One of the most common questions parents of homeschooled children are asked about is “how will the kids socialize with the outer world?” The main thing that parents should understand is that homeschooled children are not kept out of society; they are receiving their schooling in simply a different way than peers of their own age. Usually, homeschooled kids are enrolled by their parents in activities outside of the house such as dance, music or foreign languages. Since parents of homeschooled kids are more concerned about their socialization, they take their children on more field trips and offer them additional educational opportunities compared to traditional schools. Instead, homeschooled students are seen to have more socialization opportunities than the students in schools because they get more opportunities to interact in diverse situations with a wide variety of people.
As defined by Merriam Webster, “Socialization is 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.” The reason for quoting this definition here is to explain that there is no obligation stating that the only way to obtain an education is through attending public schools. With that being said, generations ago, many of our forefathers were educated at home. In addition, some of the famous people that were homeschooled include; Thomas Edison, William F. Buckley, Jr., LeAnn Rimes, Ansel Adams and Abraham Lincoln.
Why is there such negativity regarding the socialization issue of homeschooled students?
The answer is not as complex as it may seem; the public in general doesn’t does not have awareness about the teaching methods behind homeschooling. Due to lack of knowledge, mistrust has arisen against homeschooling. The basic principle of homeschool teaching methods is to engage students in activities outside of a classroom so they may be able to explore the world to the fullest extent. Creative ideas and individuality are valued in this environment. Educators also question homeschool methods for not using tests or competitive learning, but that doesn’t promote children to be anti-social or uncompetitive. Instead, homeschooled children have frequently won the National Geographic Bee and the Scripps National Spelling Bee competitions.
What gave homeschooling a bad reputation?
Before the 1960s, homeschooling was a way of protecting children that had an issue with learning or mental problems. So, instead of institutionalizing the kids and let them get harassed at school, many parents simply kept their children at home and educated them through homeschooling. Due to this reason, the current day notion has shaped people’s thinking that homeschooled children are anti-social or unable to function outside their homes.
Another reason behind the bad reputation of homeschooling is the media, which portrays that kids who learn in their home environment are anti-social. However, with homeschooled children winning more competitions and being more confident, it is only a matter of time before parents understand what a gem homeschooling is.
Today, several resources are available for parents and tutors to help them stay abreast of the current trends, information and resources available for homeschooling. They can also find publications specializing in meeting the needs of homeschool families. Lastly, if managed wisely, homeschooled children can show better results at learning and other activities. They do not lag at all in any direction compared to the students receiving education in public schools.