked in the first place. :)

[/quote]

Hi Em--I'll try to type fast before anyone flames you. ;)

The family is the building block of society. Family life alone already offers* plently* of opportunity to struggle with sin and work through tough situations. Believe me, we are not a sin-free family. We *all *must struggle with sin and learn to get along with our fellow sinners. The only question is which sins and which sinners do we want to struggle with?

Many people mean "socializing" when they ask the "socialization question." I'm glad you recognize the difference. Side comments that might help you put this topic in perspecting. In my homeschool experience, those who are most likely to ask the "socialization" question in real life, mean opportunities to socialize. They tend to be the "social butterfly type" (who often don't strike me as people who aquirred a great deal of education from their schools.) One of my children is that "social-butterfly" type--and if he attended school, he'd likely spend the majority of the day chatting and distracting others, instead of doing his school work and aquirring an education at school.

Goodness, I hear one of those difficult situations developing as I type this. I better go. They are already home (because they never left), and I now get to work through the situation with them. Hey, and in the time that I spent re-viewing this post before hitting the submit button, it resolved without me! Yeah!


#14

EXACTLY! It’s just simply a difference of opinion in parenting styles…
Keep conversations with dissenters simple like that… you don’t have to defend your parenting style to anyone - it’s YOUR family! It’s not a competition… we’re just all unique in how we want to teach these vital lessons…
GOOD CATHOLICS can be raised in ANY schooling situation… you just have to go with what works for you! :slight_smile:

My point is that some of the suggested “come-backs” mentioned above only will fuel the fire of disagreements… there’s no need. :shrug:


#15

What I usually say is

We try to give our kids the exact same social experiences they would get in public schools. So every now and then, we drag them into the bathroom, beat them up and steal their lunch money:wink:


#16

It’s bunk.

Most home schooled kids are part of local groups. They get together.

Your Child and Home Schooling: The Socialization Issue


#17

:thumbsup:
I think answers that use comparisons to “prove” homeschooling socialization is “better” than other schooling socialization can be counter-productive. Each family has a unique situation, unique opportunities surrounding them, and different schooling options might be best for them. Trying to convince someone that homeschooling on its own isalways superior on the socialization front would not be correct because it isn’t true. Letting them know that you have found it to be best for your family, and maybe giving a few examples (extracurricular activities, coops, family etc.) would be a good way to let them know that you are aware of the need of this aspect in your children’s life (you aren’t ignoring/dismissing it like some people might think homeschoolers are doing) and are addressing it effectively.


#18

I find the OP’s lines a very typical homeschool defensive response to socilization issues. The proble with it is that it holds only very small truths, and is very much a generalization if you plan to use that kind of defense one should be prepared for the “creepy homeschoolers who can’t really read but get married at 15 and bake bread and wear home-made dresses and keep house” or “creepy homeschoolers who know academics but can’t cross the street” sort of responses.


#19

I like to say:
There are a lot of opportunities out there such as homeschooling co-ops and interacting with the world during school hours. We also participate in the same extra-curricular activities that building school kids do.
I also try to not exaggerate:
Socialization is more dependent on the parent. So for some parents, it is really easy, and for others it is more difficult. Socialization CAN be more difficult for me because it is all up to me. It’s not perfect (although neither is building school socialization). But the difficulties are currently far outweighed by the benefits of homeschooling, so I continue to work hard to provide my kids with the social opportunities that they want and need.


#20

[quote="Apollos, post:9, topic:210463"]
How about, "I'm too young to be a grandfather :D [size=1]did I smile nicely

[/quote]

"?

:rolleyes:

Is this how you'd respond if someone asked you a question about the Faith? My goodness i hope not, that kind of snarkiness and attitude isn't going to win anyone over, in fact you could send someone running from the Faith with an answer like that. Seeing as how your faith probably has a great influence on why you homeschool, why out out that kind of vibe about homeschoolers and Catholics?? How about just answering the question honestly? Coming from the other person's perspective, its a completely honestly curious question.

[/size]


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.