Homeschooling and ME

But  your children won't be socialized!

 

Hands down, this is the most common comment made to homeschoolers about homeschooling!  So, let's address it!  Although my answer does not represent all homeschoolers, it definitely is applicable to our family and to many whom we associate in the homeschooling community.

 

Short Answer: 

In our family we personally choose to socialize our children to have the greatest possibility of reaching their potential by choosing values, norms and behavior consistent with our religious and family culture and to be comfortably conversant with peoples of all race, gender, age and socioeconomic background. 

 

Detailed Answer:

First of all, with any vocabulary you are using, it is important to understand the meaning of it, and consequently the meaning of what you are saying or trying to convey. Interestingly, the actual words "socialized" or "socialization" are not found anywhere in the Webster's 1828 or 1913 dictionaries.  Therefore, such words and concepts are of modern origin. 

 

The modern definition of the word "socialization" reads as follows:

 

A continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social  skills appropriate to his or her social  position.

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialization

 

Whether a person is homeschooled, private schooled, charter schooled, public schooled, or given no school at all, they will be socialized in one way or another! Over time each child will acquire a personal identity, learn social norms, values, behaviors and social skills according to their social position. 

 

Therefore, in cadence with the true definition of the word "socialization", a more appropriate question to ask would be, What kind of socialization will you be implementing in your homeschooling? 

 

Now, that's a question I can answer.

 

In our family we personally choose to socialize our children to have the greatest possibility of reaching their potential by choosing values, norms and behavior consistent with our religious and family culture and to be comfortably conversant with peoples of all race, gender, age and socioeconomic background. 

 

Because I have found that in the "real world" I personally live in, I do not only socialize with people of the same general age, in the same neighborhood, and with same socio-economic background 5 days a week, 6 hours a day for 9 months out of the year, I have found that the current educational options available to my children are not compatible with my goals of socialization for my children.   I have chosen homeschooling as a more efficient path for socialization to achieve our personal family goals.

 

With that said, I do not believe it is necessarily impossible to achieve the level of socialization I desire for my children in the "real world" through other educational systems in our community.  However, it would be a lot more difficult, challenging, time consuming and would take much more work to do so!  Therefore, we have chosen what we view to be an easier and more efficient path for our family.

 

The path we use for socialization is immersion.  The world is literally our campus; we are out in the world nearly everyday.  (We always joke that as "homeschoolers" we sure aren't "home" very much!)  We enjoy visiting the needy, serving at the community food pantry, frequenting places of interest like museums, tide pools, businesses, family homes, church, scouting programs, art classes, music lessons, sport leagues, and more.  Each of these venues requires my children to interact on a consistent basis with those of different ages, cultures, socioeconomic status, etc...which is completely in-line with our family goals. 

 

This path of socialization allows us to complete our educational, socialization, family, and even religious goals all in one fail swoop.  Time-saving.  Efficient.  Effective. 

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