Years and years ago when we decided to pull Cris out of school because of a variety of problems, nobody talked about the "S" word. What they said back then, 20 years ago, was "He'll never be able to go to college."
"You realize you are destroying his chance of having a profession, getting higher education, etc."
"If you pull him out now, he will never be allowed back into public school later if you change your mind."
You get the idea.
We even got a letter from the superintendent saying this very thing. I wish I had saved it. It would be laughable.
But, evidence showed just the opposite. Homeschool kids flourished and have gone on to college, military and excel in a variety of professions, jobs and trades. Many are raising the next generation of homeschoolers.
Studies have shown that homeschoolers outperform traditional schoolers on every achievement test given.
So, about ten years ago, the nay-sayers changed their tune. Since they couldn't argue about the educational deficiencies of homeschoolers, they started throwing "socialization" at us.
"Your children won't be socialized."
I guess they think they will be like Mogli, raised by wolves and a big bear? They won't know how to....What? I mean what really won't our kids be able to do? What do they mean by socialization?
When I went to school if kids talked in class the teacher would look stern and say, "We are not here to socialize." That's right, we were there to learn.
But, somehow, it doesn't matter if we provide a quality education-our kids need to be socialized. I looked up socialization in a few places, and this definition seems to fit what folks think our kids are missing:
The adoption of the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture; "the socialization of children to the norms of their culture" wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
But is this what we want? Do we want our children to adopt the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture of 35 other age mates? I don't think so.
What most of us want for our kids is to be socialized to be independent adults, good family members, participating members of society--but we also want them to stand apart. Not to adopt the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture, but to be leaders and ambassadors for Christ.
And, according to the latest study done by Brian Ray, 98% of homeschoolers are involved in at least 2 activities outside of the home. They are getting lots of social experiences with people of all ages and ideas. They are not isolated and kept apart, but they are trained by working along side of their moms and dad, sisters and brothers--trained to be functioning members of society while getting a great education.
So, if someone asks you about socialization, feel free to ask them what they mean. Do they mean your child won't have social opportunities? If that is the case then I am sure you can let them know that you won't be keeping your child in a closed room all day without any human contact.
If they mean you will be depriving your children because you won't be keeping them locked up with their age-mates all day so they can become more like them, then you can let them know what you think about that! You may want to ask the parents of the public schooled children, "Aren't you worried about socialization?"
Note: The picture at the top of the blog is of a T-shirt available from http://www.greathomeschooltshirts.com/