Should I Worry About Socialization?
If you mention homeschooling to very many people, you are likely to get the 20-million-dollar question. It comes in a variety of forms. While it may sound like, “How will they make friends?” or, “What about the prom?” these questions all fall into one category: “What about socialization?”
The people asking you these questions are probably genuinely concerned for your child’s well-being. But the answer depends very much on what makes children socialized and how we go about getting them to that point. Does spending seven hours a day for thirteen or more years with peers of the same age group guarantee that a child will be socialized? Instead, consider that socialization should prepare your child to interact with people of a variety of ages and backgrounds.
Points to Ponder
Whether you are contemplating the socialization question for yourself or answering the questions of others, here are a few thoughts to consider.
Variety in Life
Other than the school years, there is no time in our lives when we spend hours a day only with other people our age. Can you imagine if we worked or went to church only with people who were a year or so older or younger? Being able to relate only to people our own age is actually the opposite of being social.
Variety in Ages
Homeschoolers tend to have a variety of friends of various ages and backgrounds and are often able to hold appropriate conversations with adults.
Whether we are socially adept or not has a good deal to do with our personality and parenting. Outgoing people will most likely be outgoing, while those who are shy will be shy, regardless of schooling choices.
While children don’t need to attend school to learn to socialize, having friends is important. Be sure your child has the opportunity to interact with people of a variety of ages and backgrounds.
A Few More Thoughts
As your child learns to relate to many different people, you will be able to answer the socialization question with confidence: “My child gets along with people of all ages and backgrounds, because she interacts with a variety of people.”