What does socialization mean anyway?
“The general process of acquiring culture is referred to as socialization”(O’Neil).
“Socialization, the process whereby an individual learns to adjust to a group and behave in a manner approved by the group.”
For some reason many believe that if children are kept at home that they will not know how to behave. If they did not think this way then this question would never be asked.
There are two types of learning…1) formal education which usually happens in a classroom and 2) informal education which happens anywhere and everywhere (O’Neil).
Homeschooling families do both of these types of learning. So why are so many worried about homeschool children and socialization? Those who homeschool are with their students/children all day long and are able to stop the lesson to address issues that a teacher would not be able to because he/she has so many other students he/she has to give attention to. We do not have a deadline or limited time frame to teach our children something.
In many cases it is believed that the family is the most important and a major socialization agent. However, in complex societies the socializing agents are educational institution.
I want to compare what a child would learn in an educational institution vs. in a home setting.
In an educational institution a child learns to raise their hands, stand in lines, talk when asked to, listen and sit in a desk for hours, play with others during break and lunch time, wait in line to get their lunch, and talk in front of their class.
Now in a home setting a child learns to help their siblings, they learn through hands on experiences, no one waits in a line to get their lunch because they are learning how to make their own lunch, a child is able to ask as many questions as he/she needs to in order to understand what he/she is learning, and a child learns and spends time cleaning up.
Sometimes I wonder if the individuals who ask this question believe that those that homeschool their children keep their children locked up in the house and that as a result these children do not know how to communicate with others. This is very funny to me because almost every homeschool family I have ever met are well rounded and well behaved. Do these individuals really believe that a bunch of other 1st graders can teach a child how a child should act and what types of behavior are appropriate or not?
In real life we interact with all sorts of people. I love that my family has a large amount of time to build friendships with 99 year olds as well as 1 year olds. My children understand that the way you communicate with an individual who is 99 years old is very different than those who are of their age. We have a dear friend who is 99 years old. Whenever we visit her we take her shopping. I am always impressed with our son when he opens doors for our friend and takes her arm if she is having a hard time balancing. Our children have a cousin who is 1 years old and I love watching my daughter carry him around and even change his diapers without being told because she felt that his diaper was too full.
For those that worry about socialization… please don’t. Homeschool families know how to stand in lines in the grocery store, they know how to raise their hands when they are asked a question at the library, they know how to sit during a church service, they know how to play with others at the park, and they know how to talk or pray in front of large groups.