- Syllabis Learning
- Category Advice Column, Child, Education, Parenting, Syllabis, Tween & Teen
The socialisation myth was born out of a misconception of what it means to be homeschooled. Many critics, educators, and parents still believe that homeschoolers hit the books at 9 am do schoolwork until 4 pm, and spend the entire day alone and isolated from the rest of the world. This notion, of course, is quite uninformed!
This topic of the effect homeschooling has on socialisation has been one of the most heavily researched issues for years now. People still have trouble conceiving how or if a child can develop optimal social and emotional skills when homeschooled. These concerns are almost always goodhearted but usually said from a position where people assume that the conventional way of schooling is the only way, and have done very little research on the subject.
These assumptions arise from a variety of misconceptions and If you’re thinking about homeschooling, this article can help you understand the myths and facts about socialisation and homeschooling.
Let us first understand the definition of socialisation. Socialization is (1) the activity of interacting with other people through which (2) the process of internalizing occurs. We internalize norms, rules, appropriate behaviors, values, ideologies, basic attitudes, self-image, and everything else that’s culturally dependent.
Children do not always respond well in large groups of 20 or 30, where peer pressure is high and kids feel the need to look and act the same way as their counterparts. Learners find themselves surrounded by rivalry, competition, and ridicule. Large groups of children become noisy and result in kids becoming nervous and over-excited. Learning becomes difficult and this is when behavioral problems develop. Does this sound like an environment for healthy socialisation?
Dr. Raymond Moore, an author of over 60 books and articles on human development, who has done extensive research on homeschooling and socialisation says this in his book, The Hurried Child, “The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters to be ‘socialized, is perhaps the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and child-rearing today.” After analyzing over 8,000 early childhood studies, Dr. Moore concluded that, contrary to popular belief, children are best socialized by parents – not other children.
A homeschooler knows she is part of a family unit that needs, wants, and depends on her. She does not have to follow the crowd or continuously be compared to her peers. By interacting with her parents and siblings she has a greater opportunity to build confidence, self-respect, and self-worth. The result is an independent thinker who isn’t influenced by peers and is self-directed in her actions and thoughts.
Children need time to dream and grow and find out what it is they love to do. This is something few children enjoy today as they spend the majority of their time at school trying to fit into the same mold as every other student, never given the freedom to be an individual with their own set of needs. They are never alone at school, and their after-school lives are packed full of activities, as well.
Homeschoolers have a wonderful opportunity to spend more time on the things that drive them and by joining sports clubs and group programs in their community they can enjoy all forms of socialisation.
Socialization, like learning and life, takes place every day. How you interact with your kids – and how they watch you interact with the outside world – teaches them all the social skills they’ll need to know. Stop worrying about socialization. It’s a “problem” that never existed!