A Path Rediscovered for Socialization, Education, and Family
by Amy, Schechter Vahid and Frank Vahid
This book explains why homeschooling can be a great path for socializing a child and for excelling academically in a 21st century world, why homeschooling is easier than most people think, and how homeschooling can lead to the tranquil close family life many people seek.
Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Md Mate
Like countless other parents, Canadian doctors Neufeld and Mate woke up one day to find that their children had become secretive and unreachable. Pining for time with friends, they recoiled or grew hostile around adults. Why?
Socialization: The "S" Word
By Ann Zeise
Email me about socialization
questions or remarks you've heard and how you responded, and
I'll add the most poignant or funny here. Please refer to the
"Socialization" article when you write.
Most homeschooling parents want to tear their hair out if
they hear this question one more time. I'm one of them. Note
my bald spot. A tactic I use is to get the questioner to define
what they mean by "socialization." You won't believe
what I've been told that "socialization" means!
Email list community member Ronda's favorite response to the
Aren't you concerned about socialization? (regarding homeschooling)
"Yes I am deeply concerned...that is why I homeschool"
"How will he ever learn to fist fight?"
I'll let him watch KungFoo movies or take karate lessons if
he feels the need to learn how to fight.
Miss out? I don't care if he doesn't learn "hot"
dancing until MUCH later! Were school
dances that much fun for you?
"He won't ever learn to sit at a desk, raise his hand
patiently, stand in line, etc."
Somehow, these socially conforming gestures get picked up
and used when necessary. My child didn't need 13 years of school
to learn patience.
"He needs to learn to cooperate in groups."
Learning to cooperate within our own family is the best modeling,
and then testing cooperative skills out in small, friendly groups
in the community. As his skills increase, he'll eventually be
able to cope in less harmonious groups.
Being around adults modeling good manners develops better
manners than being around peers who don't have any.
"At school he'd get to meet others of diverse ethnic
and cultural backgrounds."
But will he learn to respect and get along with them? Our
son bases his friendships on common interests. He has come to
respect people of all ages for who they are and what knowledge
they can share together. He's oblivious to their skin color,
backgrounds or age difference.
"He'll be lonely without any friends."
Friends are grown through time and effort during mutually
beneficial and pleasant contacts. We have a friendly house where
children feel welcome and safe. Constantly competing for A's
does not make for great friends.
"Does she know them all?"
Hello! Reading your Q and A article on Socialization
brought to mind a conversation that my husband had with his father
when my daughter celebrated her 8th birthday with a slumber party.
We had 12 little girls over to spend the night (insane, but that's
another story). My father-in-law's question was, "Does she know them all?"
HA! Nope, she homeschools and has no friends, so we
just opened the phone book and started asking strangers to come
to her party... My husband shared with his father that
some of the girls were neighbors, some were homeschool friends,
some were from 4-H and Girl Scouts, and some were from church.
It is so absurd that people think that the only place to make
friends is in school. After all, I don't go to school,
but I have friends!
-:?:- Vicki H., Alabama
"She won't understand that tattle-tailing doesn't work."
Funny how righteously indignant homeschoolers still think
that they have a right to protest, isn't it? They aren't used
to back-stabbing, and I'm glad of it!
"Teenagers! They are so rude and disorderly! Racial
gang warfare, sex too young, drug and alcohol abuse!"
Haven't government schools done a wonderful job of socialization?
"He will miss out on walking the halls and being with the lunch table group."
He'll get to run in the park and have lunch at one of the
picnic tables during park days weekly.
"What will he do? He will miss out on high school football
and playing baseball."
There's Little League, Bobby Sox, and Pop Warner Football,
if that's what he (or she) wants to do. Most likely, he'll choose
some sport he can do his whole life long, such as skiing or rock
climbing or roller blading.
"I met my girlfriend in high school and he won't have
a chance to meet girls."
Some of the nicest girls homeschool!
Mom at a teacher's conference: "Could you give her some
more challenging work, she's bored at school."
Teacher: "She just has to learn to deal with being bored
at school, that's how life is and she needs to adjust to it!"
Your son is just going to have to get used to being picked on
and learn how to deal with it better.
This is one comment I got:
"You have to let them go sometime."
(My daughter was 3. I thought, how about if I let her go after
"Don't they want to have friends?"
I met a lady and was talking to her at a cub scout meeting
for my son. She was asking questions and saying she felt that
academically homeschooling is the best option but she has concerns
about socialization. She then asked "Do they like to homeschool?"
I said, "Yes," then it was, "Don't they want to
go to public school?" "No," was my reply. Then
she said "Well, don't they want to have friends?" I
was so mad. I looked around: we were at a pack meeting, a very
relaxed, fun one. Every one of my children was playing with friends,
other kids they see in other settings! I said, "They have
friends! They are not out there playing alone are they?"
I was so mad and shocked, I had to walk away. What child would
not want to have friends? Why can't they make friends outside
of school? It amazes me that someone would actually think a thought
Thanks for listening to the rant!
