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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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. 
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.
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.
Homeschooling and the Myth of Socialization
A homeschooling father discusses how homeschooling reinforces positive socialization and some of the dangers of public school socialization.
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. 

Homeschooling Socialization for the Shy Ones
Sometimes, socializing is hard work, especially for those of us who have a shy kid—and if statistics are accurate, nearly half of Americans call themselves “shy.” For those of us homeschooling introverted kids, there is a temptation to just let it go. It would be so much easier to just stay at home, curled up on the couch, than to watch our shy kid suffer or to feel compelled to make apologies for our shy kid. This article offers strategies and ideas about how to have homeschooling success with a quiet introverted child. 
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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.
Socializing the Homeschooled Child
This YouTube video from iHomeschool Hangout discusses the issue of socialization and homeschooling. Guests are Sade Tagbo, Sam Kelley, Jimmie Lanley, and Colleen Kessler. The hostess is Dianna Kennedy.
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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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? 

Featured Resources

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