Are you hesitant to homeschool because you’re worried about socialization? More often than not, when I tell someone that my family homeschools their first question is, “What about socialization?”It’s a common misconception that homeschoolers are unsocialized and the socialization question is frequently asked.
I decided to ask a few fellow homeschooling moms what they thought about socialization and I’d like to share some of their answers. I think it’s important to note that only you can decide what’s right for your family. That may be homeschool, public school, or something else. There’s certainly pros and cons to each. But if you decide to homeschool, you might just realize that you don’t need to worry about the socialization aspect.
What about socialization?
“Between church activities, family gatherings, field trips including going overseas, meeting people at the grocery store and library, school co-op, swimming lessons, and soccer practice, we don’t have time to be unsocial.”- Future.Flying.Saucers
“Socialization is one of the reasons we chose TO homeschool. We want our children socialized by multi-age groups in natural settings rather than in single-age classroom groups. Now, since getting into homeschooling, we sometimes think we should call our family “not-home-schoolers” because we are so often out and about engaging with children and adults in the community. From day-to-day errands, to homeschool co-ops and gatherings, to public events, to faith-based initiatives, to enrichment and sports activities, our children are immersed in social opportunities — learning the ins and outs of interacting in diverse situations with all different types (and ages!) of folks.”- Martianne of Training Happy Hearts
“I always laugh at that question, like we’re going to keep our kids in a cave and never let them out to play. My kids routinely get together with kids from church, they participate in sports, and scouting, and have friends over. In all of that, how are they not socialized?”- Ticia from Adventures In Mommydom
“Children do not actually have much time to socialize in school, during my student teaching (for my MA) I saw kids lose recess for talking, have silent lunch time because they were too loud, etc… As homeschoolers, my children are involved in co-op and other learning classes, gymnastics, swimming, church and we have regular play dates. My son’s birthday is coming up and we had a very hard time narrowing down the invite list down to 12 kids. My son is able to make friends in every circumstance, no matter where we go. Socialization is not an issue! Homeschooling has become so mainstream that there are so many opportunities to spend time with others, and the added benefit is that it is in a more relaxed and ‘real life’ setting. ‘Real life’ is not a classroom.”- Jen from Chestnut Grove Academy
“I don’t focus on ‘socialization’. Instead I encourage and facilitate friendships. Throwing a large group of same aged children into a classroom where their time is constantly micromanaged by someone else is *not* a situation conducive to developing personal and meaningful friendships. Focus on relationships and connection, not pack mentality style socialization.”- Rebecca from Down a Rabbit Trail
“I just got back from a weekend of seven soccer games, two playdates, one sleepover, and am heading into a week of practices, co-op classes, and ‘study groups’. I WISH we were more unsocialized — I’m exhausted!”-Nicole from Schooling in the Sun
Does your family homeschool? What about socialization?