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Homeschool? What about Socialization?!

Homeschool? What about Socialization?!

The number one question people ask homeschoolers is “Aren’t you worried about socialization?  I had the cartoon above made a few years ago that illustrates my feelings.

Yes, homeschool children should have friends. But not just random friends. Homeschoolers have the opportunity for selective socialization. Parents can guide their children to other Christian families with like-minded morals and values.

Click to view more Millard homeschool cartoons

Most homeschool families I know are are very active with other families. There are weekly field trips with support groups, twice-a-week church functions, scouts, choir, weekly skating parties, etc, etc. But don’t take my word for it. Let us look at the homeschool statistics.

Studies Prove Homeschoolers Do Better Socially

Information gathered by the National Home Education Research Institute prove homeschool students have significantly higher self concepts than those in public schools.

  • Dr. Johnson (1991) concluded that home educators carefully address the socialization needs of their children in every area studied (i.e., personal identity, personal destiny, values and moral development, autono
  • my, relationships, sexuality, and social skills).
  • Studying actual observed behavior, Dr. Shyers (1992) found the home educated had significantly lower problem behavior scores than do their conventional school age mates. And the home educated have positive self-concepts.
  • Dr. Taylor (1986) found that the home educated have significantly higher self concep-Ats than those in public schools.
  • The home schooled are well adjusted socially and emotionally like their private school comparison group. The home educated, however, are less peer dependent than the private school students (Delahooke, 1986).
  • Dr. Montgomery (1989) found that home schooled students are just as involved in out-of-school and extracurricular activities that predict leadership in adulthood as are those in the comparison private school (that was comprised of students more involved than those in public schools).
  • Home educated children are more mature and better socialized than are those sent to school, according to Thomas Smedley’s personal interaction and communications approach to understanding socialization.
  • Dr. Gary Knowles, of theUniversity of Michigan, explored adults who were home educated. None were unemployed and none were on welfare, 94% said home education prepared them to be independent persons, 79% said it helped them interact with individuals from different levels of society, and they strongly supported the home education method.
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What Does God’s Word Say About Socialization?

The concept of separation from evil is fundamental to God’s relationship with His people. According to the Bible, separation involves two dimensions – one negative and one positive:

  1. Separating yourself morally and spiritually from sin and everything that is contrary to Jesus Christ, righteous and God’s Word.
  2. Drawing near to God in a close intimate fellowship through dedication, worship and service.

Don Stamp commentary explains in the Full Life Bible:

  1. In the Old Testament separation was an ongoing requirement for God’s people. (Ex 23:24; Lev. 20:22-26; Isa 52:11;) They were expected to be holy, different and separated from other peoples in order to belong to God as His very own.
  2. In the New Testament God commanded separation of the believer (a) from the corrupt world system and from unholy compromise, (b) from those in church who sin and refuse to repent (Mat 7:15; 1Co 5:9-11; 2Th 3:6-15) and (c) from false teachers, churches or cults that teach theological error and deny Biblical truths (Mat 7:15; Rom 16:17)
  3. Our attitude in separation must be one of (a) hatred toward sin, unrighteousness and the corrupt world system, (b) opposition to false doctrine, genuine love towards whom we must separate, and (c) fear of God as we perfect holiness.
  4. The purpose of separation is that we, as God’s people, might (a) persevere in salvation (1Ti 4:16; Rev 12:14-17), faith (1Ti 1:19; 6:10; 20-21) and holiness (Jo 17:14-21; 2Cor 7:1); (b) live wholly for God as our Lord and Father (Mat 22:37; 2Co 6:16-18); and (c) convince the unbelieving world of the truth and blessings of the gospel (Jn 17:21; Phi. 2:15.)
  5. If we separate ourselves properly, God Himself rewards us by drawing near with His protection, blessing and Fatherly care. He promises to be everything a good Father should be. He will be our counselor and guide; He will love and cherish us as His own children. (2Cor 6:16-18)
  6. The refusal of believers to separate themselves from evil will inevitability result in loss of fellowship with God (2 Co 6:16), of acceptance by the Father (6:17) and of our rights as children (6:18cf. Rom 8:15-16).

What do you say when people ask you about socialization? Answer in the comments below.

There is a “Socialization” blog hop at “Homeschooling & The S-Word (Socialization.)” For more posts about homeschool and socialization, “hop” over to the iHomeschool Network for more posts on how to socialize our kids, why we should or shouldn’t try to socialize our kids, and the truth about socialization.

