I have found that there are a lot of articles on how to respond to people about socialization when it comes to homeschooling. While helpful, I find most lacking. I will preface this blog by saying that I loved school as a child and young adult. I also never wished I was homeschooled. Looking back I am well aware that my parents were not equipped to handle such a challenging task. What I want to talk about here is what people really mean when they bring up the socialization question.
An institutional product myself, I can see how people who went through a system, and most have, question the social aspect of homeschooling. When we were in school, we didn’t spend a great deal of time socializing in any classes that were taught classically. Teachers would teach pupils who sat in their desks quietly taking notes while answering questions from the teachers and occasionally having the chance to ask a few. Instead our social experience was through a quantity of time with a group of our peers. We got to know them through how they responded when being called upon and how they interacted with others during and between classes. Even if they weren’t our friends we had a good idea of who these people were.
We also got to know our peers through our interactions in after school activities like clubs and sports. Because these activities were less formal, this was when we got to form more lasting friendships with people we had much in common with. It was here that we were more likely to find our true friends and create our social life outside of school time.
Coming from this perspective, those that raise the question “What about socialization?” do have a valid concern. However, the only reason that this question is valid is simply because they either have no exposure to what homeschooling is about or their knowledge has been acquired through bad examples, set by even worse parents. As homeschooling parents, I believe the ONLY way to answer these concerns, that will satisfy the person that asked, is not by giving obscure examples and statistics put forth in homeschooling articles that are intended to help us, but by giving a very general question a very specific answer. Everyone’s answers will be as different as how they homeschool.
The intent behind their question is usually to find out how YOU are doing it, not how every other homeschooling family does it. I believe it makes homeschoolers look suspicious when we give unspecific answers. People want to find out how the quantity of time they spent around a set group of kids at school can translate to a homeschool situation. They aren’t questioning whether or not institutional “socialization” is right or wrong. They just don’t understand how homeschooling works or they wouldn’t have asked the question in the first place.
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
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This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.