Why My Kids Will Never Be Socialized

“My only problem with homeschooling/unschooling is that the kids may not get out to socialize.”

I read this objection yesterday, but of course it was not the first time I heard it (nor will it be the last.) As any homeschooler will tell you, it is something we hear ad nauseum. ALL. THE. TIME.  It is hands down, without a doubt, case-closed, fat-lady-singing, the most common comment, question, and misconception I ever hear about homeschooling. Most days I can hear it and just let it go.  Most days I can keep myself from groaning and saying, “Really? Just…. really?” Most days I can reconcile myself with the fact that most people are ignorant towards what both the word socialization means, and to what homeschooling means, and that they truly don’t realize what it is they’re saying.

Some days though  ….  Holy moly.

And I get it.  I do.  No matter how unfounded the concern is to those of us who do actually homeschool, it is a concern that is shared by many, many people. So I’d be doing myself, my kids, and the homeschooling community at large a disservice if I didn’t address it, at least once.

Here then, is my response to the “socialization” question, once and for all.

I have not socialized my kids, and this is why:

Spencer was still an infant when we first decided we’d homeschool, so I figured I’d have a few years to get a head start on that socialization.  I would not be the parent that dropped the ball.  I would not let the detractors be right.  I would socialize my child if it was the last thing I did. But alas, somehow life got away from me.  We were busy with church. We were busy visiting with grandparents, and with his aunts and uncles.We’d made some good friends during story time at the local bookstore, and we were having too much fun with our twice a week play dates. We took a mom and baby exercise class, and a swim class, and we took long, leisurely strolls through the neighborhood.

By the time he was “school age” I still hadn’t worked socialization time into our schedule.  But it was okay!  He was still young!

We’d moved by then, and were in a new state.  We were learning the area, and meeting new people, and discovering new things.  We’d found a new church, and made new friends.  Plus, we’d had Paxton by then, and were busy with everything that comes with a new baby.  Surely we’d be back out there ready to get started on some socialization soon.

But then we got busy again.  We’d joined a local homeschool group, and the boys were making friends… which I’m afraid led to more play dates. Around the same time, Spencer joined cub scouts, which meant at least a night or two out of the house every single week, plus events and dinners and pinewood derbies and award nights.   And while we lived in a tiny town, we had neighbors just across the street.  Their daughter came over to play nearly every day after school.  I didn’t want to be unwelcoming, so how could I say no?  How could they know that she was cutting into our socialization time?

By the time Everett came along, Spencer was seven, and Paxton was only three and a half.  I still had time.  But we were still busy with scouts, and the homeschool group, and just life with three kids.  Weekends were out, because we spent them visiting with my parents – and all their friends – up at their seasonal camp in Maine.  Or traveling to Massachusetts to visit the family there.  Or hanging out with my sister’s family.  Or running any number of errands around town.  Or chatting with the people at the dump. Or the library. Or the pizza place.  Or the post office.

And then we got crazy.  Then we decided to move clear across the country. For the first year we rented.   But even renting requires an awful lot of set-up, an awful lot of comings and goings and people and places.  There was the guy who set up our satellite. And the ones who delivered our furniture. There were shopping trips to appliance stores and furniture stores, and trips to check out the library.  There was hanging out at the community pool. There was the bug guy (which was new;  hadn’t had to have a bug guy in New Hampshire!) who learned all the boys’ names and always brought them lollipops.  There was another homeschool group.  There was a street full of kids that always wanted to start a game of soccer in the road, and next door neighbors who were constantly ringing our doorbell asking if the boys could come out and play.   There was a constant whirlwind of activity. Surely, I couldn’t have been expected to socialize them then.

When we bought a house, I thought life would slow down.  Spencer was ten by then, but maybe it wasn’t too late for the others.  At first things were crazy, what with the contractors to talk to, and the renovations to watch, and the next door neighbors to barbeque with.  But things would settle down.  Things would HAVE to settle down.  And then… then, I could finally start on some socialization.

But it wasn’t to be.

I was pregnant again, which meant lots of trips (with all the boys) to my OB.  After Tegan was born, we joined another homeschool group, and we started going on field trips.  All three boys took swimming lessons.  Spencer and Paxton joined scouts again.  Paxton also joined a little league team, and when he was old enough Everett followed suit.  Everett started a gymnastics class, and made a new best friend… which led to new friends for all six of us.  Mike got us involved with some off-roading groups, who we frequently joined for both 4-wheeling and organized clean-up days in the desert.  We started geocaching, both by ourselves and with others.  We found out I had a cousin I never met who lives in the area, and we’re now babysitting her sweet six month old daughter at least a couple of times a week.  We got involved with – and made friends at – a democratic free school; and we started attending a twice a month homeschool group at a local church.

And this year, we definitely won’t get to any socializing, because in addition to all of the above, we’re planning a month long trip across the country… to see the sights, to visit old and new friends, to catch up with relatives, and to attend a 4-day unschooling conference.

I give up.

My children will never be socialized.  I don’t have the time.  I thought I would get to it, really wanted to get to it, but they’ve just been too busy.

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Filed under socialization, unschooling

223 Responses to Why My Kids Will Never Be Socialized

  1. Pingback: Are you happy with your choices? | The Path Less Taken

  2. Gypsy Chaos

    Why aren’t there comments? Gosh, I’m giving up – not going to let the lack of replies once again shoo me away!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! I am catching on – you love sarcasm and write it so well. You and your children are far more socialized than my children – and mine are 19, 19, and 24. And I worked full time, and traveled plenty, while my children were wee ones. I wouldn’t change how we raised our kids and how we’ve created our family much at all – but I can say that I wish we had more spontaneous interactions with others.


    • School9mom1

      Unfortunately, I’m a mean homeschooler w 5 kids. My 14 yr old daughter, when asked about being socialized, tells every1 that I lock her n a closet and I make her churn butter all day. I just LOVE butter;p! Lolol! Love ur sarcasm and wit. Totally me!

  3. We homeschooled for 7 glorious, wonderful years and this was the number 1 most common comment/criticism/question I received from everyone. My response was just the same, amid guitar and ice-skating, pottery lessons, weekly homeschool playgroups, science and art homeschool co-op, SpiralScouts, and camping trips. No way was socialization happening here.

    • Powe72

       But my kids did all of same activities that you are saying your homeschooled children do and they also went to school with 22 other children so I am not sure why the homeschooled children get more than regular schooled children. Who are the  people question the “home schooled” child missing out on the activities that “regular schooled” children do? Do they know your families or are they strangers? Home schooled children do not have the same socialization skills, they have to have differant socialization skills; just like an only child does not have the same upbringing as a child from a family with two or more siblings. The home school child will make their way in the world just like a child who went to regular school. The only differance I see is the child doesn’t is spared or misses out on (what ever your view point is on this point) the childhood friends from school. The boys, learning how to lead groups, play in groups, the sleep overs, the giggling on the playground, being away from your parents for the day, learning how to deal with multiple personalities at a young age. Those things are special to me as an adult and I know that homeschool children get to do things during the day as part of their schooling and they have get togethers with other homeschooled children but to me the gathering would feel like it did when I would go to Sunday and weekday church as a kid. I knew kids from church but the close bonds never were as strong as any that I had with my school freinds. As a matter a fact, I don’t think I could tell you even one person that met at church as a youth but my school mates, well we are still freinds and still meet now and then for dinner. I don’t think the home schooled children are under socialization as much as I see them as over protected and lacking some skills in dealing with people. They may belong to Scouts but as a Scout leader for 12 years the home schooled child is more likely to have the tendancies to not be able to join in on group activities as well as the regular schooled child canand they do not care to take direction from others because they are used to their parents being the leader.  It takes all kinds to make up the world.

      • pathlesstaken

        “The boys, learning how to lead groups, play in groups, the sleep overs,
        the giggling on the playground, being away from your parents for the
        day, learning how to deal with multiple personalities at a young age.”  My kids have ample opportunities to do all of the above.  🙂

        As for cub scouts, my 8 year old is one of the most active members is his den (as were his brothers before him), and he has NO problems whatsoever taking direction.   Those misconceptions about homeschoolers are exactly why I wrote this post.

      • Jota

         One thing few people acknowledge is that everyone, homeschooled or not, has their own personality with its unique strengths and weaknesses.  The ones that are naturally outgoing will be outgoing no matter what their education; the same is true for the introverted.  Education and environment will influence how strongly those traits are manifested, but won’t significantly alter who they already are.  My husband was homeschooled 30 years ago in an area of the world where he had very few of the opportunities for social activities that kids have now.  He’s been back in the States for 20 years and now works as an aircraft mechanic — but at pretty much every job he’s had, he has eventually found himself nominated to be the one who deals directly with customers because “he’s so good with people.”  And he is.  I was traditionally-schooled from K- college, and I wish I was as comfortable dealing with varied social situations as he is! 

        • pathlesstaken

          Yes, very true!  I am extremely introverted (even more so the older I get) and sometimes the kids’ busy social schedule is a lot for me!  I have one child who is an introvert, so I’m very sensitive to how he feels, and his needs of staying home sometimes to re-charge…. and at the same time, I try to stay sensitive to my extroverts who thrive from being around other people.  It’s definitely a balancing act at times.

        • Rainsong211

           I agree!  Two of my sisters were home-schooled through middle school.  When the older, very outgoing one, returned to public school in 9th grade, she quickly became the star of every school play, the color guard captain, valedictorian, and more.  When the younger, very shy one, returned to public school, she struggled to make new friends, struggled academically, and struggled to find her place.  Both are kind, generous, independent thinkers, who aren’t likely to conform to the crowd, and who have many dear friends.  In conclusion, I don’t think we can assume that home-schooling can alter a person’s personality, and some are just more extroverted while others are more introverted. 

      • Joy

        My daughter was homeschooled from 1st through 5th grade & my son was homeschooled from 4th through 9th grade.  When they returned to public school, they were different from their peers in a few ways.  One, they weren’t disruptive in class & hated it when the other students were.  Two, they were more polite to the teachers & more respectful of the other students.  Three, they were less likely to do things they didn’t want to do because of peer pressure.  Needless to say, their teachers love them.  My other son was homeschooled 4th through 12th & he is in an organization that has quite a few homeschooled kids & quite a few public school kids as well.  The homeschooled students seem to rise to positions of authority more & faster than the public school kids.  I’m not saying homeschooled kids are better or even that homeschooling is better.  But it’s a different kind of socialization, like you said.  I think it allows kids to be themselves more rather than pressuring them to conform to be accepted.  The kids who returned to school did so because they wanted to & my son who stayed homeschooled did that because he wanted to.  There are benefits to both & things you miss out on when you choose one over the other.   

