Our Life on Christ

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Socializing in Home School--Is it Possible?

Parenting Time Tuesdays

If one more person says, “Well your child needs to be socialized,” in response to me telling them that I home school, I think I’m going to scream. I know it’s going to happen so I think I will scream now. AAAGH!

What is “socialization,” anyway? According to Dictionary.com and Wikipedia, it is basically the process whereby an individual inherits norms, customs, and ideologies and acquires a personal identity. To me, the school system is no place for a person to be socialized. Some may say, “That’s the real world, though, things in the school system reflect the world when the kids get out of school.” Not true!

What real world situation would confine you to be around only people your age, from your neighborhood, and in your economic class? What real world setting would you find that you are given no real responsibilities, you are moved ahead even if your performance is subpar, and any discipline problem is rarely followed with appropriate consequences? Seriously think about it. What we now consider to be the traditional school setting is not preparing our children to excel in the workforce or in life.

After reading literature on the Home School Legal Defense Association site, I learned that children in schools are socialized “horizontally,” meaning that they conform to their immediate peer group. Homeschooled children are socialized “vertically,” toward adulthood, responsibility, and service. There have been hundreds of studies showing that homeschooled children are just as socially healthy as public and private school kids.

Usually it is found that children educated at home are more mature and better behaved! It makes sense. There are many kids in public and private schools that are misbehaved, immature, immoral, rebellious, and/or violent. These children are influential forces in the lives of other children. All schools are not full of these kinds of children but I cannot overlook the fact that there are many kids in attendance that fall into these categories.

What Social Values Children Learn in a Home School Environment?

Sharing: Because children are able to interact with children of various ages and adults, they learn about sharing from people who actually share with them, as opposed to trying to force someone their own age (who also struggles with sharing) to share.

Communication: Children are usually surrounded by older siblings, other older children, their parents, and other adults. They can build a stronger vocabulary and are better able to express themselves when they consistently speak with people who communicate at a higher level.

Responsibility: Since children are in the home for a good portion of each day, they are almost thrown into helping around the house and with younger siblings. Kids learn the value of completing activities that are assigned to them and taking responsibility for their actions (or inactions).

Service: Many homeschooled kids are involved in community service projects with their families or with their extra curricular groups. They have a greater opportunity to serve because they are not restricted to only serve after school or on the weekends.

Work Ethic: Unlike kids who advance from grade to grade almost regardless of whether they deserve to or not, children who are educated at home learn that they must work and learn to get what they want.

Ways to Get Home School Children Involved in Activities

Children who are educated outside of the school system can enjoy extra curricular activities despite the fact that they are not enrolled in their district school. Here is a list of various groups that will allow your child to interact with other children:

Girl scouts and boy scouts
• Sports programs like  Upward
• Park and recreational activities
• Church groups
• Supplemental classes especially for home schoolers like the ones offered at Mable House in Georgia
• Volunteer opportunities
• Some schools will also allow home school kids to enroll in after school clubs and sports, check with your local school

Homeschooling Works for Us

There are never any absolutes in life so I am in no way saying that all school-taught children are immoral and misbehaved while all home-educated kids are responsible and mature. There are an innumerable amount of great children that attend schools outside of their homes, I know plenty. Home schooling my children works for me, though, and I plan to do it for years.

Do you know any home school kids? Do you find that they are socially awkward or pretty normal?


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erika Santiago, Anji Mabon. Anji Mabon said: Socializing in home school...is it possible? My experience: http://ow.ly/3hrrt [...]

  2. Great post Anji! These are all wonderful insights about the benefits of homeschool.
    You know how much I believe in homeschooling-even as a former public school teacher. Actually, I've taught both public and private school. I've found that while private, Christian school can also provide an excellent education and social environment, nothing compares to the one-on-one that is available in the homeschool classroom.
    And I give the same response to the question of socialization. It's an annoying question, but one I understand. I had the same concern before I began homeschooling myself. Then as I looked around at the influences and relationships my children were forming in the traditional school environment, I realized that they were not quality connections, and were with children I barely knew, and whose values I either didn't know or didn't respect. Homeschooling allows you to form a community with families you know, and can spend quality time with.

  3. I remember the first time I met a homeschool family I felt the same way: the kids are going to be socially awkward, not have any friends, and just be plain weird. It is SO not true, though. I understand why people ask but knowing the reason doesn't stop me from getting irritated! :-)

    I love that with homeschool I get to really know the kids that my child is friends with and I know what their foundation is. I am so glad that you and Erika talked me into homeschooling!

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Salena M. and Anji Mabon, Anji Mabon. Anji Mabon said: Socializing in home school...is it possible? My experience: http://ow.ly/3hrET [...]

  5. [...] way to socialize a person but I wrote about my experience in a previous post. You can read it here. I am able to have more control over who my child is around and, therefore, am able to have a bit [...]