Any parent who has even thought of homeschooling has heard the so called dreaded “S” word, socialization. Most homeschooling parents have heard it so many times they are sick of it. The comments are usually (although not always) from well meaning people. The fact of the matter is, many studies suggest that homeschoolers are better socialized than their schooled counterparts.
Dr. Thomas Smedley performed a Vineyard Adaptive Behavior Scales study on both publicly and home educated students. The study looks for well-adapted and mature behaviors. Homeschool students rated at 84th percentile whereas public school students rated at 23rd percentile. There are other studies that mirror this result.
I have heard from other parents about pizza parties, sports and other “social” public school events my kids will miss out on. This is a myth. First, it is only available or fun if you are in certain “in crowds.” Public schools are also a cradle of favoritism, sex, drugs, and bullying that are a part of “socialization.”
Do people really believe that home educated students just sit at home all the time and never get out? Is it thought that the we simply replicate the public schools in our homes? If so then why bother homeschooling at all?! Fortunately this is only a myth; homeschoolers can and do get involved in outside activities. The beauty is students can choose whatever interests them. Homeschool co-ops and groups exist throughout the country for students to get together, play sports and have other social events. The point is “socialization” is available in whatever type and amount the student chooses.
Periodically, I will answer questions and concerns about socialization and other issues about homeschooling.