Socialization
"But what about socialization?" So the typical question goes to anyone who homeschools. Find out what socialization means to homeschooling families and strategies to engage your children and your entire family in social activities and connections.
"But What About Socialization?"
What About Socialization?
If only homeschoolers had a nickel for every time they heard the question, "... but what about socialization?" That infamous socialization question, for any seasoned homeschooler, is quite a humorous one! Although non-homeschoolers worry that homeschooling may turn children into social misfits, we know that the opposite is true and that positive socialization is one of the best reasons to homeschool your children.
Smart Socialization for Homeschoolers
Why do homeschoolers hear socialization questions more than any others? In fact, very few of them are home long enough to be unsocialized! Who made the rule that socialization is only acceptable if it involves a large group of same-aged children randomly thrown together on a daily basis in a place we call public school? Homeschooling offers diverse and amble opportunities for socialization. 
Home-Schooling: Socialization not a problem
One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack “socialization.” It’s a challenge that reaches right to the heart of home-schooling, because if a child isn’t properly socialized, how will that child be able to contribute to society? Home-school families across the nation knew criticisms about adequate socialization were ill-founded — they had the evidence right in their own homes. In part to address this question from a research perspective, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned a study in 2003 titled “Homeschooling Grows Up,” conducted by Mr. Ray, to discover how home-schoolers were faring as adults. The news was good for home-schooling. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.
The Truth about Homeschooling and Socialization
The reality of homeschool socialization is that there are usually more opportunities to socialize than there is time. The crush of activities, friends, and interactions with others keeps most homeschoolers more than busy.
The How To’s of Homeschool Socialization
Is the only place to learn from others found within the four walls of a school? If we follow the logic that socialization only comes from school, are we then to assume socialization does not occur within the family unit, at church, or on any give sports team? How about during neighborhood play or at the local playground? And if we assume socialization is a process occurring throughout our lives then what happens when we are no longer within the four walls of elementary, middle or high school? You socialize a homeschool child, or anyone else for that matter by having them live their lives, be in their environment and around the people you would normally be around during the course of a day.
Making Friends Through Homeschooling (Without Worrying About Socialization)
Here’s the thing with socialization: We all know that true “socialization” is not just finding yourself in a group. “Socialization” as a homeschooling family is tricky: you can try to force it, and know the whole time that you are living in a contrived state that will please your family doctor and weird neighbor. But friendship is easier. You find people who like you. It may take a while, but the wait is worth it.
Statistics on Public School vs. Homeschool
Deciding how your child will receive his education is a choice that can impact the rest of his life. While your decision may depend on personal factors such as your time and availability and your child's personality, evaluating studies and statistics can also provide information you can include in your decision making process.
How I Shelter My Children
When children are nurtured, sheltered and loved, they can fully develop their social skills. Socialization doesn't just mean knowing how to act around other 12 year old kids. It means knowing how to function in our big world--a world that is much broader than the four walls of a classroom.
Socialization During the High School Years
Socialization issues change during the teen years. But homeschooling still gives families the freedom to do their own thing. Take a look at how this homeschooling family handles questions about the prom, boyfriends, and sleeping in.
Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDx
When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.
It's a Myth That School is Good for Socialization
Parents who have their kids in school often say they have them there because of socialization. It's absurd that homeschoolers talk to people of all ages, all day long, and kids in school have to listen to a teacher all day long. It's just not even a contest: homeschooling is better for socialization because parents value it so much and schools don't.
Homeschool Confession: I Don't Want My Boys to be "Socialized"
Socialization is all about conforming--to societal demands, attitudes, styles, values, beliefs, and ways of dressing, acting, and thinking. Socialization’s very aim is to break us from any and all individuality, so that we can better integrate into the system–even if it’s a broken system. But by not conforming to this dynamic--not teaching them to conform--you can teach them to be in the world in a more natural way.
Homeschooling Benefits: Children less preoccupied with peer acceptance
Most people who have never met a homeschooling family imagine that the kids are socially isolated. But some new research by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute suggests otherwise. Indeed, Ray's research helps to explain why the number of homeschoolers in America continues to grow. Ray reports the typical homeschooled child is involved in 5.2 social activities outside the home each week. These activities include afternoon and weekend programs with conventionally schooled kids, such as ballet classes, Little League teams, Scout troops, church groups and neighborhood play. They include midday field trips and cooperative learning programs organized by groups of homeschooling families. For example, some Washington, D.C., families run a homeschool drama troupe that performs at a local dinner theater. So, what most distinguishes a homeschooler's social life from that of a conventionally schooled child? Ray says homeschooled children tend to interact more with people of different ages.
The Myth of Socialization
If socializing is a problem for homeschool families, it is rare. The homeschool socialization myth is a misconception perpetrated by people who know little or nothing of the benefits or facts. Some parents believed they would be breaking the law by not sending their children to public school. Unfortunately, there are movements in some states to pass such laws. But as of yet, it is still lawful to homeschool. Most states require documentation, which is reasonable. Other states are lax. Homeschooling as a movement is growing, and that is a very good thing. According to NHERI, the higher quality of homeschooling is not affected at all by whether or not the parent is a certified teacher, or by any state regulations.
Solving the Socialization Dilemma
All children need socialization, including homeschoolers. Interestingly, the definition of the word “socialize” is “to make social; especially, to fit or train for a social environment”. The difference for homeschooling families is in how we choose to provide training that for them.
50 Comebacks for Homeschooling Naysayers

