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?"
Socializing the Sanguine Child
Dianna Kennedy shares the socialization adventures of her sanguine daughter. There are so many ways to get out and enjoy others and the world. 
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.
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?”
What About Socialization?
Friends or relatives who’ve heard of your homeschooling plans may have already asked, “But what about socialization?” If you’re thinking about homeschooling, you might have even wondered this yourself. This continues to be one of the most commonly asked questions of homeschooling parents, despite decades of academic research and anecdotal evidence showing that homeschooled children are generally significantly better “socialized” than their institutionally-schooled counterparts. Each family will answer the question differently, but here’s some food for thought as you form your own views on socialization.
What’s the Point of Socialization?
Socialization is a pretty hot topic for those in the homeschooling circles. Many of us are asked how we socialize our kids, how our kids will know how to interact with others, and other questions that really go to the root of how our children will be able to function well in society. Now, the big question is whether each person needs to go to a school setting in order to be socialized.
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. 
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.
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.
Statistics on Public School vs. Homeschool
Deciding how your child will receive his education is a choice that can impact the rest of his life. While your decision may depend on personal factors such as your time and availability and your child's personality, evaluating studies and statistics can also provide information you can include in your decision making process.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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.
50 Comebacks for Homeschooling Naysayers

This collection of funny quips will help you answer that age-old question, "What about socialization?" "How can you know what to teach?" "Is this legal?" and more. 

The How To’s of Homeschool Socialization
Is the only place to learn from others found within the four walls of a school? If we follow the logic that socialization only comes from school, are we then to assume socialization does not occur within the family unit, at church, or on any give sports team? How about during neighborhood play or at the local playground? And if we assume socialization is a process occurring throughout our lives then what happens when we are no longer within the four walls of elementary, middle or high school? You socialize a homeschool child, or anyone else for that matter by having them live their lives, be in their environment and around the people you would normally be around during the course of a day.
Are Your Children Socialized?
Homeschoolers are concerned with the hearts of our children. One mom shares her busy family's life and how they interact with each other and the world.
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.
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.
Resources
10 Ways to Socialize Your Homeschooler

Socialization for a homeschooling family doesn't need to be hard. From parks to extracurriculars, there are several ways for your homeschooler to socialize with other kids and teens. 

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. 

Is Homeschooling Anti-Social?

Accusations fly freely about how homeschooling socially isolates students from the outside world.  Meanwhile, homeschool advocates contest this claim as a myth and counter that the social scene, and social teachings, at local schools are so toxic their fumes could fuel the entire homeschool movement. Homeschooling offers freedom for students to engage more deeply and in more kinds of community than they could in a typical school. It is not fair to assume that homeschooling is detrimental to a child social development. Homeschooling is, in fact, proving to be for many families, the perfect solution to the social ills that permeate our schools. 

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. 

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? 

Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization

Virtually all homeschooling parents will hear the question at some point ... What about socialization? It is a puzzling question to homeschoolers, as the term itself has various meanings. This well-documented paper by Richard G. Medlin takes a look at this question and concludes that homeschooled children certainly are not isolated. In fact, they associate with and feel close to many types of people. Their socialization skills are very good and they demonstrate good self-esteem, confidence, and resiliency. 

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. 

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. 
Homeschool Socialization: Providing Social Settings for Your Child

This article details some ways to foster a rich environment of social interactions that help enable healthy emotional development for our children. 

Home School Socialization

Many parents who home school their children are questioned about socialization. What is socialization exactly? This article looks at this questions and offers lots of advice about how to get children involved in the world around them and with other people. 

Featured Resources

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