Thursday, April 28, 2011

Socialization and Home School....

(This was written by request from a friend in New York. Thanks 4 the idea!)

I realize there are abuses and neglects in every system. That said, I will now discuss MY opinion and what MY eyes and ears have witnessed, in my home and in many settings with home schoolers.

How many home schooled children have I been in contact with? Hundreds.

How many kids do I have? Oh, half a dozen, give or take a few.

Can my kids speak with others?
Yes, very well. They can interact with people of all ages. Not being in the school system has kept them from getting click-ish towards their own age group, as well as having siblings of all ages. I have yet to meet a HSed child who wasn't on average in their social skills; and many, but not all, are way above average in etiquette. So polite, they'd charm your socks off!

Are my kids bashful? Sometimes, but no more than any other child would be in a new setting. My kids and all other HSers that I have met are normal, in that they each have their own personality and some are more "people, people" than others.

I only have one grown child (since I'm so young ;) so far, but I will use him as my guinea pig for you- sorta. I say sorta because when this child was young, I saw that he was going to be a people person and would likely never struggle with social issues.

That kiddo will be 19 very soon. He's in a church where the older people just love him up. He likes them too. But, he also has won the hearts of my friend's children who are from 3 to 7. And he has a slew of friends. He can talk on any subject- weather, politics, religion, math, science, history, nutrition, pets, you name it. ...I wouldn't be surprised if he has a whopper of a phone bill from all his SOCIALIZING!

I think about something Merle Haggard said once (paraphrase); "I don't want my kids' personality more shaped by their peers than me, that's why we home school."

Yes, social skills are important. But I'm with Merle on this one! Social skills can be slaughtered in a public school and so can a child's character, self-esteem, and personality.

Home schooled children are usually good with children of all ages, but they are especially good with adults, since they get a lot more one on one from their 'teacher'.

They also seem to have more confidence, probably from the lack of peer pressure and that they are always around people who care for them.

Personally, I have a couple that I've always had to watch because they talk too much to strangers! (One of them, when about 3, decided to show his new Spongebob underwear to a lady in Merle Norman. My oldest had the job of standing over him in public, in case he needed to cup his mouth suddenly.... after the incident where he told another kid; "Hey, my skin's light but your skin is black!?"...and other things!)

Many home schoolers have LOTS of extra-curricular activity, where they are exposed to other children, usually of all ages. They do sports, music, drama, 4-H, church, some organize field trips, community service projects, visiting nursing homes, using the Y, swimming lessons, music lessons, and the list goes on.

But, while this can help with social skills, I don't think it's necessary at all.

I've known of several HS families who had their own, out-of-home businesses where the kids ran a lot of the social part of it. There's one family in our area that has 12 children. They school during the cold months but come spring and summer and part of fall, they work their 90+ acres... the boys help their dad and the daughters run the store & produce stand, and bake fresh breads. And all of them have brilliant social skills. (And their math skills are amazing too!)

I've met numerous HS-ed kids at curriculum fairs. They could sit down with you and tell you just as much about their curriculum as their mothers.

It seems to be common for HSers to have large families too. This would provide more social skills because of various ages and personalities.

Its a proven fact that home schooled children often score higher than public schooled children. The studies believe that its due to their self concept being much better. (The better your self concept, the better your social skills.)

Some studies have shown that adult home schooled young people often have better social skills.

A scientist at our local college told me that HS-ed children are often more focused on their academics than others, but they were able to interact well with everyone.

One Virginia study of 30 HS-ing families and 32 conventionally schooled families reported "children who were schooled at home gained the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to function in society. . .at a rate similar to that of conventionally schooled children."

A Florida study made these observations: "The research showed that homeschooled children were found to have “consistently fewer behavior problems”. The traditionally schooled children were more aggressive, loud, and competitive. The homeschooled children tended to talk quietly, play well in groups, and took initiative in inviting others to play.....the results seem to show that a child’s social development depends more on adult contact and less on contact with other children than previously thought.”

Others studies show that regardless of the educational route, the primary social skills are learned from the parents. And if that be true- wouldn't a child who was with their parents all day long fair even better?!?!?!


Brooke said...

Well written. My three year old will soon be home-schooled! Really excited about the endless ideas!

Ma said...

I had the socialization guilt thing first.

Mine don't do too many extras either and they are happy, healthy, and do just fine in social situations.

I'm so blessed to be home with them all day!

Great post.

Donna said...

It is a wonderful time! I love being with my kids all of the time and the greatest joy that I've ever had in my life, is the day when all of them could read their Bibles by home schooling! :-)

Donna said...


Thank you.

I can't imagine my kids being any more social than they already are! Talk, talk, talk, talk ;-)

I agree, it is a wonderful treasure to be home with them all day!