This collection of funny quips will help you answer that age-old question, "What about socialization?" "How can you know what to teach?" "Is this legal?" and more. 

What’s the Point of Socialization?
Socialization is a pretty hot topic for those in the homeschooling circles. Many of us are asked how we socialize our kids, how our kids will know how to interact with others, and other questions that really go to the root of how our children will be able to function well in society. Now, the big question is whether each person needs to go to a school setting in order to be socialized.
Are Your Children Socialized?
Homeschoolers are concerned with the hearts of our children. One mom shares her busy family's life and how they interact with each other and the world.
Socializing the Homeschooled Child
This YouTube video from iHomeschool Hangout discusses the issue of socialization and homeschooling. Guests are Sade Tagbo, Sam Kelley, Jimmie Lanley, and Colleen Kessler. The hostess is Dianna Kennedy.
Special Ed: Factory-Like Schooling May Soon Be a Thing of the Past
Britton Manasco, writing for Reason Magazine, looks at the advantages of homeschooling, along with some interesting facets of home education. Discusses the benefits of encouraging independent thought and decentralized learning practices. The article also takes a look at the state of today's classrooms and the limitations of traditional notions of education. There is also a discussion of the use of technology in the homeschool environment and how this relates to the issue of socialization.
Resources
Homeschool and Socialization

People are now realizing that homeschooling offers great socialization benefits. This article takes a look at what socialization actually is and how it is achieved so well by homeschooled children. 

Why I Don't Worry About My Homeschoolers' Socialization

Arguably, the number one question homeschoolers get is, "What about socialization?" From this side of the fence, it is a non-issue. Our homeschooled children get ample chances to interact with others. 

Dear Naysayers, Your Socialization Argument Doesn't Hold Water Anymore (And It Never Did)

Socialization is often the first thing that enters into people's minds when they think about homeschooling. Why is that? Well, there are stereotypes that feed into the idea that homeschoolers are shut in and isolated. But the reality of homeschooling today is just the opposite of this. This article breaks down the myths of socialization with reasoned responses. 

Homeschooled Kids Are Socially Awkward - Homeschool Myth #2

The world tells us that school is the only place children can learn socialization skills and that homeschoolers are sheltering their children. But neither of those are correct. Avoidance of the public school system is not avoidance of society, and homeschooled children capitalize on all the opportunities available to them.

Home School Socialization

Many parents who home school their children are questioned about socialization. What is socialization exactly? This article looks at this questions and offers lots of advice about how to get children involved in the world around them and with other people. 

Homeschool Socialization: Myths & Realities

Socialization is often the number one concern of family, friends, and strangers. This article takes a look at the myths and realities of homeschool socialization. 

Why Homeschooling is Great for Socialization

Homeschooling offers many social benefits, including exposure to a wide range of people, more time spent with adults, avoidance of bullies, and an opportunity to encounter real-life situations. If you're considering homeschooling, don't let the myths about socialization hold you back. It really is a great way to grow up. 

The Last Word on Homeschooled Children and Their Social Skills: Why and How Our Worry About These Children Needs to End

When talking about socialization, we are referring to children's ability to engage with and function effectively and productively in the world around them. Schooling can play a role, but not the powerful or always positive one so often assume. Homeschooled children are generally found to be well-adjusted and demonstrate fewer behavioral problems than their schooled peers. 

But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature
This book by Dr. Susan A. McDowell  uses research, statistics, and the experiences of homeschooling families to answer questions and counter myths about homeschooling and socialization. Read through a discussion of the multiple meanings of socialization, what parents, leaders, and children have to say about the issue, and what the research shows. 
Is Homeschooling Anti-Social?

Accusations fly freely about how homeschooling socially isolates students from the outside world.  Meanwhile, homeschool advocates contest this claim as a myth and counter that the social scene, and social teachings, at local schools are so toxic their fumes could fuel the entire homeschool movement. Homeschooling offers freedom for students to engage more deeply and in more kinds of community than they could in a typical school. It is not fair to assume that homeschooling is detrimental to a child social development. Homeschooling is, in fact, proving to be for many families, the perfect solution to the social ills that permeate our schools. 

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