I have been reading through Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s book ‘The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook‘. This is the most straight talking and reassuring book yet that I have read about homeschool. The book talks very strongly against schooling that burns out parents and kids way to early. ….and it is very easy to feel behind, inadequate, and burned out quickly in the homeschool experience.
I wanted to share some of their socialization stuff that was really good.
Socialization is often the biggest argument and the biggest worry when it comes to homeschooling but it doesn’t need to be. Really, when it comes down to it, school socialization is not what I want for my kids. It is an unnatural socialization structure. Where else do they need to get along with 20 other kids the same age, from the same area, and from a similar economic level? Not only that they become peer dependent at a young age and become concerned about being accepted and part of the crowd as young as preschool.
From their earliest years children learn manners, habits, language patterns, and actions by observing and then imitating. Yet they do not clearly establish these values until around ages ten to twelve. Your consistent example provides the best model, but in its absence children mimic their peers – even at the preschool level. Young children demand Nike shoes or Jordache jeans because all the kids have them. In another school it might be Reeboks and Lees.
Instead of learning strong family values where possible, children knuckle under to peer pressures which range from clothes, language, music, and food and on to grosser things. Remember! They adopt these values as readily as the measles or any other contagious disease. This is why Dr. Bronfenbrenner calls it “social contagion.” page 49 bottom
Don’t get me wrong. In no way do I want to say anything against sending your kids to school. I am not trying to say anything bad about the school system. What I am wanting to point out is that socialization is not a benefit of the traditional system and a gap in the homeschool system but actually it could be the other way around.
In my few years of homeschooling and hanging around homeschoolers I have made some observations on this issue:
- The odd stereotypical homeschool kids are out there but they aren’t as common as people think but they are there. Typically they are more normal and socially adjusted than their parents…… Statistically speaking, socially odd people are more likely to homeschool so more of their children fall into this group. They will probably take over the world and cure cancer. They are usually super nice. I don’t think it is homeschool that creates the ‘oddness’… it is more genetic.
- Homeschool kids aren’t usually shy. My kids have been very shy growing up (so are my husband and I). I was worried that homeschool would make matters worse, but both are really coming out of their shell all on their own.
- Homeschool kids talk the ear off and look in the eyes of adults everywhere. This is super obvious to me and I have seen it with almost all the other homeschool kids we hang out with. It isn’t that most kids won’t talk to adults, it is the confidence and the amount of conversation that homeschool kids expect to be involved in.
- Homeschool kids play well across gender, age, and cultural barriers. My kids will make friends with anyone and everyone at the park. This doesn’t probably work across the board as all kids are different. Just my observation.
- Homeschool kids have more self-confidence and better self-concept. They seem more open and sharing of themselves in relationship and have less to prove.
- ‘Teenage’ likes (music, cloths, actions) come at a much younger level with kids in traditional school. No kindergarten age child (really anywhere in elementary school) should know who Justin Bieber is or what dating is. They should still be playing dolls and house (my opinion).
All these areas (or 2-5), even if homeschool just gives a better chance at learning, are amazing life assets. Life requires mixing, and having the confidence to mix, with lots of different people in lots of different situations. The more we can teach them about this the better off they will be no matter what their profession.