If you homeschool, it’s likely that you’ve heard the dreaded “S” word. That’s right- socialization. There are a lot of myths going around about homeschoolers and socialization. Silly things like, “How do homeschooled children make friends?” Here are five myths about homeschoolers and socialization, and we’re going to bust them all.
I was not a homeschool kid. In fact, I knew very few homeschoolers growing up. I attended public school and all of my friends were public schoolers. We went to school with some weird kids. For a good chunk of my life, I was considered one of those weirdos. Because of that, it’s pretty likely that my kids will be weird, too. But, it’s not because they’re homeschoolers. It’s because they were blessed with my DNA.
So, where does this socialization myth come from?
1. Homeschooled kids are anti-social introverts
I would say my kids are the opposite of antisocial. Is there such a thing as overly social? Because that would fit them well. There are certainly some homeschool children who are introverts and really enjoy their alone time. However, I still see these shy, quiet kids join right in with the gang when we’re together. You see, whether you are a homeschooler or attend a brick and mortar school isn’t going to cause you to be an introvert or extrovert, weird or popular. Your own personality is going to shine through no matter what kind of school you attend.
2. Kids need to be grouped together with others their age to make friends
Wherever we go and whatever we are doing, my kids will find another kid and they will makes friends with them. It doesn’t matter their age. It doesn’t matter their gender. Shoot, sometimes they will make friends with adults!
Kids don’t need to be grouped together with others their same age to make friends. My very favorite thing about getting together with other homeschoolers is that such a wide age range all play together. You will see older kids playing with the babies and toddlers. You’ll see seven and eight year olds running around with the thirteen year olds.
Sure, if your group of homeschool friends is big enough, you’re going to see some of the boys run off with other boys, and some of the girls run off with other girls, but I’ve been commended on how well my kids play with other several times by all different groups of people, and I totally attribute this to homeschooling.
3. Homeschool children spend too much time at home
We have the exact opposite problem. My current dilemma I’m having this week is finding time to actually be home! Most homeschoolers spend a lot of time outside of their home in extra curricular activities, in homeschool co-ops, and in other homeschool groups. Our community has a homeschool science class, a homeschool 4H group, a homeschool co-op, a homeschool karate class, a formal homeschool group, and an informal homeschool park day group.
If we wanted to, we could easily book ourselves up so much that there would be no time to do school! There are so many opportunities for homeschoolers to be outside of their homes. And no one said school has to happen in the house, either. Don’t let the title “homeschool” mislead you! I often see homeschoolers doing work at coffee shops and at parks. We’re also big fans of carschooling on our way to one of our many activities…outside of the house. And, I just realized, I didn’t even mention field trips!
4. Kids need to have authority figures other than their parents
In case you couldn’t tell from #3, my kids are very involved. Being involved in extracurricular activities means that they have other authority figures outside of myself and their father. They have amazing authority figures, and one of my favorites is through their karate class. Not only is their instructor someone they can look up to, but martial arts classes have a strong focus on respecting authority. Trust me, they did not learn to say “Yes, ma’am” from this yankee mom.
5. Kids need to learn how to deal with bullies
To this I say, I beg to differ. I see so many people posting on social media about anti-bullying campaigns. If we’re trying to teach kids to NOT bully each other, then why on earth would an argument against homeschooling be that kids need to be bullied?! Children don’t need to be bullied to learn resiliency. They don’t need bad experiences to know how to deal with difficult people. Plenty of opportunities will come along in life for homeschoolers to learn these things naturally.
When it comes to socialization, homeschoolers aren’t missing out. If anything, I’m confident that homeschooling is giving my kiddos an opportunity to become social, well rounded individuals. And that’s a fact.
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