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Socialization!!!

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Posted on : 10:14 AM | By : Nic | In : ,

I posted the following on the Continuum Concept email list and thought it would be valuable:

Socialization is the number one concern for people, and one I can comment on because I was homeschooled in the US for eight years, from fourth grade until I graduated just before I turned 15. My family was extremely isolated and I had very few friends, and pretty much only socialized with my own family much of the time. There were a couple of years where we were involved with a religious homeschool support group that provided socialization and activities, and we also lived with my extended family for a while (cousins and uncle and aunt) which gave us even more, but for the most part we were alone.

You would think that this would have caused me to be stunted socially in some way, unable to talk to a variety of people or maybe make me a hermit. I went to college when I was 16 and had no problem talking to people or dealing with my teachers but often found my biggest social problem was from people treating ME differently. They had all been conditioned to only deal with people their own age, and they were unable to treat me as an equal. I see this as a result of being in a classroom and getting most of their interaction with their peers. Even though I talked only to my parents and my brother and sister, I see everyone as an equal and I treat them as such. I have almost no trouble with preconceived notions of people or passing judgements on individuals. In fact I only became aware that people did that much later in my early 20's, so perhaps homeschooling only made me a bit naive.

One thing we also did was volunteer and visit nursing homes so we are comfortable being around the elderly, and when I was 12 we become library volunteers and managed some of the children's programs that encouraged reading. So even though I didn't necessarily hang out with kids my own age, I hung out with adults all the time and this was a huge benefit to me. It's not to say I don't have my problems and I still get nervous sometimes but I still think I have an advantage other people didn't get.

In the end it's not the socialization that is the danger in homeschooling, its the brainwashing, for lack of a better word. I was exposed to a variety of ideas but the outlook on life was very programmed into me and I was so naive that when I went into the world I questioned everything I had ever been taught. Now as I homeschool my own girls I teach them to question everything and make that decision for themselves. They are exposed to things that I would never have been exposed to and was unprepared for. Dealing with people is the easy part.

Comments (1)

I've been homeschooled a lot of my life and I have spent some time in school.

Socialization isn't an issue. I don't know who decided it was. I have church activities and we go into town all the time. Even before I tried out actual schools, I never had a problem making friends. My parents called me shy but I never really was. I just wouldn't talk to their friends because they talked down to me and I found it embarrassing. I have a friend who has been homeschooled her whole life. She is the most outgoing person I know. The shyest person I know has been in school her whole life.

I never thought about the "brainwashing" as a drawback to homeschooling, but you're right. Parents need to be careful not to preach only their own worldview and leave others out.

My friend who has been homeschooled her whole life has a problem with this. She has the views of her parents and how they say the world is and although some of it is good, some of it is also very stifling. You see, they are survivalists. Not a bad thing, exactly, but when you're waiting for the sky to fall, it make for a dreary existence.