socialize

Many people outside of the homeschool community are concerned about homeschoolers and socialization. The general assumption by many is that a child who is homeschooled does not know how to socialize and will lack socialization skills.

Tamra B. Orr states in her book A Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling the following:

“The ability to socialize well with others implies that you know how to talk with people of all ages, types and backgrounds; how to convey your thoughts clearly; how to have your own individual thoughts and opinions that you can comfortably share with others; and how to listen to the thoughts of others in turn.”

Many homeschoolers believe that their children are not peer dependent and/or pressured, as many school children are on a daily basis. Many homeschooling parents report that the type of socialization their children received at school is the exact reason why they have chosen to take their children out of the school system and homeschool them. In addition, many homeschooling families believe that homeschooling broadens their children’s social skills, as shown in this excerpt from A Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling.

“In homeschooling, children are truly out in that “real world” they hear about in school. They run on errands with their parents, go to church, join 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the YM/YWCA, interact with other homeschoolers in support groups, play and talk with neighborhood children, take volunteer jobs, play on a community sports team, visit neighbors and relatives and enroll in any variety of classes. They meet with people of all ages and types, and even a trip to the grocery store can turn into a social event.”

Reports have shown that many homeschoolers are very well socialized and most have a positive self-esteem. Reports show that homeschoolers tend to have a broader base of friends than other children as homeschoolers have friends of various ages, sexes and backgrounds and they do not confine themselves to one particular group.

What constitutes “socialization” varies from individual to individual. While one would say that homeschoolers are very well socialized, others would say that this is an impossibility as they are not able to interact with their peers on a day to day basis.