      • Deborah

        While that was clearly your experience, Powe72, mine was the same, but opposite. 🙂

        I went to public school and I am in touch (email/facebook/meet once or twice since ’95) with perhaps two kids from school (class of 400)…but am still in close contact (going to visit, staying in one anothers’ homes, getting together every time they’re in town, calling on the phone) with a large percentage of my church youth group friends.

        Often, our generalizations based on our experiences are just that…OUR experiences.  It *does* take all kinds to make a world…but as an educator for 13 years as well, I’d say my experiences with homeschoolers being put into the public school is the opposite of yours–they’re far and away some of the best equipped for leadership, following directions and not only being well-socialized with their peers but also with adults, sometimes much better than their peers.

        Bottom line?  It depends on what you *do* in your homeschooling/public schooling/parenting with individual human beings who have individual personalities as to what you get out of a person and their experiences.

        As we saw with the Time Magazine cover…when we get into a competitiveness about parenting/childrearing/education styles…we really don’t help ourselves.  Again, from what I’ve seen, many homeschoolers (and I am acquainted/close friends/related to over a hundred, easily), find themselves being asked to ‘defend’ their practices while public school is far more often considered the norm and so many of these pieces are written in response to the questions they face.

        Thank you for sharing your experiences…it’s good to hear from multiple perspectives. 🙂

      • Klo


        I went to school for 12 years and have kept in touch with maybe a handful of friends from high school. The reasons being that my family moved because of my parents work and also that I went to school in large cities where I did not leave near any of my school friends. In addition to that I was also so exhausted from my commute to a “good school” in town that I did not have the energy to join after school clubs. I do have some good memories from school and the friends that I had there.

        The point is that life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Your good friends from school may move house or you may move. Perhaps the person that your were friends with in first grade may not be your friend by second grade. Not everyone lives in a small village where they all know each other and there is no guarantee that your friends from kindergarten are going to be your buddies for life.

        I home educate my kids now because it’s a great way to learn and to live. My eldest went to school for a year and now that we home school he gets plenty of interesting opportunities to interact with others. By the way he was also a Beaver cub and while my son had no problems at all joining in. Plenty of other kids (many who went to school) suffered from separation anxiety.

      • Trish

        “The home school child will make their way in the world just like a child who went to regular school. The only difference I see is the child doesn’t is spared or misses out on (what ever your view point is on this point) the childhood friends from school.”

        As someone who was schooled in public schools, I must disagree. My friends were the neighborhood kids…none of which were truly “classmates,” because they were all different ages and I never saw them in school. I don’t have any friends from school, still, some 30-40 yes later, just a few non close social media acquaintances. I believe socialization has more to do with how you provide one on one, consistency and love, rather than being subjected to 30-50 kids all day.

      • Trish

        Here’s a great link that reiterates my point. I had a horrible, nonloving, antisocial mother, and public school wasn’t enough to teach me proper socialization. I still struggle with it in my adult life. You become socialized mostly by watching successful adults, not interacting with bratty, bullying kids, such as you find yourself among at public school.


  4. Colleen

    Amazingly, I don’t get this question much, but my favorite response is “You’re right, socialization can be a huge problem. But, we try really hard to make sure that at least once or twice a week, we take a break from it and just stay home.”

    • jen

      Nice! I’ll have to remember that. 🙂

    • Beth S

      LOL! I answered a neighbor who meant well in a simular fashion and boy did she looked shocked! That was not the response she was expecting.

      • Normal is Good

        Maybe when you socialize with educated people they might point out that you need some remedial English?

        • Normal is dull

          Funny how people always focus on your grammar when they don’t actually have a coherent argument against what you’ve just said 😉

  5. Kirsten. Braden

    One of the reasons we decided to homeschool our son was that the “socialization” he was receiving at school involved plenty of unpleasant bullying situations. My son had become wary of other children and dreaded being in any social situation. When we started homeschooling, the tranquil solitude of being the only student was a blessed relief for him. He gradually began to regain his confidence. We joined a homeschooling group where he was pleasantly surprised to find that the kids “were welcoming and didnt curse at me”. Now my son has a wonderful selection of friends from homeschool and also our neighborhood: He has many more friends than he ever had at his old school. He is a happy, confident and friendly kid….and his Mom is happy too!

    • jen

      We recently joined a homeschool group again, after a period of time of keeping to ourselves a little bit more, and our experience has been very much as you described. The kids are LOVING the new friends they’ve made, of all ages, and we’re all really enjoying being part of such a welcoming group. 🙂

  6. Carla

    Ok, I have a few questions. I’m not trying to be negative in any way, I promise. These are just the issues I struggle with in regards to homeschooling. I was homeschooled myself and it was a really unpleasant experience. Ok, here are my questions:
    Do your children have a choice when they are older? What if they tell you that they want to attend public school (this happened to me when I was 12)? Will you let them make the choice?I never doubted that homeschoolers don’t get socialized ( I was!) but are they exposed to different cultures, opinions, religions, philosophies, etc.? This is my concern. All the kids in my homeschool group were all the same religion, race, economic class, etc. It was dull for me. I craved conflict and confrontation. I wanted to debate. My parents did a good job of oppressing that drive. I’m a big hippie liberal that happens to be an atheist but that doesn’t mean I constantly want to mingle with my own ‘kind’.  I love being around people that sit on the opposite side of the spectrum. It’s challenges my convictions and solidifies them at the same time.  Every other aspect of homeschooling is very appealing otherwise. If greed and corruption were to be removed from our public schools and if teachers were allowed to do their job I would be the first parent in line to enroll my son in public school. BUT with broken system that lies before us, homeschooling sounds like a more sound option for my son. I’m just very wary based on my personal experiences. 

    • pathlesstaken

      I’m sorry to hear that you had a negative homeschool experience.  To answer your questions:   “Do your children have a choice when they are older?”  Of course! Not just when they’re older, but right now. They always have a choice.   “What if they tell you that they want to attend public school (this
      happened to me when I was 12)? Will you let them make the choice?”  I have to preface by saying I don’t think it’s likely, because they are VERY happy with their lifestyle as it is, but if/when it became an issue, it would absolutely be their choice, not mine, and I would support them in their decision.   If they decided to try school, and changed their minds one month later, I’d support that too.   “I never doubted that homeschoolers don’t get socialized ( I was!) but
      are they exposed to different cultures, opinions, religions,
      philosophies, etc.?”    Yes, yes, yes, and yes. 🙂  Even in the homeschool group we belong to (which is a very large group) there are many different opinions, faiths, philosophies, backgrounds etc.    I LOVE and appreciate healthy discussions between people with different beliefs, and my children do too. 🙂

    • belongtotoday

      “But are they exposed to different cultures, opinions, religions, philosophies, etc.?”

      Even being in school is no guarantee of any of this taking place. 🙂

      Immigrants tend to clump together in one area of a city. So being in that part of the city means the schools in that area will likely be fuller with those people than with the caucasian ‘natives’ of the city. Just like if you go outside those areas, or live in a predominantly white city like Seattle or Portland, you’re probably going to be in school with people of the same race / culture.

      If you’re in public school, there isn’t usually a lot of talk about religion..if any at all. Especially outside of the US where religion is even less of an issue / hot topic. And even if you migrate to a private school (which are often tied to a religion) then generally that’s one dominant religion. Such as you go to a Catholic private school…you probably won’t find a whole lot of Muslims or Buddhists there (though there might be one or two), or if you go to a madrasah you probably won’t find a lot of Jewish kids.

      They don’t usually talk philosophy until high school or even college anyway, so it’s pretty moot if we’re talking homechooling elementary kids unless you want to talk about the philosophy of why a Lego figure looks the way it does or why Megatron is bad. 😉

      As far as opinions go, same thing. For most elementary kids it’s basically “That toy is cool” or “That cartoon is dumb!” and while those are valid feelings, I don’t feel that somehow a child lacking being told a cartoon they like is dumb is somehow a detriment to them.

      Just thought I’d put that out there.

    • tinkr2

      My daughter has asked to go to school. I said no (she is 7). She wanted to attend school because she thought it would be like on tv, with a cafeteria, 90% play time, and no maths (bless her).

      I have seen schooled children ask their parents if they can homeschool and they are told NO straight up. Why don’t homeschooling parents also have this right?

      One of her friends recently chose to attend school, her mother laid out 100’s $’s on school kit, and then she changed her mind a week later.

      We made our choices based on what is best for our children, and we’ll stick to it.

      However I do agree with the points you made on socialisation I think I would be very bored in that situation too. 🙂

    • Sue

      Then, on your personal experience make your son’s homeschooling experience different and better.  You can do it, and he will love you for it.  Maybe homeschooling these days can be a lot healthier for him than in your school time.

  7. Kate

    But you forgot to mention that “socializing” the way people talk about it isn’t even valid.  Being in a classroom with the same 30 kids each day?  How is the the “most” valid way of socializing?  Plus, do you want your kids to live the same way the rest of the world does?  I bet not.  I don’t.  Once you really understand the mindset of a homeschooling family, well, the whole idea of “socialization” the way most talk about it is completely ridiculous.

    • pathlesstaken

      Oh yes, absolutely agree!  Being in a room with 30 other kids of the same age and roughly the same ability is NOT my idea of socializing!

      • Momofautistic

        then when you are in that setting, what do you get in trouble for? socializing! dont talk in class, dont run, dont touch!

    • Cara

      agreed. There is a big difference between forced association and socialization

  8. Oh my goodness. I love this so much.

  9. Jenifer

    Love it!


  10. Kassie Rew

    So, be socialized means what? Being in public school? 

    I guess I’m a bit confused (and feeling stupid) because it seems like they are socialized… going on playdates, being involved in boy scouts, just playing with other children. Isn’t that socialization? I mean, if I chose to homeschool, which we are seriously considering even though our son is only 18 months old, I feel like he’d be socialized if he got the chance to interact with other kids. Whether it be through playdates, church, sports, other many other things. 

    • Kelly

      That’s the point, Kassie!  We don’t have to work to get our kids “socialized” – they will get it unless we just lock them inside all day every day! But so many people act like we can’t possibly be allowing our kids to be properly “socialized” if we don’t send them to school.  

      My other response to those questions involves me pointing out all the reasons I don’t WANT my kids socialized in the school system! 

