Reason to Homeschool #5 – Real World Socialization

I don’t like the whole “socialization” thing so I’ll keep this short, but it is one of the main reasons I homeschool.  I want my daughter to have real world socialization.  That means, the kind of socialization that is reflected in all of society.  It’s funny to me that some people who don’t homeschool point to socialization as a potential problem with homeschooling.  In fact, homeschooling is the answer to the real problem of staged school socialization.

In the real world, the people who are in charge, are not always older and they aren’t always adults. The people who do the listening, obeying and following, are not always younger.  And, your peers are not your same age, or even close to it. When grouping occurs in real life, it’s almost never by age, but by skills, interests, experiences, location.

In addition, in the real world, there isn’t one set of rules that only the younger people must obey, and everyone isn’t striving to reach the same goals.  There are multiple sets of rules, goals, and objectives, all intersecting and conflicting at the same time, and age is completely irrelevant for the most part. I’ve never looked around a grocery store or mall and discovered that the shoppers are all my age. At work, some of my employees are a lot older than me and others are a lot younger. My employees all have different goals and objectives. I’ve had managers who are both older and younger. The age range of my co-workers varies by at least 25 years in either direction. The instructor of my Yoga class is practically a child but yet, I’m following her instructions. Some of my friends are 15 years younger than me and others are 15 years older. In the real world, we have to interact with people of every age, and talk appropriately to the very young and the very old. We recognize that every individual has vastly different goals and objectives guiding their lives, so they may act in ways we cannot predict or understand. We need to collaborate with people of different ages, who have conflicting goals and objectives, who are following their own set of rules.

Homeschooling socializes children in the real world.  They are not in a staged environment for most of their day – they are actually living, learning, socializing, and interacting in the real world. Homeschooled children interact with people of different ages and in different environments on a daily basis. They interact with animals and nature. Their daily lives include encounters with a wide variety of people in their neighborhood and in stores, libraries, and parks.  Nearly every community has an abundance of homeschool clubs and classes that are offered during the day.  Local libraries offer homeschool reading groups, art studios offer homeschool classes, skating rinks offer homeschool skate times, dance studios offer homeschool classes, gyms offer homeschool play times.  Most communities have multiple homeschool sports leagues, homeschool proms, homeschool Girl Scout troupes, and homeschool 4-H clubs. If that’s not enough, nearly every community has multiple homeschool co-ops which offer every class imaginable for every skill level desired.  And, these activities are rarely broken up by age the way school classes are.

Homeschooling allows children to interact in the real world all day long, encountering people of every age, taking direction from younger people, giving direction to older people, conflicting with and collaborating with people with very different goals.   There’s nothing artificial or staged about it.

1 comment to Reason to Homeschool #5 – Real World Socialization

  • Charlotte

    I have been having a difficult period of reflecting on my own schooling. My children are 18mth and 3 now and thinking of putting them through what I suffered, seems unimaginable.

    The reactions of friends and family (in the UK) have been very revealing, some basically admitting that they despise and fear children and think the sooner their spirits can be crushed the better. The milder reactions have been from people who keep insisting school is the only way to turn savage babies into socialised children. The fear of non-conformity is very deep. It’s not expressed that way, they generally say that’s where they met all their friends (which may well be the case if that’s where they spent so many hours each week).

    Your blog helps me feel less alone, so grateful thanks from this side of the world!

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