Homeschooling and Socialization
The socialisation argument has been thrown at homeschoolers for a long time. If your child doesn't go to school it won't be socialized.
Time and again we hear this myth perpetuated. It is time to bash it on the head once and for all!
Warning : This is the 'rant' page. If you would like a more calm and helpful viewpoint, then please see my homeschool socialization page!
|Homeschooling and Socialization|
Socialization is generally the first thing people think of when they hear I home educate.
They aren't worried about my child's education, or career prospects - they are worried about my child being 'social'.
(The irony of this being that they have normally stopped to chat to us and already had a conversation with my children during which my children have been polite and ahem, sociable).
What does socialization mean, exactly?
|Websters definition of Socialization : the process by which a human being, beginning at infancy, acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training for adult status.
Dictionary.com on Socialization : 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.
TheFreeDictionary : Socialize
1. To place under government or group ownership or control.
2. To make fit for companionship with others; make sociable.
3. To convert or adapt to the needs of society.
So, nothing about being able to play in a large group with other children exactly the same age.
Firstly we have :
acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society
Where are you going to best learn the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society? Locked in an institution for most of the day? Or out and about in said society.
Homeschooled children are not hidden away. They are out and about, in society, interacting and learning about that society. Homeschooling and socialization actually fit together very well.
an individual acquires a personal identity
A personal identity? Like the other 30 children in their class? One of the big things about school is that you must learn to fit in. Being different is a BIG no no. Your personal identity in school is to be as much as possible like everyone else.
learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
Homeschooling on the other hand does allow children to acquire a personal identity. Time and again I hear home-educated children saying that one of the best things about homeschooling is that they 'can be themselves'. (See homeschooling: the advantages and disadvantages where I interview some young homeschoolers).
Ok, glossing over the bit about social position (otherwise there would be a second rant here!) - I would again argue that the last place you want your child to learn 'norms, behavior and social skills' is from a classroom of kids. The new Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) says
"while bad behaviour by students in the classroom disrupts lessons in three schools out of five"
"Aside from classroom disturbances, other factors hindering instruction included student absenteeism (46%), students turning up late for class (39%), profanity and swearing (37%), and intimidation or verbal abuse of other students (35%)."
Nice! Think I will avoid that then.
I am not even going to dignify FreeDictionary.com's definition. To place under government or group ownership or control?
Oh yes - I really want that for my child.
I know that really people aren't thinking about the true definition of socialization when they ask about homeschooling and socialization.
They are thinking of children skipping in a playground with their best friend.
They think my children are missing out on this idyll. They probably are.
But what a shame that children that go to school will probably miss it too.
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Homeschooling and Socialization