Probably the most annoying question you can ever ask a homeschool parent. Besides the fact that socialization is highly overrated, especially if you have multiple children. (Hey, they socialize with each other all day everyday, so what are these people talking about right?) Today's notion of "socialization" defines children that are skilled in the latest video games, up to date with the latest trends in fashion and pop-culture, invited to many birthday parties, familiar with all the latest slang and dance moves (no, my children have no idea what the "Whip-Nay-Nay" is), and know about 30 children THEIR AGE to be "well-socialized". While the children, homeschooled or not, who are less outgoing, more introverted, spend much of their time reading, practicing music or art, or some other isolated activity often are considered to be "poorly socialized". This clearly misguided meaning of socialization just isn't all it's cracked up to be.
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I have worked in the public schools for many years, and even spent a few years at private Christian schools, and after being involved in the homeschool community I have now officially met all kinds of children from different walks of life. I find that overall, from my experience, the homeschooled children are more courteous towards adults, possess the ability to naturally socialize with people of many different age groups (children/teenagers/adults) with ease and zero awkwardness, and feel more comfortable around their peers without the pressure of keeping "up-to-par" with what's popular. Also, there is hardly any bullying in the homeschool community. And that's not to say that we don't teach our children what to do when faced with adversity. They just happen to be blessed not to have to face it as much. I feel that any parent would want that for their child.
Now, if you are fortunate enough, like me, to live in an area with a rather large and amazing homeschool community, then socialization is just not an issue at all. I live in South Jersey and we have a huge homeschool network of associations, co-ops, sports, activities, you name it. It's truly wonderful! We are so blessed! There are nearly 70 families signed up for the Christian homeschool association that we have been involved in for the last 3 years. Their are nearly 200 families signed up for the co-op we are registered for this year. And for my daughter's 7th birthday party, she had 28 children show up! (Most popular homeschooled kid I know lol).
My children are so busy socializing, I'm surprised we get any academics studied! They get a ton of socialization with the Christian homeschool association we are members of, meeting 3-4 times a month for field trips, art/craft days, and fellowship
nights. Not to mention the physical education activities planned unofficially by the moms in the group to get the children together at parks in between. Also, the association has a huge soccer league with over 150 children. And when it's not soccer season, they partner with a nearby indoor sports arena so our children can have 6 week intervals of gym class, basketball, volleyball, and indoor soccer. This year Sophia wants to be a part of the association's Lego Robotics team as well. My kids go to AWANA on Wednesday nights. And they have Sunday school on Sundays of course. They sing in our church's children's choir. They attend a local homeschooling riding workshop at a nearby horse ranch regularly. I also, as I mentioned, enrolled them in their first Co-op this year. They will be taking 4 classes each Thursday with other homeschooled children in the area. Plus they have gymnastics in the Summer... piano lessons during the school year... and like a million cousins... My kids probably get more socialization then most public school kids I know. So if you are reading this, and you are not a homeschool parent... think twice next time before asking the homeschool parent, "What about socialization?"
To learn more about why we homeschool, read my post titled, Why We Homeschool.
Here are some great books I recommend if you are interested in learning more about homeschooling: