Question about Homeschooling and Socialization

by L.
(Canada)

Hi, I am thinking about homeschooling this coming School season..

The concern I have is lack of friendship. We live out in the country where there isn't really any children for my kids to get to know.. I worry about once they enter the work world someday how this will affect them after being sheltered at home.

It could be a rude awakening, but this last school yr has really bothered me/ the lack of interest I seen in the teachers/peer pressure.. Etc. I am torn up on what to do, mainly scared taking that step..


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Thanks for the question.

Wow - that is a massive jump from 'there are no playmates near' to 'they won't be able to function in the workplace'!! I am not surprised you are feeling nervous.

You know, spending 6 hours in a classroom with a bunch of other children doesn't make for friendships. It is a very artificial environment and one that I think does not prepare children well for the workplace.

Plus, I just don't think that you would let that happen. If they really regress and lose all their social skills - my guess is you would take charge and do something about it - even if that means sending them back to school.

I honestly think the socialization thing is a red-herring. I have ranted before about homeschooling and socialization. YOU live out in the country and yet I am sure you could still take a job. I bet you don't need to be with your friends all day for 5 days a week.

Children are no different to adults really. Some of them thrive in big groups and constant socialization. Others prefer a quieter life with occasional visits to close friends. Your job as a homeschooling mom would be to try to meet their needs as best you can. Make the effort to join a homeschool group (even if you can only travel there once a month or so). Try some clubs and activities you think your children would like. In some ways, even just going about your day to day activities will give your children a broader opportunity to socialize with all sorts of people in real environments.

My children have never been keen on clubs or groups. We see friends occasionally. Yes, I would say they are a bit shy and uncomfortable at first in a large group of children. But they are comfortable talking to adults, they aren't afraid to be themselves, and not afraid to take the initiative. I think their future employer will be lucky to have them (LOL! Proud Mom??)

Deciding to homeschool is a big decision and you are doing exactly the right thing in taking homeschooling and socialization seriously (and doing some worrying!). But it isn't an irreversible decision. You are not likely to completely ruin your children's lives in one term, or even one year.

If you think it is the right thing to do, why not try it and see how you all get on?

Comments for Question about Homeschooling and Socialization

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homeschooling in the country
by: Anonymous

We live in the country (after having lived in the city) and when we first moved out here I was concerned about meeting other homeschoolers (I thought I couldn't find any) - I was more than wrong. They are out there you just have too look a little harder.

You need to find a homeschooling support group in your area and if they get together for social time or field trips make the effort to go - even if it means traveling. Eventually you will meet homeschoolers who are also in your area (some may even live down the road and you don't even know it).

Chances are if you are having concerns with the current school situation there are others out there like you - who may have already chosen to homeschool you just don't know them yet. If you need help finding a support group in your area ask - it may take some time but your child will have friends - even out in the country.

Socialization
by: Anonymous

I'm a the oldest of six home-schooled children and I just finished college. (Now I'm a teacher--only teaching in the public schools until I have my own precious kiddos & then its home-school!!!)

We also lived out in the country and didn't always have tons of "socialization" opportunities. However, loneliness does have its benefits. We sought out the company of people who weren't in our "age-range." We were the only kids around who spent time with senior citizens. We are also known as the friendliest family at church--and the kids who don't just hang out with the youth group--we can have a conversation with anyone! :)

My youngest brother Chris is almost 15. He spends time with boys his age at church, but during the week he spends time with my grandpa, our neighbor boys--ages 3-7 and then doing yard work with a neighbor in his 30's. In many ways I have found that children in public school are less socialized. They often have a hard time conversing with people who aren't their age or interested in the same things...We never had this problem!!

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