Homeschooling Socialization


I don’t’ remember where I found this article; probably in one of the home schooling books I read way back when I started. I must have liked it enough to keep it this long! 🙂 I hope it gives you inspiration and courage to answer those questions that always seem to crop up about socialization.

Written by Mary Gardner

The most frequently asked question I receive as a homeschooling parent concerns the aspect of socialization. There seems to be a widespread fear in the public sector that any child in the process of being homeschooled could not possibly be socialized. there seems to be a common belief among parents and educators alike that socialization connotes a general meaning of “learning how to get along in this world by getting along with thirty other children of the same age in a small classroom.”

A great deal of research has been done on the whole issue of socialization, and evidence points toward the contrary. As Dr. David Elkind points out in his book, The Hurried Child, “With respect to children,…the family is a school of human relations in which children learn to live within a society.”

Dr. Raymond Moore has explored the topic of socialization in his book, Better Late Than Early,and concludes: “One of the most common fears victimizing parents is that if the young child does not have a variety of socializing experiences out of his home, he will not develop well socially.” Dr. Moore goes on to ask, “What kind of socialization should they have? Do we want them simply to make many acquaintances? Or do we expect them to develop concern and consideration for others and respect for older people? What do we really mean by ‘getting along’? Are these values really best developed in a crowded situation, where a child has relatively little attention from an adult whom he can use as a pattern? Or will he find more identity of the right kind in a home where his parents can respond to him on a consistent, warm, and constructive basis throughout the day?”

After reading and researching homeschooling for the past four years, I am firmly convinced that my children are becoming much better prepared to be contributing members of our society by being schooled at home. Each child needs upressured time to develop a strong sense of self-worth. My husband and I both feel that our being strong, positive adult models for our children greatly aids in this building self-esteem. Our children are not facing classrooms of thirty other children in which they must compete for a position of acceptance by their peers. They do not have to bend to negative forms of behavior in order to be liked by other children. Neither do they have to compete for a few daily moments of the teacher’s attention.

Dr. Moore’s comments in Better Late Than Earlysummarize this same concept: “The child who remains at home with a mother and shares the tasks of the home appears to develop self-respect and a sense of responsibility and values not shared by the child who started school earlier. These values, in turn, seem to bring with them a certain social and emotional stability that is difficult otherwise to achieve.”

Dr. Moore also points out in his book, Home Grown Kids,that children “experience the highest quality of play with warm responsible parents who also enjoy holding and reading to them, and who allow children them time alone to work out their own fantasies and to rest. Such children feel needed, wanted, and depended upon. They sense that they are integral parts in the family corporation. This feeling of belongingness and of the privilege of helping brings a sound sense of self-worth and altruism which are the crucial foundation stones of positive sociability.”

Dr. James Dobson states in his book, Hide or Seek, that “the building of self-esteem in your child in one responsibility which cannot be delegated to others. The task is too difficult and too personal to be handled in group situations. Without your commitment and support, Junior is on his own against formidable foes. With few exceptions, our materialistic society is not going to reinforce healthy self-concepts in your children, and if these desirable attitudes are to be construed–only you can do it. No one else will care enough to make the necessary investment.”

I can see just such positive traits being developed in my children. Their senses of self-worth are beautiful to see unfolding. We certainly do not cloister our children in our home. We provide many experiences for them to get to know this world and its people better. They also have a great love for all ages of people. From tiny babies to elderly citizens, my children feel comfortable with all ages. This, in my opinion, is being truly socialized.