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Socialization is the top concern of so many well-meaning friends and family.
Are you surrounded with loved ones that question your home school ambition for this reason? This socialization “issue”, I’m sure has killed more homeschooling dreams than any statistic or curriculum concern about public school…
Most home school parents go the extra mile to make sure that their kids are building social skills, but it really isn’t necessary to fret about this issue- socialization is a natural human behavior, a NEED. Your kids are already inclined to interact with other people in their environment…
In my case in-particular, I don’t utilize childcare like many other parents, meaning my kids go EVERYWHERE I go-
This means that they interact with people from ALL age groups, demographic, economic background, religion and so forth. And they interact with all these different people in various public and private settings.
They have become accustomed to modifying their behavior based on the location, time of day, and individual(s) they are around!
The kids are not limited to spending all day, every day with children of their same age and interests. They are not limited in their environment to a single classroom, and the feedback they receive from others is not filtered through a “kid glove” approach.
They are however, placed into a variety of different social settings on a regular basis.
The kids are learning to adapt to “real world” social situations so they are prepared to easily navigate interpersonal relationships and social expectations.
This makes sense, but when confronting your family members about this issue, you’ll likely need more than common-sense socialization argument to support you in your home school endeavor…
Here is a study I find particularly useful for those that question the social well-being of home schooled kids. Click here to download…
This study examined the socialization of home-schooled students compared to their traditionally-schooled counterparts using three separate perspectives- parents, objective observers, and the children themselves.
The Stetson study used a widely accepted measure of social development, (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales) to examine the social competency of home schooled students.
The results will shock you…
Home schooled children received higher scores on all social skills sub scales- cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, and self control, compared to their traditionally schooled counterparts.
Simultaneously, home schooled students ranked lower on the “problem behavior” sub scale than traditionally-schooled children. So much so, that in fact another study was cited in the findings- (Shyers 1992a, 1992b) which concluded that traditionally schooled children had more than eight times more problem behaviors than their home schooled counterparts!
Shyers described the traditionally schooled children as “aggressive, loud, and competitive”. In contrast, the home schooled children acted in “friendly, positive ways”.
He noted that they introduced themselves, initiated conversation, cooperated with others, invited uninvolved children to join them in play, took turns, and even “exchanged phone numbers and addresses for future contact.”
In a world where we associate so much of our success to our contacts, and ability to effectively network… It’s completely understandable that we would value social fluency above other skills…
In my research, I venture to say that home schooled students have a social advantage over their traditionally schooled peers!
My highest hope for you is that this information brings you closer to your resolution to give your children the education they deserve!
As parents, I realize it is SO EASY to let criticism from others rule your parenting choices! From pediatricians to our mommy friends, to our families and cultural norms- There are so many influences that persuade our decisions as parents.
I am thrilled to report that Homeschooling is catching on BIG TIME in recent years in the US! As parents, we still enjoy the freedom to make critical decisions about our children’s health and education.
Listen to your inner voice when it comes to your kids. Don’t ever be afraid to take a different path!
The home school community is HUGE,
and we welcome you with open arms! We have so many resources today to bring education home- to be a part of our kiddos ongoing learning and design a school experience that is truly tailored for their individual needs!
Please keep in touch- I’d love to get feedback on some of the educational tools I implement for my home school, as well as join you in YOUR journey- whatever path you’ve chosen!
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SINCERELY YOURS, Breezy