Socialization
"But what about socialization?" So the typical question goes to anyone who homeschools. Find out what socialization means to homeschooling families and strategies to engage your children and your entire family in social activities and connections.
"But What About Socialization?"
Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDx
When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.
Socialization is a Bunch of Malarkey
Most folks who ask about socialization mean well. They are not plotting against us, but they are uninformed. But modern socialization in schools is not natural or desired. The best response is one that offers a gentle attempt to enlighten questioners about the wonderful world of homeschooling. 
What Is Socialization Anyway?
Many people seem to think that homeschool kids are all socially backward and sheltered. They feel that they need to be properly socialized or they won’t be able to function in the real world. And by properly socialized, they mean exposed to large groups of children their own age for 8+ hours per day so they can learn to act like the average child their age. Their question makes be wonder “What is socialization anyway?”
The Socialization Secret
If you homeschool for long enough, you are bound to hear the question, “What about socialization?”. In fact, as soon as you announce to friends and family that you are even considering homeschooling, this question is probably among the first you’ll hear! Here’s the big homeschool secret that perhaps no one in the non-homeschooling world knows…homeschoolers are socialized. In fact, they are socialized in a more natural way than is typically found in a classroom.
Homeschool Confession: I Don't Want My Boys to be "Socialized"
Socialization is all about conforming--to societal demands, attitudes, styles, values, beliefs, and ways of dressing, acting, and thinking. Socialization’s very aim is to break us from any and all individuality, so that we can better integrate into the system–even if it’s a broken system. But by not conforming to this dynamic--not teaching them to conform--you can teach them to be in the world in a more natural way.
Socialization During the High School Years
Socialization issues change during the teen years. But homeschooling still gives families the freedom to do their own thing. Take a look at how this homeschooling family handles questions about the prom, boyfriends, and sleeping in.
Making Friends Through Homeschooling (Without Worrying About Socialization)
Here’s the thing with socialization: We all know that true “socialization” is not just finding yourself in a group. “Socialization” as a homeschooling family is tricky: you can try to force it, and know the whole time that you are living in a contrived state that will please your family doctor and weird neighbor. But friendship is easier. You find people who like you. It may take a while, but the wait is worth it.
How to Develop Social Skills Without Socialization
The homeschooling community is wide and diverse, yet there is one question that almost every parent has been asked during the years they school their children at home. “What about socialization?” We are led to believe that if we don’t put our children in public school, they will be missing out. They will become social misfits. Homeschooling means they will be stuck inside all day, having no opportunity for socialization. But true socialization comes from interacting with the world around them and having the freedom to explore and make true friendships.
Homeschooling and Socialization Revisited
Richard G. Medlin, a psychology professor at Stetson University, continues a line of inquiry he began in one of the landmark articles of the original 2000 Peabody Journal homeschooling special issue. Since that article he has published several pieces in the journal Home School Researcher, all of which find very positive results for homeschoolers’ social and academic development. In this piece his goal is to review research on homeschooler socialization that has appeared since his 2000 article.
Home-Schooling: Socialization not a problem
One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack “socialization.” It’s a challenge that reaches right to the heart of home-schooling, because if a child isn’t properly socialized, how will that child be able to contribute to society? Home-school families across the nation knew criticisms about adequate socialization were ill-founded — they had the evidence right in their own homes. In part to address this question from a research perspective, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned a study in 2003 titled “Homeschooling Grows Up,” conducted by Mr. Ray, to discover how home-schoolers were faring as adults. The news was good for home-schooling. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.
Special Ed: Factory-Like Schooling May Soon Be a Thing of the Past
Britton Manasco, writing for Reason Magazine, looks at the advantages of homeschooling, along with some interesting facets of home education. Discusses the benefits of encouraging independent thought and decentralized learning practices. The article also takes a look at the state of today's classrooms and the limitations of traditional notions of education. There is also a discussion of the use of technology in the homeschool environment and how this relates to the issue of socialization.
Socialization: A Great Reason Not to Go to School
This "Learn in Freedom" article provides research supporting the positive socialization homeschooled children receive. Discusses research supporting the conclusion that homeschooled children have higher levels of self-esteem and communication skills, and fewer behavioral problems, than other children.
Homeschooling Benefits: Children less preoccupied with peer acceptance
Most people who have never met a homeschooling family imagine that the kids are socially isolated. But some new research by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute suggests otherwise. Indeed, Ray's research helps to explain why the number of homeschoolers in America continues to grow. Ray reports the typical homeschooled child is involved in 5.2 social activities outside the home each week. These activities include afternoon and weekend programs with conventionally schooled kids, such as ballet classes, Little League teams, Scout troops, church groups and neighborhood play. They include midday field trips and cooperative learning programs organized by groups of homeschooling families. For example, some Washington, D.C., families run a homeschool drama troupe that performs at a local dinner theater. So, what most distinguishes a homeschooler's social life from that of a conventionally schooled child? Ray says homeschooled children tend to interact more with people of different ages.
The Truth about Homeschooling and Socialization
The reality of homeschool socialization is that there are usually more opportunities to socialize than there is time. The crush of activities, friends, and interactions with others keeps most homeschoolers more than busy.
What About Socialization?
If only homeschoolers had a nickel for every time they heard the question, "... but what about socialization?" That infamous socialization question, for any seasoned homeschooler, is quite a humorous one! Although non-homeschoolers worry that homeschooling may turn children into social misfits, we know that the opposite is true and that positive socialization is one of the best reasons to homeschool your children.
It's a Myth That School is Good for Socialization
Parents who have their kids in school often say they have them there because of socialization. It's absurd that homeschoolers talk to people of all ages, all day long, and kids in school have to listen to a teacher all day long. It's just not even a contest: homeschooling is better for socialization because parents value it so much and schools don't.
Homeschooling: Why Socialization Matters
After the growth of homeschooling, it is surprising that the question of socialization is still common today. But socialization matters. Homeschooling provides more opportunities for socialization than traditional school.
Smart Socialization for Homeschoolers
Why do homeschoolers hear socialization questions more than any others? In fact, very few of them are home long enough to be unsocialized! Who made the rule that socialization is only acceptable if it involves a large group of same-aged children randomly thrown together on a daily basis in a place we call public school? Homeschooling offers diverse and amble opportunities for socialization. 
Why Are Homeschooled Kids So Annoying?
The biggest concern among the concerned is socialization. In other words: homeschooled kids are annoying and weird, and you don't want your kids to be annoying and weird, do you? Well, why are homeschooled kids so annoying? Because no one tells them that the way God made them isn't cool enough.
Solving the Socialization Dilemma
All children need socialization, including homeschoolers. Interestingly, the definition of the word “socialize” is “to make social; especially, to fit or train for a social environment”. The difference for homeschooling families is in how we choose to provide training that for them.
Resources
Homeschool and Socialization