    • pathlesstaken

      Kassie, the post was very tongue-in-cheek, and an indirect way to say that YES, they are VERY socialized….. and in a far more meaningful way than they’d be if they were in school. 🙂

  11. This post is absolutely fantastic! My sister and I were homeschooled growing up (LOVED it!) and encountered this question all the time. Your post is absolutely correct – we were too busy to “socialize” growing up. Way too busy. And I’ll be honest and say, I’m so glad we were! 😉

  12. Lavinia

    Wonderful response – we’ve been getting this forever, since ours is an only child on top of it! Whoops!:)

    • Dodsontrio

      I homeschool my only child as well!  I have to tell you at first I felt guilty and thought I was depriving him of time with other children.  Wow!  How wrong I was.  

  13. Sarah S.

    LOVE IT!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Amen, amen, and amen. This is wonderful! 

  15. Lizzieosborne

    I think that most people have a very odd opinion of home schoolers in general. And yes, there are families that have helped create that stereo type.
    I am a home school graduate, and I currently home school my son. I did not make this decision lightly or because I even feel that home schooling is the “only” right choice. I made it based on where we live, the school he would attend and education he would receive. Never once did socialization factor in.
    This fall he will most likely be attending private school becaus he has asked to.
    When will people (including home schoolers) quit making this about an arguement and start making it about the best choice for each child? I get very tired of all the meaningless “right/wrong” arguements. Please- the more sarcastic you act the more arguements you start. Keep this in mind while you make your “statement”.

    • pathlesstaken

      Hmm.  It was really just meant to be a lighthearted response to a very, very common question… not meant to start an argument.

  16. Haha! Love this! Too bad you were too busy living life  to socialize your kids =P

  17. Crazydayz_homeschool

    Love this !

  18. I. Loved. This!!!! Perfect!! I laughed at the end. It’s so true.

  19. Awesome!!! Exactly how I feel.

  20. Jennifer

    This is amazing!! Thank you for sharing! I was homeschooled and involved with homeschool groups and a family at out church with same age kids who also homeschooled! Spend the night parties, zoo trips! Just no time for socialization!!!!! 🙂

  21. Angelaculbreth

    9 am.  Just this very morning.  At the register at Waffle House.  Lady behind us comments that we must be in a hurry to get out since school must be starting any minute now.  So I say, well this is school, and that we home school, and she said, drum roll please . . . well, that sounds fine, um, but, um, you do have him in after school sports and activities, right?  With kids his own age?  Socialization is so important for children.  

    • omg

      Glad you are spending time at waffle house since that’s what you are equipping them to do when they “graduate” from your living room.

      • Find_some_employment

        Troll: Someone who gets pleasure by typing annoying/controversial/offensive words at strangers on internet forums, for them to read.

      • Monkeyberry1

        Homeschoolers are not allowed to go out to eat, I guess.
        That’s why I just keep my kids in the basement and lower the food bucket once a day. Keeps all those pesky questions at bay.

  22. Kel

    Love it 🙂

  23. Sarah K

    I love it!!!!!!! Thank you for taking a moment to share! 🙂

  24. Daniel the faithful

    Im sorry this is too much you consider your kids well rounded because you put them in organized group settings with other children with common goals. In public schools you have to deal with problem peers who have different or no belief in God. They have no experiences in anything that you didnt sponser with your money. Your arrogance is sickening.

    • pathlesstaken

      Wow, “arrogance” is an interesting choice of words from someone who is presuming to know who my children do and do not interact with based solely on one light-hearted blog post.  Have you met them?  Many – if not most – of the kids they deal with have different and/or no belief in God, and they have MANY experiences in things I didn’t “sponsor with my money.”

    • tinkr2

      If the only thing our children are missing out on at school is dealing with problem children, I feel reassured that home schooling is the better path for us 😛

      •  You’d think that up to the point that they enter the adult world completely ill-equipped with dealing with common every day problems.

        People in homeschooling atmospheres, in my experience, have 100% of the time been seemingly overbearing Christians. Never once in my life have I met someone who was home schooled because their M.D. or C.E.O. parents wanted it that way because it was a better form of education.

        What I have seen, many times over, are teenagers who suddenly taste “candy” for the first time and lose all sense of control and generally spiral out of control.

        By not submitting ones children to the concepts of hidden curriculum and social peer conflicts, you actually set them up to be unable to properly deal with common every day life issues in their early adult hood. What seems to happen grossly is that the child’s ability to understand designated authority rolls or adequately evaluate such things doesn’t exist.

        In all honesty, unless you have the money and or ability to fully continue this sort of isolated education straight through private religious colleges, you’re probably doing a worse injustice to your child than not.

        • Leon

          Well let me be the first person to blow that stereotype out of the water.

          We are not Christian. At. All. I’m not a CEO, but I’m an “architect” level computer professional. My wife works as a medical technician.

          My daughter asked to get out of the public school just before 8th grade. She was tired of being poked in the back of the head with a pencil. She was tired of sitting with a group of kids who couldn’t figure out that – when sitting down in math class – to take out their books and paper and pencil without being told. She was tired of “getting the concept” on Tuesday, but having to slog through 2 more days of busy work because little billy or susie or whoever didn’t get it yet. She was tired of losing an hour each day because, inevitably in one of her classes some teacher would have to escort some kid to the office.

          We lived, by the way, in the best school system in our state. 

          So she asked, we decided to give it a shot.

          Long story short: Home schooling meant she could rock through subjects at her own pace; she could organize her week so that she could take a ‘day off’ when she wanted it. Blah blah blah joys of homeschooling blah blah blah.

          Let me make it clear – my kid isn’t exceptionally bright. She’s not a genius. She’s just extremely organized and  has a low tolerance for boring crap.

          This year she will complete her Junior year in High school (where she has all of 1 credit left) and also her freshman year of college. 

          Dealing with problem people? How’s this: The owner of the bakery where my daughter works was diagnosed with a 2.25 cancerous lump. He was going to be out for at least 2 months. It was my daughter who came in at 4am for 2 weeks before the surgery to learn the recipes. It was my 17 year old daughter who continued to come in each morning to light the ovens, start the recipes, mange the inventory, and make sure everything was running. For 2 months she made sure everything worked smoothly so this guy had a business to come back to. She dealt with problem customers, problem employees, and just plain-old problems. You know, the ones that we can “life”. And she continued to mange her schoolwork. 

          So I’d say that, even without classmates to giver her practical hands-on experience, she has somehow managed to learn the skills you (and other commentors in this thread) seem to be so concerned about.

          Oh, and she DOES socialize. With her actual friends, not just people she’s forced to sit in a room with for 8 hours a day. The people she met at camp, youth group, evening music group, our extended friends-and-family circles, our neighborhood, etc.

          “Homeschooling – we’re not all religious wackos”

        • Amy Travis

           To Daniel and David.

          Colleges actually gladly accept homeschoolers because homeschoolers do well in college.

          Many homeschoolers I know start community college at 14, and some even graduate with a bachelor’s degree by 18. 

          Isolation is being in a classroom with children all the same age for 6 to 8 hours a day.  My homeschool children are around children of  all ages and consider children from ages 3 to 16 friends.

          My children are involved in groups that contain school children such as scouts, online groups that include children on the other side of the world and homeschool groups that accept families of all backgrounds of faith or lack of faith. 

          Within the groups that my children are involved there is all that same social stuff you think is so important.  Homeschool children do disagree and fight.  Sometimes it is messy and sometimes they work it out and move on.  Nothing different from public school children.  But I will say from my teaching experience,  among the homeschool children there does seem to be a bit less fighting and disagreeing that escalates to the point where an adult needs to get involved.

          In our group we have children with parents that are Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Engineers, Accountants, Business Owners and a plethora of other occupations that requires education.

        • Astrid

           *Snort*. Does it matter if a C.E.O or MD educates their children at home or send them to school? I am no sheep. Some people are in need to follow the herd, some people live and act independently of the herd. Some people do not want to be educated and some people simply cannot be educated. The evidence is there for your scutiny. Your choice. My guess is that you need someone to tell you what to think.

        • Myanameo

          My sister came to my aid when my mother started AGAIN on her version (and yours David) of socialization, 25 years+ with evidence to the contrary, and even though her “homeschooled grandchildren” are the most socially adaptable of her grandchildren. My sister works for a major pharma concern in Legal. Guess where the lawyers, doctors, scientists and  corporate heads of this major concern send their children to school? THEY DON’T. They practice various methods of homeschooling.

        • Telebatte

          I am not a home schooler. I send my kids to private school because I want them to be with peers who have the same Christian values, however, I applauded mothers who have the ability to homeschool. I know a set of twins homeschooled who went to college, graduated, got married and by the way didn’t go wild. They are well respected and successful adults. There parents died while they were in college and they still turned out well. If you in still Jesus and Christian values in your child, they will continue. Raise a child up in the way they will go, and they will not depart from it. No thank you, I don’t want my child in fluenced by this world while their minds are young. If I couldn’t afford private, I would homeschool.

        • David, I’m one of the people you describe…..I’m a homeschooling mom with an M.B.A. my husband is a J.D. (a lawyer). We are not homeschooling for religious reasons at all. We are doing it to give our children opportunities that can not be offered in a school setting and to give them a great education. Our kids are involved in all sorts of activities. We never worry about socialization — it’s over rated, as we don’t value the kind of socialization that children receive in school (we both went to school, we know!).

        • Przhim4mykdz

          Francis Collins, head of the human genome project – homeschooled, or rather unschooled. Professional parents. Just a thought.

        • guest

           Two words: Tim Tebow

        • Atheisthomeschooler

          My doctor friends are homeschoolers, my husband works in human rights law, the variety is huge.  All the homeschoolers in my group are not doing it for religious reasons.   Most are agnostic/atheist.

          • Gym Mats

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        • sneakierbiscuit

           I went through the usual schooling system my whole life, but in college I was the one who ran off the rails and spiralled into destructiveness before finally hauling myself out.

          My husband was homeschooled.  He went through college with far less angst and difficulty than I.

          I worked as an RA at a college dorm, and I can safely say that what you described regarding candy, hidden curriculum, social peer conflicts, designated authority rolls [sic] is very much in operation with a large portion of college students, the vast majority of whom made their way through public and private schools.  It’s laughable that you point to these as specifically the problems of homeschooled children. 

