Does the title of today’s post surprise you? I know, I know. The #1 reason that so many people are leery about homeschooling is because of the whole “socialization” stigma. Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…one of the main reasons I’ve chosen to homeschool is because of socialization.
Confused? Let’s think about this. Very often people with good intentions express concern that homeschooled children will not have any friends without meeting them in school. Since we all know by now- I hope- that this is not true, let’s dig a little further into this assertion.
Oftentimes, people will use this reason in order to express that they’re a little worried that your children just might not learn to be normal kids without learning from other kids their age how to do that.
I’m going to be honest here and say that I am astonished that people actually believe that the best place for your children to learn how to act is in a school. Really?
Have you seen how a great multitude of kids act these days?
I’m not talking about a little back-talking and a bit of teenage rebellion here. I’m talking:
- A teenage pregnancy rate that is so high that countless high schools (including ours) now have in-house daycares for the children of their students
- School fights being staged, recorded, and broadcast all over YouTube and Facebook so that these kids can get their 15 minutes of fame
- A need for many high schools to employ police officers to patrol their hallways because of the high number of violent incidents committed by students
- 4th graders who walk in front of my house on their way to school wearing mini-skirts (in school colors, of course), talking about their “boyfriends” with less than ladylike language
- The high number of gangs that have infiltrated not only the schools, but the entire surrounding area
- The current fad of “emo” kids waltzing around “vaping” and wearing long sleeves to hide the self-induced cuts going up and down their arms
- Students who actually start petitions to get pro-life organizations to stop teaching their sex education classes for free because they want Planned Parenthood to do it, instead (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know why they prefer PP)
I could continue on, but to save time, I’ll stop there because I’m sure you get the picture.
Having my children at home and out of that environment allows me to supervise the sort of friends my children have. I know who their friends are, where they live, and who their parents are. I know what sort of homes they come from, what values they are brought up with, and whether or not they can be trusted.
There’s no way that can happen in a school setting. You don’t know who your kids are talking to, what their friends are telling them, and what sort of environment these kids are coming from.
Not all of my kids’ friends come from Christian homes, and that is okay because they are all aware of our beliefs and have always been respectful of that. They are genuinely good kids, and I have the added bonus of actually getting to know them. If my kids were in school, there’s a good chance I would never have even met many of their friends.
I want to make it abundantly clear that I do not turn my nose up at the types of students I described above. I believe all of them are desperately in need of people who will help them, encourage them, and teach them that there is a better way.
But I firmly believe that that job does not belong to other impressionable kids in a virtually unsupervised school setting. No. Our job as parents is protect our children and raise them to be respectful and respectable.
Unfortunately, there are a good number of parents who aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.
So while my almost-12-yr-old makes paper dolls for her younger siblings, plays in the dirt, and is more concerned with Shopkins than makeup, I can only look on our decision to homeschool with gladness, because this is what “normal” looks like in our house.