Why I’m Not Worried About Homeschool Socialization

Many potential home educators worry about socialization when they hear others objecting to their homeschooling plans, saying, ‘Aren’t you worried your kids won’t be socialized if they don’t go to school?’ Unfortunately, our society too often sees socialization with peers as the only true way to learn decent social skills. Parents don’t count. But, is that a load of rubbish?

In this article we’ll talk about the following:

  • the arguments about socialization and the myths
  • the importance of socialization in child development
  •  are peers or parents the best teachers of socialization?
  • where homeschoolers are socialized

Let’s get started!

 

The Arguments and Homeschooling Myths

Many people believe we need to have our children learning social skills from each other at very young ages; otherwise, our children will fail in their social life when they’re older.
Social development is tied to many other parts of your baby’s overall development, which is why it’s important to start socialization with other children at a young age. Social interaction helps young children to start to develop their sense of self, and also start to learn what others expect from them. Sending your child to a preschool or child care center can give them the social interaction that they need with children their age, and help them reach other developmental milestones. 
Rubbish! There’s absolutely no evidence for this. In fact, it seems we think too much about the importance of socialization in schools and not enough of the importance of socialization at home with parents.
Sure, there are definitely consequences if you don’t socialize your kids (i.e. a noseful of BO or a blank stare when it’s not socially acceptable), but there are worse consequences of involving them in peer groups which teach them many more worse things (drug and alcohol use & premature sexual activity are just some of the disadvantages).

Many parents are worried about if their child will be #unsocialized if they homeschool. But that seems to be a myth, and I want to tell you why! #homeschoolsocialization

 

What is the Importance of Socialization in Child Development

Of course, socialization is incredibly important for child development. If you don’t get it, you could get:

  • depressed and have less empathy
  • lose your sense of reality (think of solitary confinement) and
  • a decreased ability to learn

As a child, lack of socialization causes brain changes. Life Science said this:

They found that early institutionalization changed both the structure and the function of the brain. Any time spent in an institution shrunk the volume of gray matter, or brain cell bodies, in the brain. Kids who stayed in the orphanages instead of going to foster care also had less white matter, or the fat-covered tracts between brain cell bodies, than kids who, at a young age, moved in with families…children of nurturing mothers had hippocampus volumes 10 percent larger than children whose mothers were not as nurturing.

So, socialization is definitely important for child development – but, who says socialization only goes on in a school or preschool? In fact, we should be asking the question, ‘Is school taking away the time we might spend socializing our own children?’

 

So you're saying I've been worried about socialization for nothing? Homeschool mom. #homeschoolmeme

 

Myth: ‘Socialization Only Happens in School’

Many believe socialization only happens when kids are put in daycare or enrolled in school. This is manifestly untrue and is a lie making stay-at-home moms, who love their kids, feel like they’re bad moms for wanting to homeschool their children or put them into school later.

The lie that ‘socialization only happens in school’ has led to a lot of heartaches where parents prematurely break bonds with their children which is painful for all involved and damaging to a child’s emotional development!

Some people say school makes a child more resilient. But, this is also incorrect because resilience means the child grows stronger and moves on. That is, the definition of resilience is to ‘withstand and recover quickly from difficult situations’. However, many kids simply scar and move on, carrying emotional wounds from leaving parents too early.

Why I'm Not Worried About #Homeschool Socialization #homeschoolsocialization

 

Where Homeschoolers are Socialized

Most kids at home, including homeschoolers, get social interaction from so many different places. Homeschoolers get social interaction from their:
  • parents,
  • relatives
  • church
  • neighbors
  • community
  • sports teams
  • art lessons,
  • dance lessons, writing lessons and,
  • music lessons
Homeschoolers socialize a lot. The evidence says they do a few activities each week, as they develop their social skills and learn how to behave appropriately in society.

Conclusion

While it’s definitely valid to ask about the importance of socialization in child development, we need to stop thinking socialization doesn’t occur outside daycare or school. We need to start respecting the role of family, community, and religious organizations. The latter social groups are great ways to socialize our children. If you’re a homeschool mom, don’t let others bamboozle you by suggesting you’re not socializing your kids if you’re homeschooling them.
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Rebecca Devitt
Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.
Articles: 187

2 Comments

  1. I definitely agree with the post! I have a four-year-old who is in pre-K and I’m starting to sense that God is putting it on my heart to homeschool her long term. Before I put her in school, she had no trouble socializing with other kids. She played at the local park, at church events, and with my neighbor’s daughter. She gets tantrums occasionally, but this is normal and with loving discipline, she’ll be okay. My family contends that she is shy because she needs to be around other kids at school and that there is too much togetherness between my daughter and I. This saddens me and I noticed how my daughter’s mood is when I pick her up at school. I don’t see the excitement on her face, even though she talks about how she likes school. But in my heart I know something isn’t quite right about her time there. She has had accidents there on a regular basis. I believe that our society is trying to separate young children from their parents at earlier ages and it’s not necessary in my opinion.

    • Thanks for your comment Thea.
      My parents had the same struggle. They noticed we were really sunny, happy little kids before we went to school. Then, they said, we changed dramatically. No longer were we happy and content, but we were on edge and quite nervous. (I started behaving really badly, including stealing things from the local supermarket when I was five…I stole Barbie dolls because I was desperate to fit in with my peers who seemed so cool with their dolls).
      When they began homeschooling us, they said this all changed and we became happy and content again.
      My brother was always quieter at school, but he came out of his shell more when he was homeschooled. I think the ‘shy thing’ is often a result of personality more than the educational methods used. If you’re naturally shy, school or homeschool won’t bring about a change necessarily.
      My friend also used to vomit constantly at school as she was so nervous. All this stopped when she was homeschooled. I’ll link her interview here. It talks about a few things you mention in your comment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOMstQCObsE&t=78s (sorry it’s in five parts!!!)

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