While each homeschooling family is different, there is one area where we each can tell you the same story. We can be at the[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]
grocery store, at church or at a family gathering with our children and we always have the same conversation with an acquaintance/family member/stranger, who for this instance we will call Fiona. The conversation usually goes a little like this:
Fiona: “What a nice child. What school does he attend?”
Me: “ I homeschool him.”
Fiona: “Oh!” with an awkward smile on her face, “You homeschool.”
Fiona: “That’s great...you're so brave. I just couldn’t do that.”
Me:” I see.”
Fiona: “You know, I think homeschooling is wonderful, but I’d worry about his social skills. I mean he must not be getting that much socialization.”
Homeschool is not a Prison
There it is. The dreaded ‘S-word’. I usually hold my breath waiting for that word to drop from their lips. The word that can ruin a homeschooler’s happy disposition in a second: SOCIALIZATION. They bring up that word as if they just met Quasimodo. I imagine that they believe I lock my son in a dungeon or tower, for twenty-three hours a day, only to let him see daylight for an hour.My son is homeschooled, not in prison. Click To Tweet
I find it amusing that the acquaintance/family member/stranger would always ask me this question right after having a conversation with my son, complimenting me about how intelligent and impressed they are by his ability to hold a great conversation.
It is a popular misconception that we homeschoolers have to combat on a regular basis. Although there have been various studies on the subject, this just will not die. Homeschooled children, while mainly educated by their parents, interact with not only their peers as kids in traditional schools do but also kids of various ages, as well as adults. Between field trips, community service, sports, and music activities, homeschooled children interact with people of all ages and backgrounds. Giving them great exposure to different types of people on a regular basis.
Many see the public school classroom as “the real world”. This is the world where there is a greater chance of bullying, peer pressure, and violence. The need to fit in and be accepted is manifested by the insistence on wearing the same clothes and shoes, use the same slang words and feeling inadequate if they are different.
With the lack of peer pressure, homeschooled kids can freely be themselves without the need to conform. They are able to be who they want without the desire to belong in any group. They take on an adaptive behavior, however, instead of looking at their peers, they look to their parents. Who better to learn how to deal with “the real world” from?
Usually, I don’t go through telling the Acquaintance/family member/ stranger all of this, because rarely are they truly waiting for my response. It’s usually a case of them wanting to give an unsolicited opinion. But I do smile and give them a “He does very well as far as that is concerned. He plays with his friends in the neighborhood after school, attends church regularly and goes to basketball training every weekend.”
You see, I’m not looking for my son to win any popularity contests. More ‘friends’ does not equal better social skills.