What About Socialization?

Socialization (according to Wikipedia)- “the developmental processes by which children acquire the behaviors, perceptions, values, and attitudes of an ethnic group.”


Does it say anywhere in that definition that public school is a requirement of acquiring socialization? Or that being homeschooled means you cannot be properly socialized? I didn’t think so, but apparently many do, and I am tired of it.

I can’t begin to tell you how often I hear this term used by people in reference to my family.  Do they even know what they are asking, or implying when they express their thoughts on my childrens’ “socialization” or lack there of?  Why is it that this time of year (the beginning of the school year) has to bring to light, once again, that so many around us doubt the quality and capability of our childrens’ education and social skills?

According to Wikipedia, socialization refers to “the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies.  It may provide the individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own society.”  If this is the case, then how does having them in school do that?  By spending time learning to stand in line, or by spitting back rote information, or by spending the majority of your time in a “fish bowl” with people who are all the same age?  Last time I checked, most of us who went through school, specifically through high school, come out saying years later how high school is NOTHING like the “real world”, and in fact, that nothing in the “real world” ever comes close to duplicating high school.  Then why is it that so many question the “socialization” of my children?

I am finding myself ever irritated by this implication that just because my children are homeschooled,  they are not getting adequate socialization.  I am pretty sure that I am a fully functioning adult who is more than capable of teaching them not only academics, but for providing them a well balanced life-style as well.  I am very aware that our society lives by norms, tests, competitions, and everyone being like everyone else.  I am also totally in favor of our children functioning in the “real world”.  My goal would be that they learn to do what is needed to be not only a part of our society, but to have their own voice as well.

Click here to read the thoughts of another homeschooling mother on socialization.