People are now realizing that homeschooling offers great socialization benefits. This article takes a look at what socialization actually is and how it is achieved so well by homeschooled children. 

But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature
This book by Dr. Susan A. McDowell  uses research, statistics, and the experiences of homeschooling families to answer questions and counter myths about homeschooling and socialization. Read through a discussion of the multiple meanings of socialization, what parents, leaders, and children have to say about the issue, and what the research shows. 
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Socialization

For homeschoolers, the issue of socialization is not really an issue at all. The truth is that homeschooled children not only have more opportunities for socialization, but they also experience more diversity in those experiences. If you're concerned about how to manage socialization as you homeschool, this article offers some insight and great strategies. 

Why Homeschooling is Great for Socialization

Homeschooling offers many social benefits, including exposure to a wide range of people, more time spent with adults, avoidance of bullies, and an opportunity to encounter real-life situations. If you're considering homeschooling, don't let the myths about socialization hold you back. It really is a great way to grow up. 

Homeschooled Kids Are Socially Awkward - Homeschool Myth #2

The world tells us that school is the only place children can learn socialization skills and that homeschoolers are sheltering their children. But neither of those are correct. Avoidance of the public school system is not avoidance of society, and homeschooled children capitalize on all the opportunities available to them.

Homeschooler Socialization: Skills, Values, and Citizenship

Robert Kunzman takes a look at the research surrounding homeschooling and socialization by asking some fundamental questions: What does it mean to be properly socialized? Which values are important to learn, and how should that occur? What role should parents, peers, and the broader society play in the process of socialization? 

Homeschool Socialization: Myths & Realities

Socialization is often the number one concern of family, friends, and strangers. This article takes a look at the myths and realities of homeschool socialization. 

Dear Naysayers, Your Socialization Argument Doesn't Hold Water Anymore (And It Never Did)

Socialization is often the first thing that enters into people's minds when they think about homeschooling. Why is that? Well, there are stereotypes that feed into the idea that homeschoolers are shut in and isolated. But the reality of homeschooling today is just the opposite of this. This article breaks down the myths of socialization with reasoned responses. 

Why I Don't Worry About My Homeschoolers' Socialization

Arguably, the number one question homeschoolers get is, "What about socialization?" From this side of the fence, it is a non-issue. Our homeschooled children get ample chances to interact with others. 

The Last Word on Homeschooled Children and Their Social Skills: Why and How Our Worry About These Children Needs to End

When talking about socialization, we are referring to children's ability to engage with and function effectively and productively in the world around them. Schooling can play a role, but not the powerful or always positive one so often assume. Homeschooled children are generally found to be well-adjusted and demonstrate fewer behavioral problems than their schooled peers. 

Looking for Another State?
Featured Resources

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

Free to Learn: Introducing Steiner Waldorf Earkt Childhood Education
Free to Learn is a unique guide to the principles and methods of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood education. The author draws on kindergarten experience from around the world, with stories, helpful insights, lively observations and pictures. This inspiring book will interest parents, educators, and early years education students. It is up to date, comprehensive, and contains many illustrations, including a 16-page color section. Lynne Oldfield invites you to explore Steiner Waldorf kindergarten...
A Twaddle-Free Education: An Introduction to Charlotte Mason's Timeless Educational Ideas
Are you disappointed with dumbed-down reading material (“twaddle”) written for children? Do you wish for your children to feast their hearts and minds on noble ideas, fine art, and great literature? Are you hoping your children gain an appreciation of nature and a deep understanding of natural sciences? Most importantly, do you want your children to develop a lifetime love of learning? If you answered “yes,” you may discover a Charlotte Mason-inspired twaddle-free education is just what you’ve b...
A History of Science
A History of Science is not a textbook, but is a guide to help parents and children study science through literature. It is intended for children in elementary grades.
The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom
Unschooling, a homeschooling method based on the belief that kids learn best when allowed to pursue their natural curiosities and interests, is practiced by 10 to 15 percent of the estimated 1.5 million homeschoolers in the United States. There is no curriculum or master plan for allowing children to decide when, what, and how they will learn, but veteran homeschooler Mary Griffith comes as close as you can get in this slim manual. Written in a conversational, salon-style manner, The Unschooling...
Montessori International
Montessori International is the magazine for all parents and teachers. Montessori International magazine is a high quality colour education magazine with a Montessori focus and a truly child-centred approach. The magazine is for Montessori parents, nursery owners, teachers, and students with an interest in Montessori education.