How many times have you been asked “The Question”?
You know, the one that people ask when they learn that you homeschool your children.
It’s a question brimming with misconceptions….
What about socialization?
It can be intimidating for new homeschoolers and annoyingly predictable for veteran homeschoolers.
But it’s important to realize that most people who ask know very little about homeschooling.
(You might be the first homeschooler they’ve met.)
Always be kind.
Take a deep breath before you answer. It might require a little self control, but please be kind.
As one homeschooler explained:
“I used to ask that question—and I really wanted to know the answer.
What the person I asked couldn’t see is that God was nudging me to homeschool.
So, now, when someone asks me ‘The Question,’ I am always, always kind.”
Misconceptions can be wacky.
No doubt, it really can be frustrating to repeatedly hear that question.
And it’s not just the question.
There are a lot of additional erroneous “observations” people make about socialization.
I asked our Homeschool Adventure Facebook friends what kinds of things people say to them about socialization. They shared some wacky comments.
Here's a few of the more common misconceptions:
- You must spend 6+ hours a day with kids your own age to be socialized.
- Your kids are “sheltered” because they don’t think/talk/act like other kids their age.
- You're “babying” your kids by not allowing them to be exposed to bullies so they can “learn to stand up for themselves.”
What is socialization, really?
It’s obvious that some folks don’t believe homeschoolers are adequately socialized.
Before we get wrapped up in an argument about why homeschoolers are socialized, let's stop and take an unbiased look at the whole concept of “socialization.”
Here are three definitions:
- According to Britannica.com, socialization “is the process whereby an individual learns to adjust to a group (or society) and behave in a manner approved by the group (or society).”
- According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, socialization “is the process beginning during childhood by which individuals acquire the values, habits, and attitudes of a society.”
- And Google defines socialization as “the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society.”
The recurring theme in all three definitions is “fitting in” and adopting societal values.