Socialization
"But what about socialization?" So the typical question goes to anyone who homeschools. Find out what socialization means to homeschooling families and strategies to engage your children and your entire family in social activities and connections.
"But What About Socialization?"
What’s the Point of Socialization?
Socialization is a pretty hot topic for those in the homeschooling circles. Many of us are asked how we socialize our kids, how our kids will know how to interact with others, and other questions that really go to the root of how our children will be able to function well in society. Now, the big question is whether each person needs to go to a school setting in order to be socialized.
It's a Myth That School is Good for Socialization
Parents who have their kids in school often say they have them there because of socialization. It's absurd that homeschoolers talk to people of all ages, all day long, and kids in school have to listen to a teacher all day long. It's just not even a contest: homeschooling is better for socialization because parents value it so much and schools don't.
Special Ed: Factory-Like Schooling May Soon Be a Thing of the Past
Britton Manasco, writing for Reason Magazine, looks at the advantages of homeschooling, along with some interesting facets of home education. Discusses the benefits of encouraging independent thought and decentralized learning practices. The article also takes a look at the state of today's classrooms and the limitations of traditional notions of education. There is also a discussion of the use of technology in the homeschool environment and how this relates to the issue of socialization.
Socialization During the High School Years
Socialization issues change during the teen years. But homeschooling still gives families the freedom to do their own thing. Take a look at how this homeschooling family handles questions about the prom, boyfriends, and sleeping in.
What Is Socialization Anyway?
Many people seem to think that homeschool kids are all socially backward and sheltered. They feel that they need to be properly socialized or they won’t be able to function in the real world. And by properly socialized, they mean exposed to large groups of children their own age for 8+ hours per day so they can learn to act like the average child their age. Their question makes be wonder “What is socialization anyway?”
Home-Schooling: Socialization not a problem
One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack “socialization.” It’s a challenge that reaches right to the heart of home-schooling, because if a child isn’t properly socialized, how will that child be able to contribute to society? Home-school families across the nation knew criticisms about adequate socialization were ill-founded — they had the evidence right in their own homes. In part to address this question from a research perspective, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned a study in 2003 titled “Homeschooling Grows Up,” conducted by Mr. Ray, to discover how home-schoolers were faring as adults. The news was good for home-schooling. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.
Solving the Socialization Dilemma
All children need socialization, including homeschoolers. Interestingly, the definition of the word “socialize” is “to make social; especially, to fit or train for a social environment”. The difference for homeschooling families is in how we choose to provide training that for them.
Homeschool Confession: I Don't Want My Boys to be "Socialized"
Socialization is all about conforming--to societal demands, attitudes, styles, values, beliefs, and ways of dressing, acting, and thinking. Socialization’s very aim is to break us from any and all individuality, so that we can better integrate into the system–even if it’s a broken system. But by not conforming to this dynamic--not teaching them to conform--you can teach them to be in the world in a more natural way.
Socializing the Sanguine Child
Dianna Kennedy shares the socialization adventures of her sanguine daughter. There are so many ways to get out and enjoy others and the world. 
Smart Socialization for Homeschoolers
Why do homeschoolers hear socialization questions more than any others? In fact, very few of them are home long enough to be unsocialized! Who made the rule that socialization is only acceptable if it involves a large group of same-aged children randomly thrown together on a daily basis in a place we call public school? Homeschooling offers diverse and amble opportunities for socialization. 
Socialization is a Bunch of Malarkey
Most folks who ask about socialization mean well. They are not plotting against us, but they are uninformed. But modern socialization in schools is not natural or desired. The best response is one that offers a gentle attempt to enlighten questioners about the wonderful world of homeschooling. 
Homeschooling Benefits: Children less preoccupied with peer acceptance
Most people who have never met a homeschooling family imagine that the kids are socially isolated. But some new research by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute suggests otherwise. Indeed, Ray's research helps to explain why the number of homeschoolers in America continues to grow. Ray reports the typical homeschooled child is involved in 5.2 social activities outside the home each week. These activities include afternoon and weekend programs with conventionally schooled kids, such as ballet classes, Little League teams, Scout troops, church groups and neighborhood play. They include midday field trips and cooperative learning programs organized by groups of homeschooling families. For example, some Washington, D.C., families run a homeschool drama troupe that performs at a local dinner theater. So, what most distinguishes a homeschooler's social life from that of a conventionally schooled child? Ray says homeschooled children tend to interact more with people of different ages.
Homeschooling and the Myth of Socialization
A homeschooling father discusses how homeschooling reinforces positive socialization and some of the dangers of public school socialization.
Homeschooling Socialization for the Shy Ones
Sometimes, socializing is hard work, especially for those of us who have a shy kid—and if statistics are accurate, nearly half of Americans call themselves “shy.” For those of us homeschooling introverted kids, there is a temptation to just let it go. It would be so much easier to just stay at home, curled up on the couch, than to watch our shy kid suffer or to feel compelled to make apologies for our shy kid. This article offers strategies and ideas about how to have homeschooling success with a quiet introverted child. 
50 Comebacks for Homeschooling Naysayers

This collection of funny quips will help you answer that age-old question, "What about socialization?" "How can you know what to teach?" "Is this legal?" and more. 

