In 2005 I created An Unschooling Life, a blog detailing our unschooling experience after adopting our three children. Over time, An Unschooling Life became a hub for unschooling support and advice. The blog has been featured in print and digital media and was home to the popular Unschooling Carnival. I’m in the process of updating and moving all the posts to this blog where they will be housed under the An Unschooling Life section. This post was originally published on January 11, 2005.
I have to laugh when someone, after finding out our kids don’t go to school, ask about homeschooling socialization. I’ll never understand what one has to do with the other.
Homeschooling and socialization often go hand in hand. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t know much about the benefits of homeschooling.
Are they saying that when their children are not in school (like weekends or summer breaks) they’re isolated from other children? That when they’re children are not in school, they have no social opportunities. How sad that they have to depend on a government institution for their children to have friends.
I mean, why else would they be asking?
It certainly can’t be because they’re concerned for my children. Just talk to any of my unschooled children and they’ll tell you about their girl scout troop, gymnastics classes, homeschool classes, neighborhood friends, homeschool play groups and sleepovers, not to mention the time they spend playing with each other.
All that homeschool socialization…without school.
And they do these things with children of all ages.
Yes, it’s true.
My youngest child has friends who are teenagers, one of my teenager’s friends is nine years old and my preteen age child loves to read to the little ones in our homeschool group. Age never seems to be a factor when determining if someone is a potential friend.
And if that wasn’t enough, the really cool thing is…they actually have a choice!
Suppose one of my children doesn’t feel like being around other kids. We all have those times when cocooning in our cozy home and being able to think and dream and just be alone in our own head, is what we need. They have the freedom to do that. They don’t have to push those feelings aside and spend seven straight hours with other kids (the same age as them) when they don’t feel like it. They get to decide when, and how they socialize, and with who. Just like I do. Cool, huh?
And let’s not forget the battle cry of teachers across the country…”You’re not here to socialize!” I know we all heard a teacher say that at one time or another. So, if school is not for socializing, why are parents of schooled children asking us how our children socialize? We should be asking them.
Yup…when someone asks me about homeschooling and socialization issues, I have to laugh. And then a part of me feels sorry for their kids.
“And if that wasn’t enough, the really cool thing is…they actually have a choice!”
That’s the biggest deciding factor for me. My experience in regular schooling was having no choice or option to avoid being emotionally brutalized on a daily basis for years on end. If any kid treats a homeschooled child the way I was treated in school, they can just leave. They don’t have to keep putting up with a situation that puts them in contact with people who actively enjoy harming them.
Let’s not forget that schools put the majority of their resources into preventing socialization – no talking, running, playing, laughing, making noise… this is the ideal environment for socializing children? Hmmm.
Yeah it’s so funny, I work from home and I get the same question all the time. When you go to school you only get the chance to socialize with the same kids all the time, and when you go to work to an office you only get the chance to socialize with the same colleagues. When you are at home you can plan your day and certainly have more spare time to socialize and spend some quality time with people you choose spending time with.
Keep up the good work, you rock!
Are you planning on homeschooling him? I wish I had homeschooled my youngest from the start. We ende dup taking her out in the middle of the first grade but I always have a bit of envy for the parents who homeschooled right from the start.
baby advice says
I really don’t see what one would have to do with the other… My son isn’t in school yet, but I don’t see anything wrong with homeschooling!
That is one of my pet peeves when people find out that I was home schooled and they ask how did I ever get any socialization, and wasn’t it boring?, etc. That is one of the things I loved most about being home schooled, we interacted with everyone, not just our peers!
Headmistress, zookeeper says
The Fourth Carnival of Homeschooling is up at The Common Room, and this post is in it. Thanks for participating! If you could mention it on your blog, we’d all be very grateful!
Ron R says