“How are you going to help your kids learn to live in the real world if you keep them sheltered at home?”
Most of us who homeschool hear that question in one form or another at some point in our homeschooling adventure. For many of us, it was a major issue in our decision to homeschool – Either it was a concern or it was a reason that propelled us into embracing homeschooling.
We all have heard stories of the odd kids who appear in the store, church, the playground, high school, or college – seemingly socially awkward, unable to fit in – they were homeschooled. So, we naturally assume that homeschooling caused these strange behaviors. In fact, what we do not know is what these kids would have been like if they had attended a public or private school. Would they be any different? For those of us who did go through a more “traditional” education, we all remember a few “weird” kids at school. I know I do – they never seemed to know what to wear, how to blend in, how to have friends. Children with “odd” or “unusual” behavior are going to occur no matter where schooling takes place. Perhaps they have a social or emotional disability. Maybe they have a sad story in their family life.
Thepoint is – there will always be people, children or adults, who exhibit socially odd behavior no matter where they attended school.
True – some parents do isolate their children in homeschool. However, they are the exception, and not the rule. There are some pretty odd parents in the public and private school system, as well.
The issue must truly begin with the question – what is socialization? What is its purpose and meaning? What is successful socialization?