Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homeschooling and Socialization - The Great Debate!

Repost from 2006

Since I was raised in a "pioneer homeschooling" family, it has given me so many opportunities to observe, experience and debate the homeschooling vs. socialization issue. By far, it is the most criticized and worried about subject pertaining to homeschooling.

I have many, many articles on socialization with homeschoolers and the studies done by non-homeschoolers that prove that the outright majority of homeschoolers are getting more real-life socialization than their public school counterparts. For instance, homeschoolers are socialized VERTICALLY, rather than HORIZONTALLY. They socialize with their peers, as well as their 4 year old sibling and the 16 year old neighbor down the street. They can even successfully carry on a conversation (yes, an actual conversation) with an adult. Now, when any child reaches adult hood, will he be then socializing horizontally or vertically? Which is more practical for "real life?" After all, isn't "real life" what we're preparing our children for entering, whether homeschooled or otherwise? If so, homeschoolers are right on track! The horizontal socialization vs. vertical socialization is my favorite defense for homeschooling! I always have that one tucked away for my defense of my choice of education.

Some other good socialization points are as follows:

Research conducted by Michael Brady entitled Social Development in Traditionally Schooled and Homeschooled Children, a Case for Increased Parental Monitoring and Decreased Peer Interaction endorses this idea. Brady states, "There seems to be an overwhelming amount of evidence that children socialized in a peer-dominant environment are at higher risk for developing social maladjustment issues than those that are socialized in a parent monitored environment."

Research supports this. According to Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization by Richard G. Medlin, "Home-schooled children are taking part in the daily routines of their communities. They are certainly not isolated; in fact, they associate with--and feel close to--all sorts of people."

Hope that helps someone with this issue!

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