Are you a homeschool family? If so, you have probably heard the question, “But what about socialization?” The notorious socialization question, for most homeschoolers, is an amusing one. The mainstream perception suggests that homeschool students are an antisocial bunch, whittling away the hours at their kitchen table with only parents for friends. But homeschoolers will tell you themselves that socialization, or the “S-word,” as some call it, isn’t an issue.
So lets take a look at the top 3 benefits of homeschool socialization.
- Homeschoolers can socialize with people of any age. Contrary to the popular misconception that homeschoolers are social misfits, the majority of homeschooled students are actually social butterflies; interacting with younger kids, peers, adults, and even the elderly. Dianne Flynn Keith, Founder and Editor of Homefires.com, claims “Socialization is actually meant to prepare children for the real world, which means learning to interact and deal with people of all ages, races, and backgrounds.” According to Flynn, and many families as well, “…homeschooling actually does a better job of introducing socialization because homeschoolers spend more actual time out in society.”
- Homeschoolers spend more time in their community. According to Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization by Richard G. Medlin, “Home-schooled children are taking part in the daily routines of their communities. They are certainly not isolated; in fact, they associate with–and feel close to–all sorts of people.” Families who homeschool know this is true, and many take credit for their children’s long-term social development because they actively encourage them to take advantage of social opportunities outside the family. Most families who homeschool do so in an effort to see their children acquire the appropriate belief systems and positive behaviors that are required for being active and engaged members of their community. In addition, homeschooled students generally have good self-esteem and are less likely to display behavior problems than children who attend public schools.
- Homeschoolers tend to have fewer behavioral problems. Psychotherapist Dr. Larry Shyers compared behaviors and social development test scores between two groups of children between the ages of eight and ten. One group included homeschool students and the other group included students who attended both public and private schools. The results? There were no significant differences in social development between the homeschoolers and their public or private school peers. Furthermore, the home-schooled children had consistently fewer behavioral problems. Interestingly, the study concluded that home-schooled children behave better because they tend to imitate their parents while public and private schooled children imitate their peers. Shyers states, “The results seem to show that a child’s social development depends more on adult contact and less on contact with other children as previously thought.”
Because homeschoolers spend more time in their community socializing with all age groups and races, they tend to be more prepared for life in the real world after school. Want to learn about ways you can encourage the best socialization for your kids? Follow us and stay tuned for our next homeschool socialization article!