          We’re both Christian.  Catholic-Christian to be precise (Latin Rite to be even *more* precise.)  We are homeschooling due to both religious desires (we wish to guide our children’s spiritual growth as more than a weekend thing) and for educational reasons, as well as practical.  My husband is a mathematician who has been involved in proofing math texts for many states.  He’s appalled by math curricula and the non-intuitive, nonsensical approach to teaching mathematics.  (Paul Lockhart has written eloquently on the subject.)  My husband makes a living teaching math from elementary level all the way through college math.  He can do a better job of teaching our children math and science than most schools can offer.  I have taught ESL and tutored in English, the humanities, and the social sciences.  We can both teach our children music.  We will put them in homeschooling classes for specialist topics like Latin and Greek when our children reach middle school level.  Frankly, their quality of education is better, with less dedicated class and homework time necessary to achieve better results. 
          On the practical level, we like to travel.  My undergraduate major was in cultural anthropology and the theory of developing countries.  I have graduate studies in interfaith relations/comparative religions.  I am now also completing a MA with plans to do a Ph.D in the area of biomedical ethics.  We want to introduce our children to differing countries and cultures.  And the only affordable way to do that is to travel in the off peak season (which is also more enjoyable.!)  If our children are tied to the school year calendar, their opportunities for travel would be much more limited.

      • omg

        In the real world there are all types of people. If your child doesn’t learn to cope with a “problem children” then how on earth will they ever be able to handle themselves as adults? 

        • mommyto8

          What on earth would make you think that neighborhood kids were not occasionally “problem children”?  Perhaps your neighborhood only has perfect people, but mine has kids who use foul language, a few kids that are just plain mean, a family who doesn’t have any rules it seems for their son -(who is now a very young father), & LOTS  of families with different beliefs and values.   And just because you join a group to participate in a common activity – it doesn’t mean that the group shares anything in common other than participation in that event.  
          Socialization is learning to deal with society.  It doesn’t mean I have to expose my child to the worst part of society – just the part of society that I expect them to live among.  I certainly haven’t seen any elite politicians  bring their children to a low income public school so they could learn “socialization”.  Does that mean their children aren’t socialized?

          • Momofautistic

             I agree mommyto8, many times some kids in homeschooling groups can be “problem children”. Kids are kids, life is life. You don’t sit in a library program and only encounter perfect well behaved christian mythical children.

            I am also a person homeschooling not for religious reasons, and I know plenty of people in my area that my son plays with who also do not homeschool for religious reasons.

    • mommyto8

      Other children with common goals?  Surely you can’t be talking about siblings!  Put any two siblings in a room and the only common goal they have is to disagree over whose rights are actually being violated!  You can’t possibly think that a group of 4 brothers always get along with common goals like strawberries and whipped cream.  No one could ever be that naive.

    • Mvp

      Daniel certainly has his head in a very dark cavity located on the lower part of the anatomy.

    • Jennifer

      So sending them to government schools with children all the same age as them and sponsored with everyone else’s money would be better?  Common goals?  The fact that in most school children are all expected to act the same and learn the same ways is better how??  I’m also quite sure the author (like most of us) comes across many unbelievers and “problem” peers in many real life settings.  Unfortunately problem people seem to pop up everywhere. 🙂

    • Monkeyberry1

       you consider your kids well rounded because you put them in organized group settings with other children with common goals. ”
      Is that not what public school is? 
      I homeschool and have many friends with many different belief systems.  I don’t consider them problems unless they start proselytizing. I have never paid to be part of a homeschool group or chucked out money for a playdate. 
      The only arrogance I see is your attitude toward those who believe differently than you do. 
      I consider my kids well rounded because they are able to interact sucessfully with people of ALL ages and backgrounds with kindness and respect. 

      Socialization (or socialisation) is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society. Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’. 

    • Daniel, when I read your post I feel a little afraid because I would like safety in these dialogues, and to this end it is important to me that we all hear each other with respect.

      I’m guessing from your words that there’s some anger there, and I would like to better understand what has led to that. Are you frustrated because you value children experiencing a wide variety of spiritual beliefs in order to better prepare them for adulthood, and you’re concerned that the blog author isn’t providing that experience? I’m also wondering if you have some sadness about some people having more money than others, and that you’d like the freedom of choice that money would allow you?

  25. Alicia

    Love this!

  26. tinkr2

    My Girls are only 7 and 6, but I could have written this myself. With ballet, gymnastics, scouts, homeschool crafting days, playdates with ‘best friends’ visiting family and friends… we almost don’t have time for study, let alone socialisation!

  27. wonderful blog post ~ we also homeschool and this is our first year and we are loving every moment 🙂  Some people look at “socialization” as a way for kids to sit down with peers, head in strategies, learning about pressures and conforming to society based rules and regulations. No thanks 🙂

    What you are doing sounds wonderful. Your kids ARE socializing with other children, adults, and communities in the REAL world – not from behind a desk. Theres no better way to socialize than the “natural” way. IMO.

    Thanks for sharing. Ending with a little note that might help someone out:

    Judging a person does not define who THEY are. It defines who YOU are <3 ~  Much Love

  28. Had my grandkids 1st

    The reality is that in the history of humanity, classroom school is really kind of new, right?   Sometimes good, sometimes mob rules, and sometimes a little bit Lord of the flies.

  29. Sunangielina

    I agree that I hear this everytime someone talks about homeschooling. However what I hear most and I myself think of most is “so and so was home schooled” and they are completely socially akward/ have zero commen sense / didn’t go to college. I would love to hear how you would address this?

    • Heatherespo

      I do not have children BUT I did teach in public schools (middle & high school) for 7 years and the majority of the students were beyond amazingly socially awkward, had no common sense & lacked the ability to think for themselves.  If you honestly think that public school kids have better social skills, go hang out in your local high school for a week…
      As for people thinking that home schooled kids are socially awkward or “dorks”–yes, some of them are.  BUT, once again, there are plenty of the same kinds in public schools.  Generally, a kid is a dork or socially awkward b/c their parents are.Now, as an employer I am constantly amazed at how little “kids these days” can think for themselves.  When I hire someone who is able to forward think it’s (at this rate it is 1 out of 10) it is b/c they began working at a very young age or were home schooled.  

    • Leelee

      Hahaha. Sounds like you don’t know many homeschooled people. I was homeschooled and excelled wonderfully, and college was a breeze! I got a Bachelor’s degree, married, had children, and my friends, much to my embarrassment, always tell me I’m a hot mom. LOL.  Homeschooling is GREAT!

  30. Scotty

    No one has EVER been concerned that my child wasn’t actually being EDUCATED! Only that he wouldn’t be socialised! Totally wierd! He is spending much more time socialising now that we homeschool than we ever did when he was at school. And the education – Yes it is actually happening too! Sometimes!

  31. Pmacbooster

    I LOVE this Jen!  Well done.  I teach in a public school and while I do believe public school has many advantages, I also see that home-schooling holds some advantages as well.  I know that your kids won’t have to deal with the school bully or the idiot teacher.  I also know that many people will criticize you for not allowing your kids the opportunity to be in a “real life”setting.  I see the good and bad to both sides, but socializing, in my opinion is easily handled by smart, resourceful moms who are willing to make play dates and introduce the world to their kids.  I applaud your efforts as a homeschooling family and hope that the world will begin to see homeschooling (when the family is doing it properly – which is it’s own debate) is a viable alternative for some families.  

  32. Beautifully written. I distinctly remember standing with a dear friend overlooking the back yard of another homeschool group mom’s home while our children all played happily together and her commenting on our “socially stunted” children.  Tongue-in-cheek, of course!   Our children later ended up in public school (her one and my two) and the only real adjustment was to the curriculum which was far below what they were used to.  

  33. LOL! You hit the nail on the head. My two boys will also never be socialized… do people really think we stay in our houses the whole time, not sticking a nose out the door, have blinkers over our eyes? Keep the kids away from everything? Get real.

    Elize vdMerwe, Pmb (South Africa)

  34. Jbhlroth

    I absolutely related to this 100%….my thoughts exactly coming from a homeschooling mom with two daughters who are now done with college with one married!  Hahaha!  Just loooooved this!

  35. Tonya Travelstead

    Sounds to me like your like is FULL of socializing.  🙂 Enjoy the homeschool years… mine ended last week and we have wonderful memories. http://mrststhoughtsfromatitus2mom.blogspot.com/#uds-search-results

  36. Caseycroy

    Mom seems very happy. The story is all about Mom.  She seems like a good Mom.  Very much in control.  Control works well but not forever.  Some time or another, Kiddo will confront diversity and demands of decision-making. Without Mom’s control.  Been there. Done that. Best wishes.

    • pathlesstaken

      All about mom and all about control?  It’s very much the opposite, actually.  Thanks though, for the comment.

      • Leelee

        As a woman who was homeschooled from 8th through 12th grade(have been out of high school for a decade), I can assure you, from my perspective and that of my other homeschooled friends, that it is SO not about parental control, and so much more about learning at a much better student/teacher ratio, and a customized pace.  I excelled so well in homeschool that I was later able to skip some intense college courses that only a couple of others were able to skip. 

    • Rndasie

      I laugh that you think homeschool moms have any more “control” than any other parent. Children are NOT allowed to make any real decisions about their education nor activities during school hours. Homeschool children are typically allowed to question the method and express concern over their own education. Do you remember PE in jr high “play or fail”. What if u didnt like to play volleyball, it didnt matter. At home they can pick an activity that is just as active that they prefer. It is laughable to hear anyone relate “control” and homeschooling. Why do you think many homeschooled children make better decision, because they are sllowed to exert some control over their own lives with the support amd advisement of their loved ones.

  37. Daniel the faithful

    I posted earlier and didnt give my background reasoning for being generally against home schooling. I was home schooled for a year and even though i could move at my own pace and the quality of education the a beka books offer was excellent, it was like living in a vaccuum sure i had the neighborhood kids to play with but they looked at me like i was weird. For a moment they’d forget cause i was good at sports and had a jungle gym in the back yard but when they left it was always weird. I also have a relitive that home schools their kids, they dont have a routine, they often take the tests for their kids, the computers the state gave them are used for games and surfing the internet more than they are for school work. Long story short I’m not a screwed up adult but my relitives kids are screwed, my kid is much younger and smarter then them in every way. Hurray for private schooling its like home schooling but by someone who knows how to educate professionally.

    • Leelee

      Daniel, that’s a bummer for your relatives!  I’m sure there are always going to be people that aren’t great educators whether that be homeschool, private, or public school. I was homeschooled 8-12th grade, excelled, was able to test out of an intense English course in college which only 2 others were able to do(didn’t have to take the course since I was able to set my own pace and learn in a 2 teachers to 1 student ratio), enjoyed every minute of college, made lifelong friends, etc.  There was a HUGE number of people who were homeschooled at the college I attended.   I am sorry for your experience, and the choices your  relatives have made, but I am confidant that for each of the bad experiences, there are lots of positive ones like the one I had.

