Since it’s near the beginning of the school year, I thought now might be a good time to address the subject of socialization. If you haven’t already been asked how your children will learn to socialize in the “real world” if you homeschool them, you probably will be sometime soon. I know it was one question our family was asked over and over by friends and family.
When people ask me now how homeschooled children will interact in the “real world,” I can’t help smiling. What “real-world” setting do you know that has people of only the same age? You don’t go into office buildings and find signs telling forty-year-olds to head one direction and twenty-year-olds to go another. Instead, you find people of all different ages working together. Yet in a school setting, children are in a room with others their own age. This is not a real-world scenario at all!
In a homeschool setting, on the other hand, children are learning to interact with people of all ages just by interacting with their parents and the people God has put in their lives. Homeschooling provides more of a “real-world” setting than does the public school!
Let me end by sharing a few resources you may find helpful in answering questions about socialization.
Back in 2003, Dr. Brian Ray surveyed 7,300 homeschool graduates. His results showed they were not handicapped socially. His results are published in Home Educated and Now Adults, available in the HEAV store . You can view a synopsis of his report on HSLDA’s website at http://www.hslda.org/research/ray2003/default.asp.
Homeschool dad Rick Boyer has written an excellent book on socialization called The Socialization Trap. This book clearly shows the harm in peer-group settings. It is also available at the HEAV store.