The Myth of Socialization
If socializing is a problem for homeschool families, it is rare. The homeschool socialization myth is a misconception perpetrated by people who know little or nothing of the benefits or facts. Some parents believed they would be breaking the law by not sending their children to public school. Unfortunately, there are movements in some states to pass such laws. But as of yet, it is still lawful to homeschool. Most states require documentation, which is reasonable. Other states are lax. Homeschooling as a movement is growing, and that is a very good thing. According to NHERI, the higher quality of homeschooling is not affected at all by whether or not the parent is a certified teacher, or by any state regulations.
What About Socialization?
Friends or relatives who’ve heard of your homeschooling plans may have already asked, “But what about socialization?” If you’re thinking about homeschooling, you might have even wondered this yourself. This continues to be one of the most commonly asked questions of homeschooling parents, despite decades of academic research and anecdotal evidence showing that homeschooled children are generally significantly better “socialized” than their institutionally-schooled counterparts. Each family will answer the question differently, but here’s some food for thought as you form your own views on socialization.
Socialization: A Great Reason Not to Go to School
This "Learn in Freedom" article provides research supporting the positive socialization homeschooled children receive. Discusses research supporting the conclusion that homeschooled children have higher levels of self-esteem and communication skills, and fewer behavioral problems, than other children.
Are Your Children Socialized?
Homeschoolers are concerned with the hearts of our children. One mom shares her busy family's life and how they interact with each other and the world.
Homeschooling: Why Socialization Matters
After the growth of homeschooling, it is surprising that the question of socialization is still common today. But socialization matters. Homeschooling provides more opportunities for socialization than traditional school.
Resources
Homeschool and Socialization

People are now realizing that homeschooling offers great socialization benefits. This article takes a look at what socialization actually is and how it is achieved so well by homeschooled children. 

Home School Socialization

Many parents who home school their children are questioned about socialization. What is socialization exactly? This article looks at this questions and offers lots of advice about how to get children involved in the world around them and with other people. 

Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization

Virtually all homeschooling parents will hear the question at some point ... What about socialization? It is a puzzling question to homeschoolers, as the term itself has various meanings. This well-documented paper by Richard G. Medlin takes a look at this question and concludes that homeschooled children certainly are not isolated. In fact, they associate with and feel close to many types of people. Their socialization skills are very good and they demonstrate good self-esteem, confidence, and resiliency. 

Why Homeschooling is Great for Socialization

Homeschooling offers many social benefits, including exposure to a wide range of people, more time spent with adults, avoidance of bullies, and an opportunity to encounter real-life situations. If you're considering homeschooling, don't let the myths about socialization hold you back. It really is a great way to grow up. 

Dear Naysayers, Your Socialization Argument Doesn't Hold Water Anymore (And It Never Did)

Socialization is often the first thing that enters into people's minds when they think about homeschooling. Why is that? Well, there are stereotypes that feed into the idea that homeschoolers are shut in and isolated. But the reality of homeschooling today is just the opposite of this. This article breaks down the myths of socialization with reasoned responses. 

Why I Don't Worry About My Homeschoolers' Socialization

Arguably, the number one question homeschoolers get is, "What about socialization?" From this side of the fence, it is a non-issue. Our homeschooled children get ample chances to interact with others. 

But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature
This book by Dr. Susan A. McDowell  uses research, statistics, and the experiences of homeschooling families to answer questions and counter myths about homeschooling and socialization. Read through a discussion of the multiple meanings of socialization, what parents, leaders, and children have to say about the issue, and what the research shows. 
Homeschool Socialization: Providing Social Settings for Your Child

This article details some ways to foster a rich environment of social interactions that help enable healthy emotional development for our children. 

Homeschooled Kids Are Socially Awkward - Homeschool Myth #2

The world tells us that school is the only place children can learn socialization skills and that homeschoolers are sheltering their children. But neither of those are correct. Avoidance of the public school system is not avoidance of society, and homeschooled children capitalize on all the opportunities available to them.

Is Homeschooling Anti-Social?

Accusations fly freely about how homeschooling socially isolates students from the outside world.  Meanwhile, homeschool advocates contest this claim as a myth and counter that the social scene, and social teachings, at local schools are so toxic their fumes could fuel the entire homeschool movement. Homeschooling offers freedom for students to engage more deeply and in more kinds of community than they could in a typical school. It is not fair to assume that homeschooling is detrimental to a child social development. Homeschooling is, in fact, proving to be for many families, the perfect solution to the social ills that permeate our schools. 

Featured Resources

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