    • Demetra

      I’m sorry to hear that you and your relatives have had a less than positive experience with homeschool. It is rather presumptuous so assume that all of us create that same poor experience for our children. I do not homeschool for religious reasons. I homeschool so that I can expose my daughters to people and experiences that they would not get if they spend most of their days in our local school full of middle class, white kids, their age…all pretty much just like them. Well ok my daughters are only half white. Their father grew up on a coffee farm in Puerto Rico. Their older siblings and cousins live in the city and are combinations of white, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Thai, and African American. My seven year old is a cancer survivor and has more medical knowledge than any child that age should. We travel and would not be able to do that as often as we do if they were in school. We have friends who range in age from infants to people well into their 90’s. We volunteer our time for various organizations. They play with neighborhood kids, kids in our church, kids who are homeschooled, private schooled, and public schooled. We spend time with friends and relatives who live in housing projects as well as cousins who live in farms. My daughters are  exposed to many cultures, religions, languages, races, ages, income levels…Do I think at 6 and 7 they need to be exposed to the most troubled people and issues in society? Absolutely not. I think it’s best for them to maintain their childhood innocence for awhile. However through life they have experienced critical illness and the death of children we met in the hospital, the death of their father, taking a teenage cousin into our home when her mother’s drug addiction no longer allowed her to care for her children…But I guess my kids are sheltered and will be unprepared for reality we they become adults right?

    • We aren’t Christian.  We aren’t Jewish.  We aren’t anything.  My husband and I were both professionals.  My husband is a Sales Director and I was a Client Liaison and Sales Support Director.  We

  38. Thank you for writing this. I wish I’d written it first. Beautiful!

  39. Loyda

    Love your article !
    I’m homeschool four kids, all grown up now. Finishing college two of them next year. And two more in college.
    We either don’ t have time to socialization. To busy with many activities. Our four kids love music. All of them play different instruments.
    The best desition we made!

  40. Janee Campbell

    Love your post…sort of tongue in cheek.  We have done it all….public school, private schools, and homeschool.  I have to say that homeschooling has brought more peace and family solidarity than any other lifestyle choice we’ve made.  My kids are happier and have much more time to pursue their individual interests than ever before.  We have more time together to “train our children in the way they should go”.  I also have more time to teach my teenagers to live in the real world.  I want them to be ready for life outside the home and there just isn’t as much time for this kind of training when we are on somebody else’s schedule.  I don’t want my kids to be helpless about how to clean house, cook. manage their money, and hold down a job.  They will be ready for life on their own.  I know this can be accomplished while going to public school but there is less time in a day and the pace is much more frantic.  The only thing I feel my daughter is missing out on is having a volleyball team.  We have every other sport available in our small community except that one.  Anyway, thanks for your take on this often voiced concern.

  41. 2boysin2003

    Absolutely wonderful!! Since we are a homeschool family we meet with the same “Aren’t you worried they won’t be socailized?” question…if others only knew what GREAT socializing our kids get!

  42. Just sayin

    I keep hearing from the naysayers of this article they admit that our public schools are full of ‘problem children’ and that homeschool socialization groups are full of ‘healthy’ children…well said 🙂

  43. Nikki

    So why do teachers need a four year degree to teach
    but parents who homeschool do not?

    • pathlesstaken

      Because teachers are working within a system that requires it.  Kids and families have been living and learning outside the system just fine, for thousands of years.  No degree necessary. 

    • As a teacher, I think that I can answer this directly. Obviously a four year degree would help anyone homeschool. But your question asks why is it required of “teachers” and not homeschooling parents. Teachers are required to teach a wide spectrum of kids in an organized way that prepares them to be “ready” for the next grade. A bit of logistical engineering, if you will. Methods training  prepares a teacher to get 10-20 (or sometimes more) children of varying interests, intellectual levels and academic preparedness to learn more or less the same things at the same time. Technique allows them to be efficient and effective. To learn those methods, the teacher must first understand how education works, child psychology and usually some kind of subject speciality. This makes sense for teaching a mass of kids. It isn’t necessary for teaching your own kids. When teaching your own, you are simply working with your strengths and your child’s strengths to come to the learning naturally – no differently than if you were teaching them how to bake a cake or build a bookshelf. 

  44. David, I’m one of the people you describe…..I’m a homeschooling mom with an M.B.A.  my husband is a J.D. (a lawyer).  We are not homeschooling for religious reasons at all.  We are doing it to give our children opportunities that can not be offered in a school setting and to give them a great education.  Our kids are involved in all sorts of activities.  We never worry about socialization — it’s over rated, as we don’t value the kind of socialization that children receive in school (we both went to school, we know!). 

    • Nahkiwolf

      I too am homeschooling but not for religious reasons. It started with the fact that public schools couldn’t teach my kids…my kids didn’t fit into the box of public schools. Even though I went to college and learned that way, it wasn’t working for my kids. I now work from a home office instead of going into an office each day. So homeschoolers are not a bunch of religious wackos. We do happen to believe in God. My kids used to be shy at public school, but now, get them into settings with tons of kids and they are running around meeting everyone. It’s soo cool to watch.

  45. Gena Mayo

    –Gena at ichoosejoy.org

  46. Wonderwoman

    Loved!  Just loved!  My husband and I joke around at the softball field that our kids have a socialization problem–that is they are too social!  They make friends everywhere they go.  They have friends in softball, co-op, church, and the neighborhood.  They are learning to deal with the little boy down the street who likes to cuss and treat other kids badly–learning how to love him and be a light to him!  As for issues–they have them.  Homeschool kids are human too and they are little sinners just like us grown up sinners.  They like to exclude, backbite, all of the fleshly stuff–the only difference is that their parents are walking along side of them the whole way and explaining why we are set apart from the world and our lives should look different.  We are helping them grow and walking them through life.  Honestly, many of the best adjusted kids I know are homeschooled.  So much for stereotypes.

    • ABSOLUTELY. My children are not only more social than most kids that are in public school, but by being with a responsible, patient, kind adult in “real life” situations, they have a model to follow. They see what it means to be grown up and deal with life as it happens. They are not learning social skills from other children who are just as undeveloped as they are. Sure they negotiate bad situations, and poorly behaved kids, but they have good behavior modeled for them all the time, so they know what to do. I taught my children their first words, I taught them to crawl, and walk, and play peek-a-boo. Why on earth wouldn’t I teach them how to be responsible, kind, patient, empathetic, giving, and to love learning? I have a child in public school by the way, and 1 starting kindergarten in public school, and 2 at home. I truly do see this from all sides. I don’t think for a minute my home-schooled son is LESS socialized than his siblings. I just have to make more of an effort to UN-DO all of the bad influences and lessons the public school attendees learn every day. 

    • Pollyannawallis

      Well said!!!!

    • Tburchell97

      You took the words, “right out of my mouth!”  My son attended PS for K and part of 1st grade.  They weren’t allowed to talk in class, they were punished by not being allowed to talk at lunch, and then at recess.  There wasn’t ANY communicating going on amongst the children.  He was still hanging out with his pre-K friends on the weekends who were sadly at different elementary schools.  Now that we’ve been homeschooling for almost 5 years, and my twin girls have joined us (they’ve never attended PS) I can’t KEEP UP with the socialization! 🙂  Too many play dates and sports and music and co-op things and so on! <3 I honestly feel as if the friendships they are making are different in that they will LAST! I can easily see us all being friends with these families well into our children's adulthoods.  There's something to be said for that!  For the visits and the cards and cupcakes and coffee for mom at 7 am when my kids are in the hospital to the HUGE birthday parties we have to plan to accomodate siblings of ALL ages- I wouldn't have it any other way.  Homeschool friendships are not mere socialization- they are lifelong blessings!!

    • And why are you set apart from the world?

    • Mommy2AC2

      I recently visited my nephew’s public school, and while hanging out with them at recess there was a bell to signal that recess was over, (which I totally understand), but then the teacher on yard duty blew her whistle and all the children immediately dropped what they were doing and fell to the ground on their knees. I was in complete shock! I thought that maybe they were doing a drill because of all the recent shootings, but I found out they “TRAIN” them to do that so that they will stop playing, they are not allowed to get up until the yard duty blows her whistle yet again!!! I was outraged!!! When did we start shipping kids off to obedience school? This seemed to be dog training to me. When I went to ps I never needed a whistle to get me to stop playing and walk to line up!! Also, I wanted to add my nephews are also being bullied at their school. They get in to fights several times a month. I have a 3 year old who I decided to homeschool since before he was out of diapers and my family ridiculed me, and gave me lots of flack for it because of “socialization”. I am glad I found this post. And I really enjoyed reading everyone’s stories. I am more determined to do so even more now.

  47. bradwellacademy

    But what about the prom? 

    • Leelee

      I was homeschooled 8th through 12th, and had an awesome experience! As far as prom goes, I could have attended with one of the guys from the public school, but decided against it.  You can make “prom day” a huge, super fun family/family friend day instead. There are lots of amazing things you can do.

      • bradwellacademy

        I was joking.  My kids are homeschooled.  😉

        • pathlesstaken

          So glad you were joking…  I couldn’t decide if you were being serious or not, so I just left well enough alone. 😉

        • tinyzoo

          And the truth is, there ARE Homeschool Proms! And Homeschool dances. My oldest son went to a couple dances. And my middle son has been to a couple Country dances. They don’t even miss that experience unless they want to, and under the controlled environment it is a MUCH more positive experience.

    • Bahahaha!  That is my favorite question EVER!  Your poor children will miss the prom!  Really?!  That is TERRIBLE!  LOL!

    • Momma2Many

      Hahaha! Some of the questions people ask are so nonsensical. As an aside, many community homeschool groups and co-ops have prom nights. Certainly something to look into as kiddos reach that age — if they decide to go. I was in public school during when prom season rolled around. I didn’t want to go, and I still don’t regret that decision all these many years later.

      • tinyzoo

        I was in public school too. No boys asked me to the dance and I sure didn’t want to go alone and get teased for not having a date. I guess things are different now where it’s ok to go to a dance without a date, but it wasn’t really back then. My sons have been to a couple dances and they did just fine.

