If you have thought about or already are home schooling your children then the issue of socialization might be something that you struggle with. For many contemplating home schooling this can be a big hurdle in actually making the move to home school. The argument and fear is since home schooled children are not with their peers on a daily basis in a large classroom then they might not be as social adept.The issue essentially comes from the belief that your child ability to interact with others his/her age will be greatly hampered by home schooling. This could potentially lead to anti social behavior that will affect your child’s success in life and the community at large.However, this is not entirely true. Many people use the term socialization in a very lose way and often the true definition of the word socialization is not looked at. This lead many people to draw incorrect conclusions, these are often false or at least not based on fact.Socialization in its truest form is the process of teaching a uninitiated member of a community to the norms and cultural or shared understanding that the person is a member of. For example, people living in a foreign country would have to go through a similar process if they wanted to fit in at all. Learning the cultural norms of a society helps the person to fit in socially and feel comfortable functioning in the culture.In the case of a home school situation then the child is a young member that is beginning to learn the norms and shared understandings of a society you already effectively function within. Therefore one of your responsibilities as a home school teacher is to help your child learn acceptable and unacceptable behavior and norms of society.So how is this socialization taught in our public education system? Typically students are grouped with others their same age. They spend 7 hours a day with these same students. However the classroom is a very competitive environment and does not allow for much outside interaction. Students rarely get a chance to work with anyone that is older or younger then themselves. Talking with the teacher would be about the only interaction with someone that is older then themselves.On the flipside however, children that are home schooled often get to interact with a wide variety of adults and children younger then themselves. Since the time is not a rigid and more open children have many more opportunities to work with a wide range of other people.In fact there are numerous studies that have been completed that would support this claim. They have repeatedly found that home schooled children perform as well or even better at relating to adults and younger children.This should help allay any fears about socialization alone. However there are many other reasons why home schooled children will be far better socialized then their peers.For example home school is often on a very small teacher or adult to student ratio and their give more flexibility in their time. Which allows for active home schooling parents to sit down and work with the children on specific communication skills?Also since there is more time available to home schooled children they often start taking lessons in art, music, and even sports. In the end this is one of the best ways to socialize a child.It is important to remember that home school is not a fix all solution for everything. Since the children will miss out on some of the more social aspects of school like field trips, recess and lunch times it is beneficial to involve your child in some outside activities. There are many home school groups that will do field trips and other social event together and if you do choose to home school your child it might be a good thing to look into.
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