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About Robin Sampson

36 comments

  1. Oh – Robin! I do have to answer this one to people. Our oldest daughter is very shy – painfully shy – and has been for a long time. (My husband and I were shy as children as well, so what did we expect?) Homeschooling is blamed for her shyness – and yet when she went to public school (2 years, K & 1) it was really no different.

    I think, what better way to help her overcome her social anxiety than in a loving, stable environment where she is allowed to interact with people of ALL ages in a relevant way. She interacts, by herself, with our adopted “grandma” weekly, she gets the mail and asks for help if she needs it, by herself. She gets practice at music lessons, cross-stitch lessons and Sunday School. She does have anxiety to deal with, but we are aware of it and can keep close tabs on the situtions that are likely to cause stress, and gently push her when it’s the right time. We can make appropriate jusdgements because we are with her and know her and the situation intimately, not remotely, looking in the classroom window.

  2. Thank you for this needed post.
    Blessings, Barbara

  3. Ah, the Socialization question. What exactly is socialization, and how in the world can anyone *not* be socialized? I mean, it may depend on your definition of the word, but everyone is socialized to something.
    I do like the definition that includes separation. Socilization within a family or small group of like-minded Believers.
    I would much prefer my children *not* be socialized to anyone or any thing in or of this world. I desire they be socialized for God’s purpose and in His ways, His timing.
    Thank you for this wonderful article, Robin.
    Love, J

  4. Our journey has been different and I still haven’t figured out what others thought about it enough to articulate it, but here’s what I can say now.
    Because we have ‘home churched’ for 40 yrs, and ‘home schooled’ for 35 yrs, it seems we offended the socialization standard among christians and non christians. We refers to about 40 folks ( 6 or 8 families) who grew up together from our teens.
    In the early days, before we had our own families, the socialization criticism was aimed at us as a fellowship. We didnt think of ourselves as a church.
    Most us us had left their parents churches, and our response was generally to say that we were simply enjoying closer fellowship, and they were welcome to hang out with us with no strings attached but that we didnt want to argue with them. Because we were teens, most detractors were parents and family, but also many church friends.
    When families and kids emerged among us, the protective instinct kicked in, and we wrestled with our motives to homeschool. My mother had already been homeschooling my youngest sister, and the high school was threatening legal action. My mother and another mother asked for a court date asap, telling the principal they were eager to tell the court and newspapers exactly what was going on as teachers did nothing. We all know the list of stuff Im referring to.
    That ended the standoff but didnt help to settle the very real fear of my sister, a few other kids and my mother. I wonder if we have dealt with that fear as a community?
    As our own children came along, we didn’t decide to home school as much as just continued living the way we had for years, and it seemed so foreign to ‘send’ our kids away daily to do what we were doing, that we never had angst about it.
    Finally, we sat down and hammered out a stock response that was true to where we stood, and discovered that it applied to fellowship as christians as well as school, and transcends family, creeds, memberships and generations.
    Here it is:
    We are sheep. We are followers. We are easily beset by selfishness and that quickly leads to sin if we stray from living daily as Jesus tells us to. We must live daily in close, transparent and humble fellowship in order to keep Gods presence and power in our lives, and it is fear to lose that closeness with Him and one another that keeps us on this narrow road.
    That’s it.
    It’s not rejection of sinners. We were sinners, and often still do sin.

    We found that if we keep our attention on Him in our daily lives, the rest of life balances out by itself.
    This doesn’t produce conformity, but it does make unity with diversity workable. We try to keep Jesus claim on our lives central among us and we put stuff that that interferes with that on the back shelf.
    We and our children mix with believers and unbelievers every day, and have some great relationships with both. We don’t hold back our love for God or one anther with unbelievers, or get more spiritual with believers. We don’t have church, as most would call it, but we have fellowship in several ways quite regularly. Its understood that its not our responsibility to convince anyone to do what we do, or think like we think. Having lived most of the last 40 yrs in a rural setting, we admittedly don’t have the daily interaction with city folks, bu now that our kids have grown and have many city friends, we are seeing them find novel ways to meet and interact in both settings. This includes unbelievers, and it’s becoming clear to us parents that our kids are the ones operating from a position of strength, and that’s what draws unbelievers. I wouldn’t say it’s evangelism per se, but they are being evangelized.
    Lately, I’ve re thought socialization as a term.
    I think it’s a misnomer, and accusing anyone of being anti social might be true if what is being attacked is a spirit of exclusivity. But if our hearts are loving and humble and open to all, then our social attachments or detachments are simply an outcrop of our following God as He continues His search for children to join His family.
    I don’t think christians as a group or ‘brand’ have taken the time and patience to figure out what it is that really offends those who won’t let up on socialization, even from within the churches.
    If we want our kids to inherit this battle, under far more insidious and higher level attacks than we have now, all we need to do is just let it happen.
    I hope not.
    blessings
    Greg

  5. impressive post on socialization. People ask the wrong questions.

