Homeschooling and socialization is a very common concern of parents, when deciding whether or not to homeschool their child. Deciding to homeschool is a tough decision for some; for others it's a "no-brainer".
Personally, it wasn't easy for me to decide to homeschool. I struggled for a long time over the decision, even though I knew it was most likely the best decision for my oldest child. Why?
#1 I didn't want my kids to "miss out".
#2 I didn't think I could do it.
#3 I wanted "my time".
#4 I didn't want to look weird, wear my hair in a bun, OR wear a jean jumper - my previous view of homeschoolers.
#5 I wanted to pursue a career... "become something" in life. (ha!) :)
What do I know now?
#1 Normal? Yes.
#2 True? No.
#3 Selfish? Yes.
#4 Judgmental? Maybe :)
#5 Truth? No, there is no greater career than motherhood/parenthood.
When deciding to homeschool, most parents worry about homeschooling and socialization because they think kids need to be around their peers all the time to develop properly. They think their child won't turn out "normal" and well-adjusted, ready for higher learning or a future career.
As parents we want the best for our kids, and try to do everything we possibly can to help them succeed in life.
Although homeschooling has been around since the beginning of time, for most of us who grew up going to regular schools, at first home-based education may seem odd and causes us concern.
I totally understand the initial uncertainty.
Some common homeschooling and socialization worries parents experience:
If I homeschool, my child will miss out on:
Young children often can't wait to go to school. They see other kids getting on the big yellow bus, and they want to go too. Kids want to have fun and play, and don't like missing out. The idea of school may excite them because they think they can play with kids all day.
As parents we often struggle with disappointing our children. We don't want to disappoint them; we want to give them the things they want, but most of the time, kids don't know what's best. As parents, we need to decide if public school is right for our children, or decide if it's not.
Older students and teens need and want friends too.
When you homeschool you will find lots of opportunities for your teens to interact with others, including social events like proms, dances and other get-togethers.
Sports may be very important to you and your child but school is not the only place where they can join sports teams. You will find local teams through the parks and recreation department of your town or city. Homeschool groups often co-ordinate athletics and inter-mural sports as well.
Wondering if you will be over-protecting your kids is definitely another homeschooling and socialization worry for many parents.
I have talked to a lot of parents who think that if they homeschool, their children won't learn how to deal with problems or difficulties, or learn how to "face life"... a common homeschooling and socialization myth.
Are you sheltering your kids if you homeschool? Perhaps. Homeschooled kids do experience less peer pressure and dependency. Not a bad thing in my opinion.
When you homeschool, you will have lots of time to strengthen your child's character and "self-esteem".
Life, conflict, and peer pressure, still happens when you homeschool. Problems arise. Friends are mean. Kids get left out. Don't think that just because you homeschool, hard times won't come. However, homeschooling provides the opportunity to lessen peer pressure, and for you and your child to face each situation together, and the time to work out conflicts in a positive, loving environment.
Fear of the future... is there anyone who doesn't think about this one from time to time?
Will my kids turn out okay? Will they graduate successfully? Will they get into college? Will they hate me in the future for keeping them out of school and homeschooling them? These are very real homeschooling and socialization concerns.
If your children apply themselves to their studies, there is absolutely no reason why your kids won't get into college. Thousands do each year. Colleges like homeschoolers because they know how to learn; some colleges even seek homeschooled students out because of their academic success.
When you homeschool, you can ensure that your child graduates with ALL the necessary skills to succeed in life; not just academics. Often schools don't teach practical, everyday needed abilities for life... time management, home organization, car maintenance, and budgeting.
Will your child hate you for homeschooling them...
Hmmm... that's a hard one. I would venture to say there are some homeschooled students who wish their parents didn't choose to homeschool; however as they mature, the vast majority doesn't resent their parents for homeschooling. Children grow into teens, who grow into adults; they will soon/some day appreciate all the sacrifices made for them – including homeschooling.
Many appreciate the additional benefits that come with home education once they begin college or life on their own. They have learned how to study and possess the character qualities to succeed on their own... and many do!
Do you have a great homeschool socialization story, a timely tip or word of encouragement? Share it!
Maybe you are considering homeschooling, but are afraid your kids will miss out if they don't go to school, or they won't develop properly. Share your questions/fears... we'll try to help! :)
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