I am a stay at home Mom, I homeschool my 3 boys.
This is our fourth year.
The socialization question comes up constantly in conversations.
I tell people, my kids do not learn prejudice.
They do not pick up bad manners.
They do not have to fear.
They do not learn to fight, nor do they miss out on ridicule
My 5 year old is "peach" and the kid down the street
is "brown" and amazingly enough, so is his whole family.
They do have interaction with others, of their choice.
Frankly, they are more educated than the public school kids,
and their interests are not the same.
I tell people about my house being right next to the bus stop
and how I hear elementary kids getting off of the bus and how
they talk, it is shocking to hear an 8 year old curse at the
I encourage them to venture out to meet other kids, but they
would rather amuse themselves, they have each other. They tell
me other kids are mean.
I have much more on the subject of Homeschooling.
I do get stressed at times. I have a 5 year old, 8 year old and
11 year old. My 11 year old is reading on 11th grade level, 8
year old is on about 6th grade level and 5 year old is just starting.
Thanks for your time,
"You must not have any friends; I bet you get lonely."
As for questions that people ask and how we respond, my eighteen
year old son did a pretty good job while at the dentist getting
his teeth cleaned. When the hygienist learned that he was homeschooled,
she commented, "You must not have any friends; I bet you
get lonely." Appalled at the rudeness of her remark, he
replied, "No, I don't have any friends.... you're my only
friend." Well, needless to say, he took a beating on his
gums. For once, though, I didn't scold him for being witty. My
son is known as the "social butterfly" in our homeschool
area. On his own, he has gotten involved in virtually every youth
group in the area, volunteers to help set up and clean up at
these groups, and also plays his guitar as part of the worship
teams for these meetings (by the way, he is a self taught and
quite accomplished pianist, guitarist, and bass guitarist). He
has many friends who were not homeschooled who have been thoroughly
"socialized," with many regrets. He is always telling
me how grateful he is that he was homeschooled and never had
to deal with the issues that some of his friends had to deal
with at such young ages. He is a very confident young man, as
well as very respectful of those in authority. I have no regrets,
and my biggest compliment and assurance that homeschooling is
best for kids, is my son's appreciation of this choice his parents
made (as well as my other children's).
Thanks for a great website!
"Aren't you afraid your boys WON't fit in and be with
the in crowd because of what your doing to them?"
My neighbor came to me the other day and saw me working with
my boys and asked to speak with me so I walked over to where
she was standing and listened to what she had to say...<All
the while knowing something I really didn't want to hear was
going to come out her mouth> She said "Aren't you afraid
your boys WON't fit in and be with the in crowd because of what
your doing to them?" I said to her with a smile on my face
and a very calm voice "Aren't you afraid yours will?"
Well, she looked at me with wide eyes and made a grunt noise
like a bull, turned around and walked out of my garage..
Just wanted to share this with you :)
She informed me that I really need to expose my kids to
more germs on a regular basis so that they don't get sick "when
they are around people."
Great site. I've been homeschooling my 4 kids since
birth. My sister, always quietly criticizing my choice
to homeschool recently made this remark. After letting her know
that my kids got sick over the holidays, she informed me that
I really need to expose my kids to more germs on a regular basis
so that they don't get sick "when they are around people,"
I have yet to respond. Maybe others would also find that comment
Through it all, I decided that from now on when I am asked
"How do you plan to socialize your child?" I will answer
This weekend, at the conference, I was engaged in conversations
about socialization, about being asked about it, how to explain
it, etc. etc. and also sat in workshops/seminars where that topic
was discussed. At the same conference there were about 100 teenagers,
all homeschooled for most or all of their lives - they had none
of the "affectedness" of kids subject to peer pressure,
all of them seemed confident, mature and highly skilled in social
graces. I envied them and thought how different I would have
been had I been homeschooled - no pressure to conform, "be"
this or that, have a certain "look", wear the "accepted"
styles, and so on. Their language was not peppered with expletives,
none of them appeared to be smokers, the "devil-may-care"
facade was absent....and on and on.
Through it all, I decided that from now on when I am asked
"How do you plan to socialize your child?" I will answer
Focusing on how homeschoolers address misperceptions, she explores concepts of socialization, the importance of friendships with other children, strong relationships with parents, and how homeschoolers eventually integrate into the "real world." Great encouragement for parents who are homeschooling and those who are considering it.
My son read this book first, and then handed it to me and
said, "You really ought to read this, Mom." It deals
with a subject--violence against children--that most of us never
want to consider. But, as Gavin de Becker stresses, such situations,
though rare, can occur, so all parents must deal with the facts
in order to protect their children properly.
Playing with another child is always fun, but it isn't always
easy. Play dates provide a wonderful opportunity for small children
to practice their social skills, work on their p's & q's,
and learn how to be a good friend.
The primary goal of this book is to bring a cross-cultural
dimension to the study of human development across the lifespan.
For those who seriously wish to understand other cultures to
help explain these concepts to their children.