If I Were a Homeschool … {socialization and more}

This is the FOURTH post in a SERIES. We will have two more after this one. If you missed the previous discussions, follow these links to learn about our homeschool, how I plan, organize and motivate and tips and resources for field trips. Come back tomorrow for an author interview about literature clubs and then on Saturday we’ll talk about miscellaneous books and resources.

Homeschool socialization

I must confess: I don’t really have a plan today. I wanted to talk about socialization and all the ways I would keep my kids from being isolated. That is, if we homeschooled exclusively.

I was going to write it last night, but the kids and I spent the evening reading extra chapters of Narnia and pouring over pages of this cookbook while we planned our “end of book” party.

Zach cannot wait to see the movie, and Ellie is dying to know what Turkish Delight and “Sweet and Creamy Hot Vanilla” taste like. I can’t wait for the kids to get to the end of the book so we can talk about all the spiritual parallels and related doctrine. We’re all excited! It’s going to be FUN.

Yes, we read well past our bedtimes last night (Proof they really are my kids!), so by the time they got to bed and I got settled, I was too tired to write. I decided to write this morning … but I accidentally slept in.

Here it is, inching toward 10 am, and I have very little to offer you. On top of that, I’ve decided that socialization isn’t really a topic anyway.

Is socialization an issue for homeschoolers?

Everyone (especially those who do NOT homeschool) seems to get very hot and bothered over the topic of socialization, as if by keeping our family together all day long we’re denying our kids of some human right. I’m not sure what right that is … to suffer segregated learning and conformed development? (I thought we were fighting against peer pressure, not for it.) I don’t get it. I don’t see the issue.

If I were a full-time homeschooler, our lives would differ little from our summer breaks. Do kids — mine or anyone else’s — suddenly become social sloths in the summer? Hardly. They see their friends; they hang out with family; they do extra-curricular activities. All this would remain the same. The only difference would be what activities and when we do them.

As it is now, attending public school, my kids probably have fewer opportunities to socialize with friends than they would if we homeschooled. Why? Well, because school takes up 6 hours of every day. Add to that piano lessons, dance lessons, sports practices and games, church clubs and school homework … there’s not much time left to play with friends. If we homeschooled, we could eliminate the conflict of homework and piano lessons because those would be done long before my kids’ peers get out of school. They would actually have more time to hang out and “socialize.”

Like I said, I don’t see the issue. Furthermore, studies and statistics fail to reveal it.

The Facts About Homeschool

Below are a couple infographics that discuss socialization, among other factors of homeschoolers vs. public school students. Sources are listed at the end of each.

Remember these are statistics, which by nature show generalizations and averages. There are always exceptions. You can find uber-intelligent kids in homeschools and public schools. You can also find some who struggle tremendously in both. Regardless, this is interesting stuff.

Homeschool Domination

A look at the history, performance and outcomes of the American homeschooling movement.

Talk to me: What are your biggest concerns about homeschooling? What do you think are the greatest myths or misunderstandings about it?

Talk to me!

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