Dear Social

Dear Savvy Homeschooler,

How do you make sure your kids get enough social interaction? My oldest is REALLY social and I worry that he might get lonely being homeschooled.

Dear Social,

This is probably the most asked question I get about homeschooling.

How will they get enough social interaction without being in a public school?

The question I always give in return is, do you really want them to learn THAT kind of social interaction that they get in public school?

And by THAT, I mean backbiting, bullying, vanity and comparison, apathy, defiance . . . I could go on and on.

Dr. Michael Slavinski, an education researcher stated, “The mass socialization conducted within schools has brought about a proliferation of delinquent behavior with this nation’s youth.”

He notes “students bodies are increasingly riddled with violence, drugs, promiscuity, emotional disorders, crime, contempt for authority, desperate behavior, crime, illiteracy and peer dependency – just to name a few.”

I don’t know about you, but that is definitely not an environment that I want my kids to be around when trying to learn and grow into well-rounded members of society.

A common misconception that the public has about homeschooling is that homeschoolers sit around the kitchen table all day, never interacting with anyone outside of their family and that couldn’t be further from the truth!

On average, homeschooling families spend AT LEAST 5 times a week outside of their home engaging in social activities.

For us, there is not a single day that goes by that my kids don’t meet with other kids or adults.

We have a writing class, coop, fitness groups, weekly church activities, baking, field trips, play dates, choir.

Seriously, I could keep going!

My children are far from socially deprived!

I will say though, you do have to put yourself out there!

If you are an introvert, such as myself, sometimes that can be a challenge. But it does get easier and you only have to put as much on your plate as you want.

There are times though where we do less so that we can focus more on our family relationships. In my opinion, that’s the most important!

I always tell my kids that if you don’t have the energy to be nice to each other then you don’t have the energy to play with your friends.

That works every time!

My kids LOVE to be with their friends, but they also LOVE to be with their family!

And as a mom, I LOVE that!

You do have to cultivate those relationships though!

Siblings fight!

I don’t need to tell you that.

But when you set forth the premise that family comes first, a shift starts to take place. They begin to really value those ties with each other.

I LOVE my family and I want my kids to love their family, which is what I LOVE about homeschool.

We would miss out on that valuable family social time if my kids were away for hours every day.

I’m rambling…Sorry!

I’ll move on now!

I also want to point out that homeschooled high school kids also have more time to be able to have paying jobs as well as participating in volunteer work and community service without sacrificing educational pursuits or religious activities.

I hope that I am illustrating here that homeschooled kids are not hermits. They are active members of society and go on to be productive adults.

If you want research to back up that previous statement, there was a study presented at the National Christian Home Educators Leadership Conference that found that homeschool graduates far exceeded their public and private school counterparts in college by ranking highest in 42 of 63 indicators of collegiate success.

They were also ranked as being superior in four out of five achievement categories, including socialization, as they were assessed as being the most charismatic and influential.

Now granted we all know that “one” family that is socially awkward and maybe they do stay home more than others, but maybe they don’t!

Maybe they are just socially awkward whether they are homeschooled or public schooled!

Yes, there are socially awkward homeschoolers. But guess what?

There are socially awkward public schoolers!

The platform for their education doesn’t make a difference! In fact, studies have shown that those that are outside the social norm often fair better in a homeschool setting and come away with more confidence without being put in a public school setting where they are torn down and constantly ridiculed for being “different.”

So there you have it!

That’s how I feel about socialization.

I know there are plenty of kids that go to public school and do fine dealing with what goes on there, but I am so grateful that my kids don’t have to deal with that!

I look at my 13-year-old daughter who is going through those special teen years. You know what I’m talking about, right? I am so glad that she is in an environment where she can be lifted up and maintain her knowledge of her self worth.

The confidence she has and owning her personality, I know that would not exist if she had been in school these past 9 years. There just wouldn’t have been enough time at home for me to repair the damage done at school!

So if you are considering homeschool and worry about socialization, you can set that worry aside! Trust yourself and know that you will find a way to get all the interaction that your child needs.

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