Science for High School

The “Socialization Question”

The most frequent question that every homeschooled parent gets at least once at any adult gathering, after they discover that you homeschool your child/children, is something like, “aren’t you concerned that your child will not get enough socialization?” When I was posed this question, I would just smile at them before promising them that my children were not deprived. And, I want to assure reassure you, your child will get plenty of “socialization”. The person that poses this question may mean well, or is trying to start a conversation, or has seen stories of unsociable homeschoolers, but is really ill-informed. If anything, most new homeschooling parents tend to over socialize their children by taking their children on every area “field trip” or educational opportunity, just to make sure they are “socialized”.

If you are asked this question there is no need to get defensive. Assume the one who asks is truly concerned about your children. All you need to do is smile nicely and assure them that your child is very well socialized. You can confirm that your child gets together with other children when he ______ (participates in sports, plays an instrument, joins with others in a co-op, does an enrichment class, etc.).  Your child also gets to socialize with others in an even more diverse age group when he does functions with _____ (participates in a community drive, church outreach, etc.).  You, as a parent, give your child the opportunity and ability to interact with others, not only of others their own age but of varied ages, sex and religions.  This is true socialization.

My son, who was homeschooled, joined a public school football team at 8th grade.  During the beginning of the season, each player on the team had to speak into a microphone telling his name and position he played. My son did not flinch when it was his turn.  He spoke clearly and calmly.  This was in stark contrast to some others on his team who “ummed” and “ya-knowed” and some I could not understand what they were saying. I have found, for the most part, that those individuals that have been homeschooled can carry on a conversation with anyone of any age, and to be caring and considerate of the other person.  Most homeschoolers know how to be social!

I want to encourage you that you are doing a wonderful job with homeschooling your child/children.  You are there to help them learn to interact with others in a way you feel is best.  It is not easy, and it is 24/7, but it is worth your efforts!  Don’t give up or give in.  Your children need you.