Homeschooling and Socialization
- Wednesday, April 09, 2014
What about socialization? Don’t homeschoolers miss out on socialization?
I hear that question so many times. Many times it comes from a parent considering homeschooling who has had to field that question over and over again; other times it comes from those who just don’t understand homeschooling at all.
But ask any homeschooler and they will tell you the same thing: it is a misconception to think that your child will not get the socialization he or she needs just because you are homeschooling.
In fact the opposite is true. In homeschooling, your child will receive a stronger and much better socialization experience than their peers in school. Why? Because in homeschooling, “socialization” does not mean spending your day with a room full of kids the same age. Instead, it means “socializing” with people of all ages and stages in life. This is real life. Where in life other than school do you ever spend all of your time with peers of the exact same age? And how is that training a student for success?
When you homeschool your child you will likely get involved in a homeschool support group, a community club or activity, local classes...these will become part of your day. And when they do, your child will begin to socialize with individuals of all ages.
That socialization will mean that your child will learn from those who are older, will be a leader to those who are younger and will have the opportunity to socialize in a much more realistic environment.
If you seek ministry and community service opportunities, your child will begin to work with adults as well as students of all ages. If you get him or her involved with a local drama group, church, music school, etc., you will see many opportunities for “homeschool socialization.” And you will begin to see your child mature as he or she takes on leadership roles and develops his or her talents and abilities.
Why “the homeschool way” for socialization is better:
Did you know that college admissions officers say that homeschoolers are much more prepared to interact with adults and professors at an intelligent level than those coming from public and private schools?
Why? Because homeschoolers are interacting with individuals of all ages all the time! Therefore it is nothing new when they move on to the responsibilities of college or university. In addition, many have been leaders and mentors to those who are younger for so long that their leadership skills are already well developed.
And this kind of real socialization is making them more successful. In fact, many business owners are actively seeking homeschoolers to help them succeed..
Chick-Fil-A is a prime example. Did you know that this restaurant chain makes a concerted effort to hire high school and college aged homeschoolers? Andy Lorenzen, who is in charge of recruiting front line workers for the chain of restaurants says that his success depends on the quality of his hires. That is why he prefers to tap into homeschoolers. “They’re smart, ambitious and very driven,” Lorenzen says of his homeschooled employees. “They have a high level of loyalty to the business, are diligent and have a good work ethic.”
Homeschoolers are also finding their niche in college and the workplace, in internships and entry-level professional jobs. They also often become entrepreneurs.
Statistics verify that homeschoolers are far more prepared academically—in fact they score 25% higher on standardized tests than those who attend school. But their success is in more than just academics—their unique socialization opportunities are making them successful beyond academics.
Bottom line: homeschool socialization is a non-issue. Don’t let it become one for you.
Jessica Parnell is passionate about homeschooling. A wife, mother and former public high school teacher, Jessica has transferred this passion into her career as Principal of Bridgeway Homeschool Academy. Her passion grows out of a deep desire to see every child reach their God given potential and purpose through faith-based, customized, and flexible homeschooling. With over 25 years of experience helping over 24,000 families to homeschool their way, Jessica is dedicated to helping families understand the freedom that comes with homeschooling and to empowering parents, a child's first teacher, to feel confident in taking control of their child's education. www.homeschoolacademy.com
Publication date: April 9, 2014
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