  48. Judith

    Your children will be far ahead of other situations since they have spent some great quality time with their loving parents!
    However, do keep a balance and get your children exposed to some outside activities. Take the time to discuss with them what you would like for them to see as important current and future decisions for their lives related to what happens within their school experiences.We could not home school for any long periods of time. When the time came to go to public school, I stayed very close in touch with what was going on with each of our five.Each of our children had opportunity to discuss with me and/or their dad as needed those things that came up such as bullying, communication with teachers as well as students who brought to them unreasonable situations faced in the halls, classrooms, etc.

    Its all a part of the growth process for your children who will one day need to be comfortable with making decisions for themselves and you want them equipped with your guidance and interest. 

    Our five are all grown now and doing well. ;0)

  49. Laura Barlage

    After reading this post I thought, duh, sounds like socialization to me. Then I heard sarcasm, like us “common folk” just don’t get what elite unschoolers do. I get it. I’ve always gotten it. Just wish I had the money for 4 kids to participate in all those activities and take a cross country trip. Spread the wealth. Come hang out with me and my one (the only one I could have) child, whom I homeschool. He has aspbergers and has social/emotional deficiencies that if I had enough money I could probably help more than what I am doing (which is the best I can do) right now. No disrespect meant. I am just venting. 

    • pathlesstaken

      It was never my intention to come across as “elitist.”  In fact, I can relate to what you’ve said here on many levels.  

      • Laura Barlage

        Thank you for not taking my comment to heart. “Elitest” was a rude way to say what I meant. If I had the ability to have multiple kids, I would have. Health reasons did not allow. If I had more money, I would do many of the same activities you do. I just don’t. Like I said, I was (if anything) a bit envious. And apologize for that. I think it is silly to think that unschoolers or homeschoolers aren’t socialized. If anything, I think it is made more of a priority and done in a more authentic way than in traditional schools.  Whoever “Guest” is really rubbed me the wrong way. Ugh. I appreciate your understanding. 🙂

    • Guest

       Why would you even BEGIN to think a perfect stranger owes you anything? If you didn’t like the article, you didn’t have to keep reading it. The itnernet is a great big place, help yourself to some other article!

      If you had anything, by your attitude of “I’m entitled to what belongs to you,” it’s VERY unlikely that you would be giving anyone handouts, either. Wow.

      • Laura Barlage

        –Why would you even BEGIN to think a perfect stranger owes you anything? — Um, please point out where I said this. 

        I didn’t. 
        –If you didn’t like the article, you didn’t have to keep reading it. — 

        Did I SAY I didn’t like the article? Had I not been interested, I wouldn’t read, but that is none of your concern. My reply was a simple little thing called Freedom of Speech. If you don’t like my reply, there are plenty of others you can read. Help yourself to others.
        –If you had anything, by your attitude of “I’m entitled to what belongs to you,” it’s VERY unlikely that you would be giving anyone handouts, either. Wow.– Ok, Guest, you have completely lost me. My ‘attitude’ is that of a person who works very hard in the education field, has a husband who works 80hrs a week, and a child who is not only gifted but also has special needs. I do not feel I am entitled to anything that the author of this blog says. I earn my way in life, and do what I can. My point was, I know that home and unschoolers get socialization. I would love to be able to do some of the more expensive things. So? Does this make me a bad person for saying, “Man, I wish I could do that but don’t have the money.”? And let me just say, WOW, you are really judging me, saying I wouldn’t give handouts. What is that supposed to mean? I have fostered sick animals who have needed somewhere to go, I have allowed a friend who was a victim of domestic violence to live at my house, not to mention I volunteer at a local homeless shelter. So, I am giving handouts. Don’t assume that I am not. You know what happens when we assume, don’t you???BTW- I must say, I was proud enough and brave enough to post my name on here. You, my friend slung   mud at me, hidden behind the name of “GUEST.” Typical. 

  50. Ebehan

    It sounds like you are doing an excellent job with your
    children, but I fear you are missing the point of commenters on socialization.
    They mean your children are missing out on the experience of regular, normal
    school in your community with children who are not always like them and who
    come from families who are not like your family. This is actually important to
    children, even young ones. I went to a private, religious school K-12, and I
    can tell you that I felt quite intensely (as did most of my peers) that we were
    missing out on something not being in a public school because we were being
    purposely, and moderately effectively until we got old enough, sheltered. We
    felt, in your friends’ words, unsocialized, although it related to mostly
    cultural exchanges that are so important for children (movies, music, friends,
    etc.). We felt like we didn’t belong in our community because we were only
    taking part of it on the periphery, whereas school was at the center of so much
    of everyone else’s lives. That said, I can tell you that even we found the
    homeschoolers who went to our church … odd (and yes, I only have experience
    with religious home-schoolers and there are a lot of them out there). The
    homeschoolers only hung out with other homeschoolers and clearly didn’t feel
    comfortable in a classroom setting when they’d come to visit our school. They
    related only to other likeminded adults and not kids their own age. They –
    quite simply – didn’t fit in because they hadn’t been (in this narrow but very
    important context) socialized. I’m sure they, too, went out to eat, to the post
    office, to buy furniture, visit relatives but they didn’t understand schooling
    in a group setting with community peers. Now perhaps that is fine with parents
    who homeschool (and certainly for some children it works better), but from what
    I’ve seen there is often a noticeable difference between the ability to read
    social situations amongst peers of the homeschooled and the schooled, but I do
    hope your kids are different.

  51. Karenhanekom

    Excellent!!! I think we should all print this out and carry it around – or write our own versions, print it out and carry it around – just so that we can give the piece to someone who asks without doing any explaining!

  52. I absolutely love the humor, intelligence and creativity of this response! Fabulous!

  53. Novak370

    Love this! The socialization comment is the one that sounds like nails down a blackboard to me. Seriously? Do they think we live in a cave? When my girls were in public school they “socialized” less. Recess was a planned P.E. time, lunch was silent because it was so short they had to make sure the kids ate. They were exhausted when they came home and didn’t want to go outside and play.

    Now we are out about, part of several groups, meeting homeschool friends for lunch as well as classes and co-op groups. We are in church, we volunteer for mission  trips & community service projects, we take music lessons and join other kids in playing in a band.

    We have been to the beach “during school” and learned more from the senior citizens tending the sea turtle nests than we could have ever learned in school AND they got to interact with retired people with a passion for saving the sea turtles.

    Thanks for this post!

  54. S.Lane

    I don’t home school my children – yet.  We decided to take it one year at a time and both are in a public elementary school.  I truly think what people mean when they talk about home school vs socialization issues, it’s about the children being in social situations where neither parent is there for support or ‘backup’.   Yes, your children are in many, many social situations, but it appears that at least one parent is usually nearby.  Not saying that’s good or bad, but I think that’s at the core of this issue.     For myself, it’s very different being with my children on a play date, at a ball game, church events, etc vs. sending them to school where I’m not there when other kids say or do mean/crazy things.  On the flip side, if the only socialization children get is at school, then those parents need to step up and get their children as involved in other activities as yours are.  Just saying…

  55. Amy W

    That was wonderful and hilarious! Spot on!

    I love how people will have conversations with my kids and I while we’re out and about and when, thru the course of the conversation, they learn we homeschool, they’re taken aback! They gasp- “What about socialization?”
    And I want to say– “What do you think we’ve been standing here doing the last ten minutes?”

  56. I LOVE this!!!  I so agree with you.  In most cases I believe children who are homeschooled are actually more socialized than children who are in public school and confined to a classroom all day.  We homeschool, but we also do life.


  57. Laurie

    I LOVED this post!!

  58. Brilliant! Love it – You know when I go to Target, the Library, Church and the Park, it’s like a ghost town – they must know I’m coming … no socialization going on over here either! 

  59. MTereasa

    Ha, ha, ha. This is awesome!

  60. Jennifer Cluff

    Love it!  Very well put!  I get so tired of hearing it as well but I will now look at it very differently the next time someone says that to me! LOL – thanks for the laugh 🙂

  61. rhenyestheyareallmine

    Love it!!!  That is so spot on with why we have been unable to socialize our brood.  Sigh.  I guess life will just not slow down enough to ever do so.  *wink*

  62. Excellent and timely as this JUST came up for us again. Thanks! ;o)

  63. Karla

    You rock! I was about to do a similar blog….why reinvent the wheel…lol…I’ll just repost yours! I heart Home schooling!

  64. Shame on you for having such unsocialized children!!!!!  😉  Glad to hear this breath of fresh air, I think more kids need to be unsocialized 😉

  65. Dprivett31

    I homeschool my six year old son with Asperger’s because his needs were not being met in school, including the great socialization he was supposed to be getting. Homeschooling has opened a whole new world for us, he is doing wonderful. He is working above grade level,  and he is socialized with people from all different walks of life. He definitely isn’t being sheltered! There will always be people who find something negative, that is true for anything. Colleges or full of homeschooled kids who excel beyond their public school peers. Great post!

  66. Jennifer

    This is great!!  Absolutely love!!!

  67. Ally

    I asked this question of my brother, who decided to home school his son. It wasn’t to be snarky, or superior. I just truly wanted to know how much interaction he was going to have with other children. (only child) I feel that having time with peers of similar age is important. You don’t have that problem because you have a built in peer group! I don’t know why people feel they need to address your schooling choices with such superiority. I read some of the comments below, holy moly!  My daughter goes to a Montessori Charter school and we get similarly insensitive and ignorant questions about choosing a different style of teaching. I think all parenting choices that don’t follow the heard mentality are lightening rods for negativity. I don’t really understand it. Great post! I liked having insight into what ‘socialization’ means to you and your family. 

    • Pollyannawallis

      I have an only child that is 11.  He is not stunted in his social growth even though he rarely spends a lot of time with peer aged kids.  He does not lack people to socialize with on a regular basis.  The misconception is thata our kids have to be immersed with peers when if you look at “life” we are not in situations where we are exclusively with peer age people.  I am around people younger than me, kids of all ages, and people older than me.  That is society- not a bunch of ill behaved peer aged kids who are on their own too much and making horrible decisions because they lack direction.  Socialization is not an issue!

