Are Homeschoolers Really Socialized?

Whether you are currently a homeschooler (parent or student), or are curious about homeschooled children, a common question that you have probably either encountered or inquired is: "How do homeschoolers get their socialization"?

This is a hot topic for the home educating community - one that will spur myriads of challenging answers that support homeschooled children as being properly "socialized".

Well, the main question at hand is: "What is socialization?" Starting with this pertinent question, we can find our answer in Websters' Dictionary. Socialization is simply "a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position".

This is simply a long definition to mean that a child is socialized throughout a process in which she learns to acquire values and behaviors of those around him/her - simply put. Which means, in essence, that socialization can happen anywhere - be it public school, private school, church, home school, a homeschool co-op or support group, play dates, and the worst of places (bars, gangs, streets, drug houses). Socialization happens.

So, are homeschoolers socialized? The short answer to that is - yes! Of course, the real question people want to ask is: "How are homeschoolers socialized?" With the myriads of options available for students today, it is fast becoming taboo to wonder how socialization can happen with students of any caliber, including homeschoolers.

Some of the more popular choices of extra-curricular activities among the homeschooled community are:

  • 4-H clubs
  • bible clubs
  • church groups
  • missions groups
  • volunteer work
  • music classes
  • science labs
  • art classes
  • dance classes
  • theater and performance
  • drama clubs
  • homeschooling co-ops

Out of the wide variety of options available for homeschoolers, the list above is relatively slim. Socialization happens in many of these opportunities, including in some of the following situations:

  • the local post office
  • zoos and museums
  • fire stations
  • the grocery store

Socialization happens wherever a student happens to be - whether at home, community, or group class. In short, homeschoolers are not only socialized, but in many regards, quite exposed to the real world. His or her experiences with volunteer work, play dates, enrichment classes (likely with other kids their age), and group field trips, allow ample opportunity for collaboration and community involvement that I would dare say prove desirable for most students, schools, and teachers.

Demetria Zinga is a homeschooling mom of two, vibrant daughters. A long-time web entrepreneur, she enjoys the creativity and freedom home education brings to her family, and loves to share her passion of relaxed homeschooling with others. Visit her website at Start-Homeschooling-Easy.

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