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Homeschooling and Socialization issues are not separated. People never think that socialization is actually the greatest benefit of homeschooling. Most people have negative opinion without homeschooling socialization research.
“Where is your children's school?”
“Oh, they are homeschooling.”
“What about socialization? I thought about homeschooling, but I don't want my child being isolated, stuck at home. I want my kids have more diverse relationship.”
That kind of conversation is very common between homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers. Every time I hear that boring topic, I prefer not to explain anything as I am too lazy to talk a lot explaining that S question. People think that homeschooled kids will be like nerds or zombie hiding in their house.
Homeschooling Socialization Research
Socialization has different and various aspects to look up. I just opened back a book about socialization in homeschooling that I read long time ago, The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling, and I would like to take some interesting notes for the first three chapters to discuss among homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers.
Chapter 1, The Socialization Questions
- To track the socialization inquiry in homeschooling, people needs to know about 3 questions: what is homeschooling, what is socialiszation, and what is childhood. People think they have known about them, but they don't know what they actually do.
- The homeschool social life is different from the school social life in many ways that make socialization an advantage of homeschooling in the eyes of those experienced with it. (Pg.6)
- The social environment of homeschooling: the nature and quantity of peer interaction, siblings, older children, younger children, parental proximity, solitude, relationship with adults, and the larger community. Therefore, homeschooling offers children many social benefitsthan what school offers. (Pg. 5)
Chapter 2, What Do Homeschoolers do?
- The reality is that homeschooling is more than just a home-grown imitation of school, more than an educational method or choice.
- The comment from expert the expert and the public is unfair because they have little or no knowledge of it. They are experts in school area, not homeschool, especially in its social aspects. People don't have access to the facts. (Pg.13)
- Homeschooling cannot really be pinned down to a specific description because the very nature of homeschooling is that it is different for every family.(Pg 14)
I would like to add up here that homeschooling kids learn in the best place they can learn about something, with the best person they can get the information and the skill from, and on the right time when they can learn about certain things. We try to get the expert of certain area, find the right place and time to learn. By doing so homeschoolers are not stuck learning at home, but they meet many people. We live and learn in a real life.
- Homeschooling is family based living. It means that children learn in the circle of family life that lead to family unity, not separated life.
- Homeschool parents have plenty of time to devote to teaching and encouraging positive social skills (pg. 30) to give them more asset being immerse in real society. Isn't socialization about society?
- To conclude, homeschooling involves family-centered living and real-world, community-based learning. (Pg. 31)
Chapter 3, What Is Good Socialization, Anyway?
- It is not enough to say that good socialization means being “normal”. …No test for socialization, but there is only happiness and the ability to function well in the world. Therefore, parents need to choose what kind of socialization we really want and feel is appropriate for our children. (Pg. 34)
- What environment should our children be “fit or trained”for? Society as it is today? Society as it is likely to be when the children grow up? Society as we want it to be when they grow up? … (Pg. 35)
My favourite part of this chapter is this interesting question: “Is Socialization Being “Made Social”?” Let me explain it using my own words that I am really sure will be able to interpret this part more clearly. Human being is basically and naturally a social creature. It means we need other people to live with and we live in a society. The ability to live in human society is inherently born. We will seek other people and live with other people naturally. It is different with dogs that live in human world that needs to be socialized artificially as they don't live in dogs natural society (Rachel Gathercole uses this analogy). Therefore, children don't need to be socialized as they are social inherently.
The next part said that “Socialization is Social Learning”. Children don't need to be “made social”, but they need to learn social skills. Parents should think who will teach the social skills and what kinds of social skills children can learn. Should they learn with the same age peer, with family, with real society, with younger or older people, or with various kinds of people? Should they learn mainly in a closed building or in the real world?
- Many believethathomeschoolers cannot get properly socialized simply because they do not get school based socialization…(pg. 38)This stereotype happens because parents don't know what other place children can “get socialized”. Tragically, since school in the USA over 200 years, the rates of divorce, crime, drug abuse, suicides, etc are as high as or higher than ever (Pg. 40). IIt is not the fault or the blame of school, but parents who are responsible for the social and emotional education and growth of children.
- There is another kind of socialization, and this is the one many homeschoolers are after: family- and community-based socialization. (Pg. 43) It consists of living and interacting in the real world on a day-to-day basis. It involves having real-life, meaningful interactions and conversations with people of all age groups, appearances, walks of life, socio-economic groups, and so on in all settings anywhere (pg. 44)
- The goal of childhood socialization is a happy childhood followed by a happy, healthy, functional adult life in which the individual is well prepared with skills for real-world relationships. (Pg. 46)
The book has 15 chapters which are really wonderful to get people informed in more detail about socialization for homeschooled children. I finished them 2 years ago. I am not sure whether Amazon.com still has it or not, but it is really a great treasure for me.
As it is written in the book also, writing about this topic doesn't mean that I would like to promote everyone to homeschool their children or I would like to say that homeschooling is the best education for all children. Homeschooling or public schooling is a choice which is privately chosen like how we decide to follow our religion. Please let me know if you need more summary for the chapters.
Gathercole, Rachel. The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling. Denver, Colorado: Mapletree Publishing Company, 2007
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.