Obstacles to Socialization

Email of the Day:
What obstacles do parents face with socialization of their children?

The question, “‘What about socialization?” is a knee-jerk reaction to the word “homeschooling.”
In general, the speaker has no idea what they are trying to ask. Socialization is the process
of learning and internalizing the values, beliefs, and norms of our social group and by which we become
functioning members of society. People asking this question don’t generally mean “socialization.” They mean “social-IZNG.” What they mean is: If you don’t go to school — how will you make friends? If you don’t go to school, how will you find people to be friends with? If you don’t go to school, won’t you be bored? Or lonely? Or weird? The people who ask this question believe (whether consciously or not) that all children attend school (so there’s no one left to be with during the school day), and that, as a child, you can only be friends with people your own age. Neither is true — and, if they stop and think about this — they know it.
The truth of the matter is this:
1) There are extroverts and introverts in this world. Going to school will not change you from being an introvert to being an extrovert — it only puts you into a situation where your introversion is penalized.
2) Nearly 3.4% of our population of 5-18yos is homeschooled. There are plenty of other homeschoolers out there.
3) Homeschoolers still participate in sports and scouts and church and other community activities.
4) After you’re 18, no one expects you to have only same-age peer friends. Homeschoolers simply have a jump on this — they get to be friends with a wide spectrum of people long before they finish highschool.
~Jen GS