Special Replay: Homeschooler, What About Socialization?

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Special Replay: Homeschooler, What About Socialization? How to Answer! This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Homeschooler, What About Socialization? How to Answer!

Homeschooler, What About Socialization? How to Answer!

Do you ever get tired of the question about socialization? Homeschool high schoolers and their parents hear it all the time!

“Homeschooler, what about socialization?” is THE most often-asked annoying question that we homeschooling parents get. However, you do not worry about it, though. We have got some great information to equip you to help your teens to handle it graciously.

So, let’s teach teens how to answer this annoying question!

First off, people do not even know what socialization means. Therefore, you should start off clarifying the definition!

Definition of socialization: Passing on the norms, customs, ideologies and skills from one generation to the next.

Then, remind them to answer the question with this question:

Isn’t homeschooling the BEST way to accomplish socialization??

However, when your homeschool high schoolers encounter someone who asks the annoying question: “Homeschooler: What About Socialization?”

  • Ask them put themselves in the questioner’s shoes.
  • Then think about what they are worried about.
  • After that, answer with the definition of socialization

Definition of socialization: Passing on the norms, customs, ideologies and skills from one generation to the next.

Here are a few common worries, along with good answers

Often, your teens will find that their “What about socialization?” question is really about something else. With that in mind, here are some things they actually might be worried about:

People are often worried our teens will not learn how to interact with peers

Therefore, help your teens answer back:

  • You only learn how to communicate with peers from other peers?
  • Our teens are not isolated. Homeschool parents very intentionally exposing their kids to different social situations such as:
    • church
    • sports
    • homeschool groups
    • service
    • drama productions
    • community classes
    • dual enrollment classes
    • Civil Air Patrol
    • dance programs
  • Our teens are usually well trained in:
  • manners
  • communication and
  • social intelligence

We make these part of our life skills curriculum as a result, we practice socialization in real life.

People are often worried our kids will not learn how to communicate with anyone who is not an adult

Therefore, ask them back, do kids learn to communicate with all kinds of people in:

  • Age segregated classrooms
  • Classrooms who aren’t allow to experience discipline, thus are often chaotic

Rather, they learn the skills best in a loving, supportive, age-integrated atmosphere where communication skills and politeness are modeled and practiced.

People are often worried our kids will not learn to have self-esteem because they are not around peers in a classroom

The truth is, homeschoolers score better on tests of socialization and self-esteem. (Check out Vicki’s graduate research publish in National Home Education Research Institute.)

Remember: There’s not ONE right way to socialize our kids. You handle socializing your family in the way that meets YOUR family’s goals.

Sometimes, though rarely, someone worries that homeschooling is actually a dangerous setting for children and teens.

This, we know, is ridiculous! However, several years ago, a Harvard professor wrote an article with unfounded concerns of the safety of homeschooling. For an intelligent answer to her article, check out 7Sisters Response to Harvard Magazine’s Risks of Homeschooling.

However, we should be sure to cover a few socialization tasks with our teens, so they are well prepared for life

This is because there are certain settings our teens are going to encounter without us as they grow through adolescence that they will need specific, intentional training! Therefore, these are some good socialization tips for your teens.

Teach your teens:

  • Not to ask questions to people who are not interested or qualified, teach them to ask who to ask.
    • Just think visiting your local Motor Vehicle Administration building.
  • To handle crowds going through college tours and the mall at Christmas,
    • As in: teach them to line up or walk on the “driving lane” as they navigate mall foot traffic
  • How to follow directions.
  • Tips to help form a circle.
    • This is  a tough one for homeschoolers, sometimes!
  • How to take one paper and pass the rest.
    • Really, if they are not in a co-op or group classes, you can practice this important skill with them at home!
  • To laugh at themselves (not take themselves too seriously).
  • VERY important: how to be gracious to people who have other ideologies.
  • To be curious and how to ask questions about all kinds of things.
  • Teach them the 10 basic social skills.
  • Teach them to model the walk of grace (and model it ourselves).
  • For more ideas on socialization, check out our interview with Dr. Rachel van der Merve on how to be ready for college.

What about socialization? Here’s a simple answer to that annoying question:

“Homeschoolers are socialized and successful, now tell me all about your kids.”

In conclusion, for more ideas for homeschooling and socialization, check out this episode of Finish Well podcast.

Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for an intelligent and FUN discussion on the answers to the annoying question: What about socialization?


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Homeschooler, What About Socialization?

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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