Home-educated children generally socialize with other children the same way that school children do: outside of school, via personal visits and through sports teams, clubs, and religious groups etc.
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Copyright 2006 Matt Weight
Rubbish I hear you say? I couldn’t agree more. I find it quite amusing that “scholars” and the media treat the home schooled child and parent this way. The number one argument against homeschooling is the buzz word of “socialization” in other words the lack of social interaction with others through schooling.
This is easily avoided by joining numerous organizations, including, independent study programs and specialized enrichment groups for physical education, art, music, and debate. Most are also active in community groups by learning through doing. Home-educated children generally socialize with other children the same way that school children do: outside of school, via personal visits and through sports teams, clubs, and religious groups etc.
Most home education parents have often argued that their alternative actually enhances the student’s “socialization”. They argue that the school years are the only time in a person’s life that he or she will be artificially segregated into chronologically-determined groups. They say that home educated children have a more normal interaction with people of all ages. This will result in more influence on the child from adults, and less from other children, leading to more mature young citizens while still keeping friends and interacting with children of the same age.
In 1999 a statement from the National Education Association that, “home schooling cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience”. It is funny then that earlier this month shows home-schooled students are actually more socially and academically advanced than their peers. Patrick Basham from Cato Institute and author of the study says one of the greatest quotes ever (and relates to my confronting headline) “aren’t surprising in intellectual terms, but it does turn the major anecdotal opposition to home schooling – that it produces social retards – on its head.” “Almost one quarter of home-schooled students perform one or more grades above their age level peers in public and private schools,” said Basham. Indeed, the study cited findings that by Grade 8, the average home-schooled student performs four grade levels above the national average.
According to the study’s findings, the typical home-schooled child is more mature, friendly, happy, thoughtful, competent, and better socialized than students in public or private schools and less peer dependent and exhibit “significantly higher” self-esteem, according to the study.
Where is this socialization the government school crowd always promotes as a reason for not home schooling? The latest blurb is that home schooled kids, even though possibly better educated, just can’t be socialized in a home school setting. Once again the difference between theory and practice is showing just the opposite. Socially, home schoolers socialize in soccer comps, football comps, special events, ski trips, astronomy clubs, church groups, on the internet etc. So please, help me find this lack of socialization among home schoolers so we can stamp it out and stop depriving them of this most important asset?. What do you think?