  68. Cara

    That was perfect! I could have written almost every word!! 🙂

  69. Love this post! My husband is a advanced-degreed high school administrator (who is also a professional trumpet player) and I am a former teacher who studied at the University of Oxford. My parents are both JDs and my father is now a judge. My brother is a college professor. I would say that education, multi-cultural arts and discipline was highly valued in my home growing up and continues to be in the home my husband and I have created for our three children. We are not homeschooling because we wish to shelter our kids or fill them with socio-political propaganda. We are homeschooling because we have been on the inside of schools long enough to know that what they offer has real value for some and presents real roadblocks for others. Our children need to learn to take instruction from others and do so in summer camps, swim class, homeschooling groups, structured play dates and scouts when they are old enough. Our kids need to mingle with children of varied backgrounds and do so through our membership at a truly diverse activity and athletic center. Our children need to know what we believe but more importantly they need the tools to think for themselves and develop their own world view for which they will be accountable. We perceive homeschooling as gift to broaden and enrich our children in a way that traditional school would not be able to do for them. On the flip side, we have many friends for whom homeschooling is a misfit and traditional school is a far better choice. I applaud the post! I disagree with those who think that all (or even the majority of) homeschoolers are religious bigots who are sheltered and clueless. 

  70. I LOVE this. My kids spend more time with a broader range of people now than they ever did in school. I just have to tell every new person I meet the same story you just told before we can get to the “socializing” part. 🙂

  71. Bonnie G

    I must say, I really appreciated your blog post even though I am not a homeschooling mom.  I enjoyed a homeschool preschool group with my oldest daughter and when it was time for her to be screened and enter kindergarden, the evaluators were shocked at how social and intelligent she was, despite the fact that she’d *gasp* never been to preschool!!  I don’t have the determination or desire to homeschool my girls full time, but I appreciate and value those that do!!  Go momma! 🙂

  72. Shannon

    I think it’s important to note that not all people who wonder about the socialization aspect of homeschooling are trying to tell you you’re doing anything wrong or are not knowledgeable about it.  I know a lot of home school families who do a great job of getting their kids out there and meeting other people.  However, for some families, it’s a challenge.  Some adults are naturally homebodies, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend most of your time at home, but it does limit the amount of time that the children have for socialization.  You may be doing a great job with that aspect of your children’s education, but there are others who are struggling.  It’s a valid concern for many who are considering the whole idea of homeschooling.  So maybe instead of being insulted when people ask you questions, you can try to give them honest answers about how you do it.  Nobody likes to feel stupid because they asked a question about something they didn’t fully understand.   

    • pathlesstaken

      Shannon, as I said in the beginning of the post, I get it.  I do.  I understand that it’s a real concern for some people, and that they are honestly wanting to know.  This post *is* an honest answer (albeit in a roundabout way) to that very common question… not in any way an attempt to make anyone feel stupid.

  73. Pollyannawallis

    I enjoyed that aritcle!  Socialization is such a silly worry!  And yet it is the biggest concern of those NOT homeschooling.  Our kids interact with so many different people in so many different places.  They seem more well adjusted than any group of kids I’ve ever met. They also seem better able to relate to anyone no matter their station, fashion or age!  I too am not going to have a socialized kid!  Thanks for the great reminder!

  74. One day  my kids were asked about socialization, once again and again were frustrated.  So we decided to look it up in the dictionary.  Socializing, (pres part) socialized (past and past part): to bring under public ownership and control.  Hmmm….  What people really mean is social learning: concept (in psychology) that, factors in human behaviour can best be learned from observation of others, as contrasted with expected rewards and punishment.  It was interesting to see what socialization really means and would be interesting to see if a person asking about it wants their child to be socialized as they tend to be once institutionalized in school.  Mine won’t be socialized either.

  75. Stephanie Comalander

    This does help break the misconception of a lot of homeschooling, but the jobs out here are so low in pay that it takes 2 to make the bills…..so off to work we go.

  76. sounds like you are pretty well socialized. lol at least as far as I understand the definition of the word

  77. reneestam

    Love this post 🙂

  78. Hilarious … and great!

  79. Tony Burton

    Okay, this is wonderful, and the truth is, I love the fact that my two granddaughters are being home-schooled.  My daughter is very, very smart, and they are inculcating a love for learning in the kids.  They are brilliant kids, and get to do/see/learn things that many other kids their age would not.


    I also know a couple who “home schools” their children because they ARE religious fanatics.  The kids (adolescents, both of them) can barely read, hardly put cogent sentences together, and can’t do simple math.  Neither the mother nor the father is very bright, and neither has much education.  (The Dad sells junk at flea markets, the Mom stocks at WalMart.)  

    THOSE children are definitely being shortchanged.  They are allowed to sit around and watch TV or play video games most of the time, or play other things outside.  There is no structure to their day, and they are well on their way to becoming burdens on the taxpayers of this state, simply because they will not have the skills (social or otherwise) to survive in the Real World.

    I really, really wish that those two boys were getting what they need in the homeschool (UN-school) environment that their parents have set up, but it is not to be.  And their protected status as homeschoolers makes it very, very difficult to do anything about it.  In their case, sadly enough, these two  boys would probably be better off in a public school.

  80. Steph A

    I love this 🙂 I am planning on homeschooling my 2 yo and 5 mo (and any other future kiddos); my husband is “onboard” but that is the one thing he continues to say he is worried about!! I usually just try to smile and listen to his argument because anything I say just adds fuel to the fire. He has agreed to let me homeschool, which is all that matters, and I will pick my battles! He will see once it’s all said and done!

  81. Nicole Dual

    When people say that it is directly a reflection of people who DO NOT allow their kids to participate in your homeschool groups, or sports, or playdates….And while perhaps your homeschool group bubble surrounds you only with those who do participate in such activities, there are families that do their children a huge disservice and in fact DIScourage socializing outside of their home or directly with their own church. Stop feeling victimized by the comment and acting like it’s not accurate at all just because it doesn’t apply to you. I was forced to spend time as a child with a girl in my neighborhood who was homeschooled. She was awkward and selfish from lack of socialization and didn’t have siblings so she literally spent all her time reading. One hour a week she was forced to spend time with me and that was all her family allowed her. It happens wether you like it or not.

  82. Emily Purvis

    As a grown-up homeschooler, I LOVE this post!  This was always asked of me when I was a child, and I always wondered what on earth they meant?  We had homeschool group, church, volunteer work, 4-H, swim team, bicycle club, and a host of other activities that kept us far too busy to socialize. 
    What I always thought was so funny was that these same people always commented to my parents on how well-behaved we were, how large our vocabulary, or how comfortable we were conversing with adults at such a young age.

    Thank you!

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  84. I’ve thought about homeschooling, and I have to say, this idea has crossed my mind once or twice. Especially with a kid who already has “issues” with being social. Then, again, I’m not sure school has actually helped much either. Great piece!

  85. Is this person just being sarcastic or does she really not realize that “socialization” just means interaction with peers?  As someone who was homeschooled and NOT encouraged to join groups or pursue extra caricular activities(not to mention, painfully shy), I am a liitle perturbed by this.  The idea of “socializing” homeschooled children is a valid concern.  She just focuses on a word and doesn’t adress the actual idea behind it.  I was homeschooled during elementary and middle school and when my single mother had to go back to work full time and couldn’t do it any more, I was sent to a public school for my freshman year of highschool.  I went from being by myself everyday to being in a school with 3,000 kids and I totally freaked out!  My mom made a lot of mistakes but the biggest was not pushing me to join one of the many homeschool co-ops that exist to provide homeschooled kids with peer interaction.  This is such a huge part of growing up and the fact that this woman did it naturally does no mean that everyone does.  There are a lot of homeschooled kids that don’t have kids their age to play with and learn from.  I didn’t know how to talk to kids my age or make friends until I was a sophmore in highschool.  Not because I’m unable to but because I was never given the opportunity to learn those skills at a critical age.  The point being that everyone has an opinion and their own way of doing things but why is this woman so upset that people are voicing real concerns.  Instead of being sarcastic and flippant, she should be an advocate for all the homeschooled kids who aren’t as lucky as hers.  

  86. Journeysof TheZoo


    I have bookmarked this for when we start to homeschool. I’ve mentioned that we’re thinking of it and I ALWAYS get this question. I feel for all of you and would appreciate the same pity when I start (smile).

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Regards, Sarah

    at Journeysof TheZoo

    journeysofthezoo at hotmail dot com

  87. This is great 🙂 God has called me to homeschool our kids but my husband is very against it, primarily for the socialization, although he doesn’t use that word. He wants them to be with the other kids… This is a great explanation 🙂

  88. Brailey_and_Noahs_Momma

    Right on! I completely agree!

  89. Pingback: I AM SOCIALIZED!!! | Homeschooling Hearts

  90. Amy

    Who wants them to be socialized with this society?! Tell them they need to define the word socialization. We are not raising our kids to fit the mold of society! Mine will never be socialized either.

    • Judith

      Good point Amy! Our world today has evolved into a society not worth our serious attention. Where are the manners? Where is courtesy to others? Where is an empathy for others outside of Christian values? And the list goes on. . . Judith http://www.LifeSeriesCoach.com

  91. Jerri Alomar

    This is great and so true! My favorite response to this question is “so you’re saying you went to highschool and there wasn’t one unsocialized kid there? Come on, socialization starts at home!”

  92. Jeanne

    Hilarious. Loved this. Still smiling at your intro.

  93. Sabrina Sumsion

    I’m completely with you. I hear it all the time especially since my oldest has Autism. My biggest complaint? The “socializing” he got at school taught him to swear, hit, back talk and generally melt down all the time. Now that he’s not “socializing” how everyone at the school wants him to, he’s calmer, melts down maybe once a month and is generally happier. Not to mention he doesn’t fight me to do schoolwork and is learning things I don’t think I knew at 10. But the “socializing” . . . I guess I’ll have to talk to the librarian over the reading program, his scout master and his church leaders about that. But it will have to wait until after our cross country trip where we’re going to see some fun new places. I suppose I can talk to my sister-in-law as the kids are playing, my aunt and uncle while the kids are exploring their ranch, my grandmother-in-law while we’re playing on the beach about more “socializing” . . .

  94. MrsRog

    I home school my 17 teenage son. He asked to home school because he did not enjoy the social atmosphere at his high school. The poor morals of his classmates where causing him major amounts of stress and he wanted nothing to do with them. I don’t know if this comment already came up, but there are kids out there who don’t want to be mainstream. I am so thankful that we can home school. And, isn’t it a private decision? As long as you follow you state law for home schooling, what’s the big deal?

  95. Nanette Hall

    I recently got asked “What about socialisation?” to which I replied “I don’t see what’s so social about only being able to relate to your peers, we don’t go to work expecting to only work with 20 year olds or what ever age we are!” the lady (a teacher) then twisted it a bit by saying she meant as in mixing with different social classes which just got my back up. Homeschooling is available to any ‘class’ group and not being in school means my children don’t learn such terms and how to bully or be bullied depending on how rich or poor they are, my children accept people for who they are not what ‘class’ they are from.

