The Truth about Homeschooling and Socialization
Homeschooling and Socialization: It's a homeschooling hot button, and a topic people love to debate.
Does homeschooling hinder your child socially?
I could sit here and tell you that I never worry about socialization, but I'd be lying.
The truth is, I think about it often.
I want the boys to be able to build friendships, connect with peers, and grow in their ability to work well with others. What parent doesn't?
But, I can tell you first hand that where your child goes to school has nothing to do with these skills.
The only relationships that really matter at this stage in the game are the relationships that our children learn and build at home.
Everything begins at home.
Home is where our children learn morals, values, and faith. It's where they build character, learn to handle conflict, and give and receive love.
A home shapes a child and I believe that the relationships we're building with our children at home are more important than any other relationship in any other building.
Society tells us we have to get our kids out there early. We're busy looking for elite preschools, the best sports teams, and perfect play dates. We feel the pressure to teach our kids to survive "out there" in the real world, get along with people they don't like, and be the face in a crowd.
What's the rush?
I don't think enough homeschooling parents come right out and admit that they know their children really don't get the same amount of socialization as some other kids might. We offer up a quick rebuttal by saying, "We're very active with our homeschool group.", and move on. But the truth is: I know my kids don't get the same type of socialization as public school kids and I like that way!
My boys aren't a face in the crowd.
They're not learning to deal with bullies, picking up the latest curse words, or struggling to fit in. They're not busy worrying about what the world tells them to be, they're just busy being themselves.
Has being homeschooled affected my children socially?
In fact, I think my boys may even be a little "behind" on the social scale of the world and that's fine by me.
My oldest will be fifteen in just one week. I'm not worried about his friends, the circles he runs in, or the influence others have on him. I don't worry over his whereabouts, ban his choice in music, or have nightmares about his girlfriends.
The truth is, he hasn't formed his circle yet and I'm so thankful for the extra time. I know those years are coming soon, but I'm in no hurry. The good news is, neither is he. Homeschooling has given him time to build his confidence and learn who he is before the world boxes him into a category.
My youngest is eight, He's probably a little more timid about trying new things and meeting new people than he might have been had he been in public school all these years. He stays close to home and close to mom. He's more attached than I think he would be otherwise, but what's the harm in that? He'll spread his wings and balance out in his own time.
They both will.
Not because the world tells them they need more socialization, but because they're ready.
So, do I think homeschooling has set my kids back socially?
And I couldn't be happier about it!
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