Social Concerns of Homeschooling
Social skills is an area of deep concern when it comes to homeschooling. Many critics point out that since man needs to hone his social skills, a home schooling environment where social interaction is limited is detrimental to his growth and development. But studies have proved this wrong.
Dr. Raymond Moore, author of over 60 books and articles on human development, has done extensive research on homeschooling and socialization. His book, The Hurried Child, should be in every homeschooler's library. “The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters in order to be socialized,” Dr. Moore writes, “is perhaps the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and child rearing today.”
Children often do not respond well to large groups. They become nervous and overexcited by noise and too many people. Learning becomes difficult and behavioural problems develop. After analysing over 8,000 early childhood studies, Dr. Moore concluded that, contrary to popular belief, children are best socialized by parents - not other children.
What kind of socialization occurs when 20 or 30 kids of the same age are placed in a classroom together day after day? In public school peer pressure is enormous. Students feel they need to look, sound, and be like everyone else, at the risk of forgetting or never discovering who they really are. This results in rivalry, ridicule, and competition - hardly the environment for healthy socialization. A homeschooler who interacts with parents ans siblings more then with peers displays self-confidence, self-respect, and self worth. She knows she is part of a family unit that needs, wants, and depends on her. The result is an independent thinker who is not influenced by peers and is self-
Children put into the fiercely competitive school environments lack the confidence to hold a conversation. Such children show little genuine interest in the topic of conversation and don't know how to interact with people of various age groups, especially their elders.
Children who learn at home are more aware of the implications and the purpose of their learning. They will ask intelligent questions and make accurate observations. Children begin their life by imitating their parents. Homeschooled children therefore pick up the sterling qualities they see in their parents. On the other hand, they are protected from the detrimental influences of their peers.
These children are thus better equipped with the tools necessary to face the world. The positive reinforcement that takes place in the homeschooling environment as opposed to being abandoned, embarrassed or ignored in a normal school environment strengthens their self-esteem. Children turn out to be better balanced and well-rounded as they progress into adulthood.
Socialization, like learning and life, takes place everyday. How you interact with your kids -- and how they watch you interact with the outside world -- teaches them all the social skills they need to know.
In other words, socialization in homeschooling works better because children have opportunities to be socialized through the modeling of good social behavior by caring adults rather than through peers, who do not know much more than they do. Parents give their kids the skills they need to interact with other people and also have the chance to protect their children.
If you are interested in reading more on this topic, please read: Financing Homeschooling.