  6. Sally Henderson

    Great post! Love what God’s word says about socialization. THANK YOU.

  7. Barb Long

    Children that only socialise with other children learn foolishness. Selective socializations homeschoolers do is MUCH better

  8. Anonymous

    Thank you Robin. Excellent post!

  9. Jessy Mills

    Good day! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs
    up for the article on socialization. Well said!

  10. Well said! I get the S question almost weekly.

  11. Debbie Hayse

    Robin you always impress me. Excellent writing. Thank you.

  12. Elena Lansbury

    I agree. We are too busy with homeschool groups. I have to take time off. Thanks Robin

  13. Heidi Stedman

    You always inspire me. This is another. God’s word should be standard in EVERY area.

  14. Shirley Johnston

    Super homeschool postings. Many thanks!

  15. The socialization topic can drive me up a wall. People are so brainwashed in America!

  16. Jenny Barboard

    Great view, Biblical view. If I had a dollar for every socialization question!

  17. Just read anther post about this on Abundant Life’s blog. See: The Truth About Homeschooling and Socialization by Marianne http://www.mariannesunderland.com/2013/09/12/the-truth-about-homeschooling-and-socialization/

  18. Mandy Warez

    Thanks for encouragement. I get this question a lot.

  19. I recently wrote about socialization. Excellent article thank you.

  20. Most often when people ask about socialization, they usually mean something like: “not weird, normal, not socially awkward, and like everybody else.”

  21. Socialization is a Bunch of Malarkey

  22. It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts from this
    piece of writing as well as from our argument made here.

    Take a look at my web page: web site

  23. I wrote about socialization for shy ones.

  24. Another great post Robin! I like to start my day with your post and mug of
    coffee.

  25. Great answer to much asked question. I get tired of it myself.

  26. Oh NO! I forgot about Socialization! by Gabby at Work of Childhood

  27. Laurie at Our Abundant Blessings

    People Say Sheltering As If It’s A Bad Thing???

  28. Marianne

    Homeschooled kids tend to be more independent and have stronger leadership qualities.

  29. abrianna

    “When I was in school, teachers always told us we were *not* there to socialize, but to learn. Has that changed?”

    I have an only child and I know that the s question comes up even more with those of us that have onlies. In my case my daughter is friendly so if she can be observed by the person asking the question I will ask them if it looks like she has difficulty socializing, and of course they have to say no.

    For those who have introverts, just remember that homeschooling does not make people introverted. Schools have plenty of introverts too and you could ask the questioner how well the schooled introverts are doing socially? In many ways traditional school can be harder on them. And lastly we can remind people that public school is a recent phenomenon. Before that everyone was homeschooled and all the founding fathers and first presidents were too.

  30. Sometimes its hard to keep a straight face but then again we have to remember, homeschooling is still pretty weird to some folks..lol..but yep, I end up cutting back our social activities..lol

  31. Dominique Bender

    I’ve noticed so many homeschooling parents try to get their children into activities so they’ll experience “real world” socialization. I know that during our first few years of homeschooling, my mom worked hard to arrange play dates and activities for me so I would be properly socialized. But she discovered she didn’t have to carry this burden! She was called to train us to know and love God, and, as she did that, she could trust God to give us just the right amount of “socialization”–or solitude–we needed.

  32. We are not homeschooling somewhere on paradise island we get out.

  33. We choose to homeschool and participate in activities with others because we want our kids to accept people of varying backgrounds and ages.

  34. Mary Ann Haven

    you have hit the nail on the head. Homeschool rocks!

  35. Just because we HOMEschool our children, does not mean we keep them locked up in our home! It is actually quite the opposite.Our children are involved in a plethora of different activitie.

  36. Maggie

    Whether in school, homeschool, college, or work, you are being socialized. Each environment brings its own unique structure and set of social rules and guidelines. As our lives grow and change we learn to navigate each and every situation.

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