Socialization of Homeschool Students – Homeschooling

One of the most frequent questions parents of homeschooled children get asked is “what about socialization?” Children that are homeschooled are not kept out of society, they are just receiving their schooling in a different manner than peers their own age. Parents that homeschool usually enroll their children in activities outside of school such as dance, music and foreign languages. These parents also take their children on more field trips and offer them more educational opportunities than children in traditional schools. Children that are homeschooled often have more socialization than children in schools because they get to interact in more situations with a wide variety of people.Socialization is defined by Merriam Webster as “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.” There is no definition that states that the only way an education can be obtained is through attending public or parochial schools. Many of our forefathers were educated either at home or by a governess. In addition, there are many famous people that were homeschooled, including Thomas Edison, LeAnn Rimes, William F. Buckley, Jr., Ansel Adams and Abraham Lincoln.The average student spends approximately 7.5 hours in school each day. Class time takes up about 6.5 hours of the school day. That leaves one hour, which is usually spent at lunch or walking in the hallways between classes. The lunch hour and walking between classes doesn’t leave much time for socialization. The solution for both sets of children is to participate in after school activities, join clubs or take lessons off campus.Why is there such negativity surrounding the socialization of homeschooled students? The answer may be simple; the public doesn’t know much about the teaching methods behind homeschooling. What we don’t understand we mistrust. The basic tenet of homeschool teaching methods is to engage in activities outside of a classroom in order to explore the world to the fullest extent. Ideas as well as individuals are valued in this environment. Educators may be quick to add that some homeschool methods don’t use tests or competitive learning. Parents of homeschoolers agree, but that doesn’t mean that their children aren’t social or competitive. Homeschooled children frequently win the National Geographic Bee and the Scripps National Spelling Bee.So what gave homeschooling such a bad rap? Prior to the 1960’s, homeschooling was one way to protect children that had learning or mental problems. Rather than institutionalize a child or let them be harassed at school, many parents simply kept their child at home. This has led to the current day notion that homeschooled children are anti-social or unable to function outside of their homes.The media as well as homeschooling groups and organizations are working hard to dispel the rumor that children who learn in this environment are anti-social. With homeschooled children winning more and more national competitions, it is only a matter of time before parents realize what a gem this form of education really is.To stay abreast of the current trends, information and resources available for homeschool parents, teachers and students subscribe to Homeschool Success News or other publications specializing in meeting the needs of homeschool families.If you need an online tutor, courseware or wish to offer your services as a paid online tutor contact Homeschool Tutor Professional at our main website referenced below. Magic Learning Systems also provides excellent products to enhance the homeschool experience for teachers and students. You may contact this provider via Homeschool Success Newsletter.Dr. J. Elisha BurkeEditor, Homeschool Success[]Copyright 2005 Burke Publications All Rights Reserved