  96. Pingback: Our Children’s Socialization.

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  100. Melinda Martinez Alcorn

    Lol Love it! 🙂 Touche’

  101. Dianna

    That was great I love it 🙂

  102. JBless

    My question involving “socialization” ( My husband and I are considering hs as an option when our children are school aged) is how do kids learn how to function in a non- parent created society- by that I mean there are many rules, regulations, procedures, and protocols that are implemented in a standard classroom, that are impossible for a parent to enforce. I worry that without strict deadlines ( and no matter what anyone says mom can’t enforce these like a teacher can), and a constant set of rules , that children may lack real world applicable skills that they will need in a job situation. Also, a personalized curriculum and conditions sounds ideal, but as an adult in the workforce (generally speaking) you don’t have those options or flexibility. Another concern I have includes, how do children learn to navigate a world where not everyone shares the same morals/ values. Like I said homeschooling is an option we are seriously considering ( private school would be our first choice, but we live rurally and the closest is 50+ miles awayy) but I still have a lot of questions/ concerns. ( ps I have two education degrees spanning k-12 Ed)

  103. teacher

    Listen, I am a teacher in a public school system and admittedly I shunned the thought of homeschooling as well. However, as I watch the standards get even more rigorous, and children get even more stressed out and unhappy about coming to school, the more I think homeschooling is the way to go. My daughter is not yet in school (she’s almost 3), but I am seriously contemplating home schooling for her. I don’t want her to have to face the ridiculous pressures of public school. They have taken all of the joy out learning and school. Children aren’t allowed to develop their creativity or social skills even because they are constantly told to be quiet and focus. There is so much to cover, or to teach to the test, that the teachers are forced to take away play time and other socialization opportunities. I applaud your choice and will be seriously be considering homeschooling for my little one as well unless some serious educational reform takes place soon (yeah right).

  104. Tonia

    This had me laughing out loud! Thank you so much for this fun, new approach! I will now use this as my answer.

  105. Lisa

    I appreciate your lighthearted post, and your children definitely sound well-socialized. But I think that it’s important to remember that many home schooled students, I think especially in the pioneer days of the home schooling movement, did have a more isolated/lonely experience, and the question of socialization in home schooling is a valid one. I was home schooled growing up, and socialization was at many times very lacking, which had real-life consequences. I am planning to home school my own children, but I hope to have their experience be similar to what you are doing with your kids, with much more socialization and outreach.

  106. Tiffany

    This was great. Thanks!

  107. Hilarious! Nailed it! Sharing with others.

  108. anti-social homeschooler.

    Homeschooling is fun. People think that homeschoolers are weird and we are, but we’re not afraid to express ourselves. We don’t hide our weirdness, we flaunt it. 😀

  109. Pingback: Homeschool Confession: I don't want my boys to be Socialized | Serving Joyfully

  110. OurMuddyBoots

    I suppose a fair question to ask folks who wonder about the socialization of homeschooled kids is “which school do you go to to get socialized?” 😉 As always, an amazing and important piece. Thank you!

  111. Al L

    Being the victim of such a thought line I can tell you from personal experience. THIS IS DESTRUCTIVE. We may seam well adjusted enough but time and time again I have seen in myself, my siblings, and those I know who are also brought up in such an environment fall flat on our faces in the real world academically and in life because we can not cope socially. Plenty of parents on here raving about it so I thought I would chime in with a comment on somebody who was actually effected by such a decision.

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  113. Marian Gregory

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  114. As a homeschool student myself the reasoning behind such statements is not unfounded, I have had some socializing problems in the past due in no fault to my mother. Im not a social person i don’t typically like socializing in general. In fact for the most part i find it a waste of time because there are so many things id much rather be doing. But thats me, I’m starting to get over this antisocial behavior but I have to do it on my own I have to make the choice. My point is that if a child comes out of homeschooling as social or antisocial it doesn’t reflect on the parents ability (usually) the kid made the choice to be or not to be social (again not always the case but still it does occur most of the time.)

  115. I might have something to help the problem. I am creating a site for Christian homeschoolers. You can read about it here: http://www.socialize24.com

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  117. Lucy

    Hi Jennifer,

    Well my situation couldn’t be more opposite. We were interested in HS our two children. We have tried it for the last two years but it has been a disaster, the social aspect being a big factor. We live in the Midwest. I came from Ireland to the U.S. 7 years ago to live with my American husband. It has been almost impossible to make friends either for myself or my children. Even now I would say I have one or two good friends who have nice children and no more. My friends, family and relatives are all back in Ireland, and my husband is not close to his brothers here so we don’t get to see much of them or their children. My experience here with the natives has been that they seem paranoid and scared to come out of their tiny private worlds and let you in. Once they have their quota of friends, that is enough for them and they don’t entertain the idea of any more friendships or even acquaintances. Mother and baby groups, mother and toddler groups were so exclusive. Not one person would talk to me so I gave up. My in laws left me to fend for myself. My husband, whom I love dearly, is an insular type of person, who is happy with his own company and therefore does not have any friends has not been much help either. I have bust my backside to get out there and socialise for myself but more for my children. When we found out our local parochial schools had adopted common core, we decided to HS. However, my two children (we haven’t been able to have any more) are climbing the walls from social boredom and unfortunately are a nightmare to teach. My oldest turns into invertebre boy when he has to do any work, however my daughter loves to work, but is very lonely socially. So, I have no choice but to put them back into a parochial school where they will have a more rounded education. What BS they will encounter we will try to undo. We are ardent classical education lovers but know they will not get this to any degree in school. I wish I had an ounce of the social life you have; perhaps it would be a game changer for us. There is a homeschooling group in our town, but when it comes to getting together, it’s only a one or twice a month thing. My son plays baseball in the summer and our daughter wants to try softball in a year, so there is that but other than this, my husband is not the sporty or outdoors type. Hence another reason to send them to a parochial school where they have access to school sports, etc. I wish we could go down the HS route, but for us, it’s the absolute lack of socialising that is the problem. There are no other children on our street either.

    • Carmen

      I’m sorry to say, Lucy, that having lived here for 27 years (moved from Sweden) I haven’t had better luck myself. It was easy while I was in school, but as an adult, I’ve found making friends extremely difficult. I hope you find some parents you mesh with soon. Cheers!

  118. I enjoyed reading your blog today. What amazes me, is the plethora of “nay-sayers” along with those who “love it”. I am greatly amused as well! Thank you.

  119. Gayle

    I don’t think homeschooling leads to a lack of socialization. Basically all of the parents I know that homeschool do take the time to ensure their children have many opportunities to spend time with other children (and adults). However, the issue I have is that I send my son off the school every day. His day starts at 8:30, he get out of school at 3:50, then goes to an afterschool program until I pick him up around 5:30. That’s 9 hours a day that he is off on his own. He has a life of his own that I really know very little about. He encounters tons of children and adults, most of whom I don’t even know. If I were to homeschool him, I would only expose him to people I know…and I’d probably be ‘supervising’ or at least present at least from a distance. Or one of my fellow homeschooling parents would be present, at least from a distance. I think homeschooled children get plenty of ‘socialization’ but its mostly (NOT all) arranged, directed, controlled by the parents. If there’s a kid at school I think is a bad influence, all I can do is talk to my son and hope he makes his own good choices. I cannot control who he has contact with during his school day. If there’s a kid a homeschooling parent thinks is a bad influence, they just don’t let their children contact them. So I do not think its about socialization but about letting your child encounter the world independently. I would love to hear homeschoolers’ thoughts about this. I’ve definitely thought about homeschooling but this is what holds me back.

  120. Carmen

    I came across your blog while doing a google search on how to socialize my only 5 1/2-year-old son. We took him out of Kindergarten back in December because he was having a really tough time with – wait for it – socializing in an acceptable manner with the other kids in his class. While he excels academically, socially he is quite awkward, and has a very difficult time tempering his emotions. Your blog told me exactly what I needed to know – that I’ll never find a play date for my kid because of people like you, who seem to have a really easy time finding play dates and take it for granted, mocking other parents who don’t fall into that category. Let me elaborate – after Henry was born, I went back to work full-time when he was 3 months old. I worked 3 nights a week (which translates to 4 days a week), during which time I barely saw my child or my husband, because I’d be gone for 14 hours at a time, and sleep all day. My husband was going to school and working at the time. You get the picture. Henry has no cousins his age. Closest one is 9 years his senior, and lived about 3 hours away. We live on a busy street, so letting him play outside on his own has not exactly been an option. Kids his age are in school all week, and younger kids are in pre-school while their parents work. You certainly make some valid points, but I think at the same time you’ve managed to overlook and undermine the struggles that other families have in their tireless quest to “socialize” their kids. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 4 years, and I hardly ever manage to encounter the same families twice at the playground. I’ve found that setting up play dates with strangers I meet at the park/zoo, etc. is more difficult than on-line dating ever was. Good for you that you’ve had such an easy time with this. But your attitude about it is on par with my saying to someone who’s struggled with weight all their lives that “don’t worry, that baby-weight will come off with all the nursing you’ll probably be doing”. I’ve NEVER had a weight problem, and know I’m VERY lucky to be back into my pre-pregnancy size-2 clothing, but to assume that anyone can do it would be cruel and ignorant.

    • jen

      It certainly wasn’t my intent to be “cruel and ignorant.” This post was written several years ago, by a younger self, in a different time in my life. I would be happy to discuss further, but you’ve already made up your mind about me.

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  125. J

    I’m glad that you have been able to properly socialize your homeschooled kids. But let’s not assume that your experience applies to everyone who chooses to homeschool. Even if it gets old, the objection that homeschooled kids won’t get adequate socialization is a valid concern, because unfortunately, not all parents are as vigilant about socializing their kids as you are. I was homeschooled until I was 16 years old. My childhood was very reclusive. I only ever had one friend outside my family, who was a next door neighbor that moved after one year when I was six. I never had ANY social interaction outside my family. At the time, I scoffed at all the people who said I needed socialization too. But when I got older I realized all the social skills I lacked and the developmental milestones I missed out on.
    This really isn’t something to take lightly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking everybody who homeschools has the same experience as you do.

  126. I love this! We haven’t even started homeschooling our (very friendly and outgoing) one-year-old yet, but I’ve been asked the socialization question a couple of times. I’ve decided to tell people that we are planning on keeping him in a cupboard under the stairs like Harry Potter. 🙂