One of the biggest lightning rod topics about homeschooling is the socialization aspect. When you list out all the great advantages there are to homeschooling, inevitably you'll hear, "Yes, but what about socialization? Aren't you concerned about that?"
No parent wants their kid to be socially awkward or isolated. Every parent wants their kids to be smart, funny, popular, responsible, etc. Who wouldn't, right?
Homeschooling and socialization have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Nothing. Homeschooling has a bad reputation regarding socialization, but the cause for that is actually parenting. Its the parent's responsibility - whether homeschooling or not - to teach your kids how to relate to the rest of the world.
I definitely want my kids to know how to act in public and how to speak rationally to other people - other children and adults. I want my kids to have a positive, but realistic, worldview. As parents, we should be teaching these things to our kids if we homeschool and even if we send them to public school.
It is our responsibility to raise our kids, not the state's. Sadly, too often parents forfeit that right - no, privilege - and let the state teach our kids. And we're not just letting them teach our kids math and science and history. We're letting them teach our kids how to think, how to behave, how to relate to others and how to view the world around them.
So, how successful are public schools (or private for that matter) in terms of socializing our children? Watch the news each evening and you'll see that its not going very well.
Cori recently picked up this book on homeschooling at the library. Its actually a pros/cons type of book and she knew there would be things in it that she disagreed with, but wanted to read all it had to say anyway. The book is titled, Home Schooling, edited by Cindy Mur.
In the introduction, there's a bit about socialization:
Without the chance to interact with those of diverse backgrounds, critics are concerned that home-schooled student will fail to appreciate and understand one of the core values of American life: to tolerate and appreciate the differences between cultures or groups and among individuals. They fear isolation breeds intolerance, prejudice and even fanaticism.
Are you kidding me? That is laughable. That is seriously funny! Does the person who wrote that actually believe that going to public schools helps a child "tolerate and appreciate the differences between cultures"? That's not what I experienced when I went to public school growing up. And I guarantee you that is not happening today.
Don't get me wrong - that is a great ideal. One that we actively strive for. But that is so not realistic. Spend a day at Plano East Senior High School and tell me if that's what you see.
Just in my neighborhood, I've seen kids that don't respect property, they make fun of other kids that are different than them, they're irresponsible, mean-spirited and have no idea how to listen or respect adults.
I'm sorry, that's not the type of socialization that I'd like my kids to learn.