This week on the Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 118: Annoying Question: What About Socialization? This post is running concurrently on The Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.
Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 118: Annoying Question: What About Socialization?
This is THE most often-asked annoying question that we homeschooling parents get. Don’t worry about it, though. We’ve got some great information to equip you to handle it graciously.
First off, people don’t even know what socialization means. SO start off clarifying the definition!
Definition of socialization: Passing on the norms, customs, ideologies and skills from one generation to the next.
Isn’t homeschooling the BEST way to accomplish socialization??
So, when you encounter the annoying question about socialization, put yourself in the questioner’s shoes and think about what they are worried about. Then answer. Here are a few common worries, along with good answers.
People are often worried our kids won’t learn: How to play with peers
- You only learn how to communicate with peers from other peers?
- Our kids aren’t isolated. Homeschool parents very intentionally exposing their kids to different social situations such as
- homeschool groups
- drama productions
- community classes
- dual enrollment classes
- Civil Air Patrol
- dance programs
- Our kids are usually trained in manners, communication and social intelligence. We make it part of our life skills curriculum (in other words, we practice it in real life).
People are often worried our kids won’t learn: How to communicate with anyone who isn’t an adult
Ask them back, do kids learn to communicate with all kinds of people in:
- Age segregated classrooms
- Classrooms who aren’t allow to experience discipline, thus are often chaotic
Rather, they learn the skills best in a loving, supportive, age-integrated atmosphere where communication skills and politeness are modeled and practiced.
People are often worried our kids won’t learn to have self-esteem because they aren’t around peers in a classroom
The truth is, homeschoolers score better on tests of socialization and self-esteem. (Check out Vicki’s graduate research publish in National Home Education Research Institute.)
Remember: There’s not ONE right way to socialize our kids. You handle socializing your family in the way that meets YOUR family’s goals.
However, we should be sure to cover a few socialization tasks with our kids, so they are well prepared for life. This is because there are certain settings our kids are going to encounter without us as they grow through adolescence that they will need specific, intentional training! 😉
- Don’t ask questions to people who aren’t interested or qualified, teach them to ask who to ask. (Just think visiting your local Motor Vehicle Administration building.)
- Teach them to handle crowds going through college tours and the mall at Christmas, as in teach them to line up or walk on the *driving lane* as they navigate mall foot traffic.
- Teach your teens to follow directions.
- Teach them to form a circle.
- Teach them to take one paper and pass the rest.
- Teach them to laugh at themselves (not take themselves too seriously).
- Teach them to be gracious to people who have other ideologies.
- Teach them to be curious and how to ask questions about all kinds of things. (Teach them Apologetics- see 7Sisters FREE Apologetics course and delightful Philosophy in 4 Questions.)
- Teach them the 10 basic social skills. (Take at look 7Sisters Social Skills.)
- Teach them to model the walk of grace (and model it ourselves).
What about socialization? Here’s a simple answer to that annoying question: “Homeschooler are socialized and successful, now tell me all about your kids.”
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