Read Part One Here



Yesterday, I shared a reader’s question about homeschooling and socialization.  I appreciate Jo’s honest inquiry because it provided me the perfect platform to share with you exactly why I don’t believe my kids are missing out on socialization by being educated at home.




Here is why:




The Public School Setting is Not Really “the Real World”.  


We homeschoolers hear a lot about “the real world” that our kids are missing out on, but neither public nor private schools are  “the real world”.




Class room settings comprised of peers are not a slice of “real life”.



Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day “doing school” is not a true replica of acquiring life skills.



Learning to relate with kids exactly one’s own age does not necessarily prepare a child to function well in a home, at church, on a job, or even at the grocery store.








Consider the following :




“Public school children are confined to a classroom for at least 180 days each year… They learn in a vacuum where there are no absolute standards. They are given little to no responsibility, and everything is provided for them. The opportunity to pursue their interests and to apply their unique talents is stifled.

“Actions by public students rarely have consequences, as discipline is lax and passing from grade to grade is automatic. The students are not really prepared to operate in the home (family) or the workplace, which comprise a major part of the ‘real world’ after graduation.


 “Homeschoolers, on the other hand, do not have the above problems. They are completely prepared for the ‘real world’ of the workplace and the home. They relate regularly with adults and follow their examples rather than the examples of foolish peers.

“They learn based on ‘hands on’ experiences and early apprenticeship training. In fact, the only ‘socialization’ or aspect of the ‘real world’ which they miss out on by not attending the public school is unhealthy peer pressure, crime, and immorality.”



source: Socialization: Homeschoolers are in the Real World, by HLDA








The best preparation for “the real world” is real LIFE.



The environment God create for the nurturing of the next generation is the home.  Organized settings certainly have their place, but they are still an artificial environment and should never replace the original design.





Most homeschooling families have a bit of nonconformist blood surging in their veins.  That means we don’t “fit in”, and we don’t necessarily want to fit in.  We are not politically correct and we don’t think inside the cultural box.



Yes, home education goes against the grain of everything our culture says is “normal”, and that includes how and why we  homeschooling parents choose to “socialize” our kids.



For our family, proper socialization has nothing to do with secular standards and everything to do with the Biblical mandate to be the light and salt of the world.  My goal as a mother is not to raise professional students or peer-dependent sons and daughters, but children who passionately love God and serve others.



“The Socialization of Homeschooled Children”, by Thomas Smedley,  says it this way:


“In the public school system, children are socialized horizontally, and temporarily, into conformity with their immediate peers. Home educators seek to socialize their children vertically, toward responsibility, service, and adulthood, with an eye on eternity.”



source: Socialization: Homeschoolers are in the Real World, by HLDA





So are my kids going to be ill-prepared for life because they are homeschooled?  I don’t believe so.




For our family, educating our children at home provides an opportunity for a broad spectrum of both academic and social experiences.  In my next post, I want to explore a few of those.







What is your take on socialization?  Do you think homeschooled kids are missing out?





the Natural Cottage Mama


Homeschooling Day by Day: get the ebook or Kindle version today!

Linked at The Better Mom, The Modest Mom, A Mama’s Story, Growing Home


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12 thoughts on “Confessions of an Unsocialized Homeschooler, Part 2

  1. I’m a little late here but I just found your blog today 🙂 My answer to this question is usually this: I taught public high school for almost ten years before I started homeschooling my kids and I can tell you there are plenty of kids who grew up in public schools and still have absolutely NO social skills and don’t seem to be properly socialized with their peers. I believe, as you said, that socialization has more to do with home life than with schooling choice. I have met plenty of homeschooled kids who have no social skills and plenty of public school kids who lack social skills. The difference is that when you meet a homeschooled kid who lacks social skills, it is easy for people to automatically blame it on the fact that they are homeschooled because it is an easy target. When you meet a public school kid who lacks social skills then it is the parents, their personality, their peers, whatever else. It is a double-standard that is very inconsistent.

    Posted on September 15, 2013 at 8:17 am
    1. Gaby, your insight is right on target, Sister! 😉 There is definitely a double-standard here. Socialization is a by-product of a thriving home life, which is precisely why it’s practically a non-issue in my mind.

      Posted on September 17, 2013 at 11:54 am
  2. A wonderfully worded article! Socialization of home-schoolers is one of “those topics”… However, I was home schooled by my parents K- 12 grade, and never felt any lack. I think whether or not home schooled children turn out well-adjusted or not has more to do with parenting than the fact they aren’t in public school. We will be homeschooling our young children as well. Homeschooling is so much more than just sitting at books and learning facts–it’s a lifestyle of learning. I hope to lay the foundation of the joy of learning in my children, practical life skills, hard work, and most importantly: trust and obedience in God–something that I think would be quite hard to achieve with my children gone most of the day, under the influence of a secular mindset and foolish peers…

    Posted on August 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm
  3. AMEN! Thank you for this beautifully written article. When usually met with blank stares when I share the thought that public schools, age/grade-segregated schools are not ‘real life’. The system is much a part of our culture, the vast majority of people do not question it’s effectiveness.

    Posted on August 25, 2013 at 7:53 am
  4. Excellent article! As a homeschooler for the past 7 years (beginning our 8th), I’ve seen homeschool kids be EXTREMELY well adjusted to “real life.” However, I believe that homeschooling is not the right choice for everyone (I’m sure you don’t either) and I support parent’s decisions to do what is right for their family. But I’m just really tired of people acting like my kids won’t be properly socialized just because I choose to homeschool!

    Posted on August 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm
  5. I agree with much JViola79 has stated. Why this constant bashing of public school. The reality is that each parent is responsible for their own child and must make the best informed and prayerful decision for their family. There will be fine well rounded kids that come out of all forms of education, just as there will be some really awful ones. We need to build our homes and our family’s foundation on the Bible and its teaching. Each family has to apply Deuteronomy 6:7 as fully as possible. I love your words, I just don’t like bashing. And there is also your ideal public school setting doesn’t fit all settings, especially in my neck of the woods where charter and Montessori schools are now becoming more the norm. Educating our children is a commandment from God, how we do is a personal choice that He has also given us, let us not take that choice away from each other.

    Posted on August 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm
  6. I am a homeschooling mom of 3. I was reading in Kim Brennenman’s Large Family Logistics the other day and she discussed why being a new mom and running a home can be so intimidating for some new moms. She discusses the fact that keeping young ladies in a school (desk) setting from 8-4 and extra curricular activities on evenings through the age of 18 or 19 that they are missing out on valuable life skills. I looked at my own life…I was barely home. So busy, into every extra curricular thing you can imagine…..had to get my resume for college ready! (right and selling girl scout cookies and spiking a volleyball have been really beneficial…) I learned the basics of how to cook and clean, but basic family and home management have slapped me in the face as an adult and I am retraining myself to give the basic needs to my family in a more proficient way. There are so many times I’ve said things like “Mom, have you ever heard of someone taking their windows and screens apart and cleaning them?” Only to get responses like “oh, yes, dear. I do that, but I always did it while you were in school.” Society has undermined training women to be moms and wives and teachers (in the home) as if the positions were below them and not really necessary, doing a great disservice to future generations. In truth it is the most important job in the world, giving children a mature base to be moral and productive adults in the world. If basic life and home skills are lost generation to generation (because kids are away from home so much), no matter how small, what will happen to our society?
    Parents, not teachers and school nurses and counselors should be the ones that address the little problems (a boo-boo) and the big problems (sex ed and peer pressure). Children need the love and nurturing one-on-one environment that the family provides, more than the cliquish, herd mentality of the school where one adult is responsible for 50 kids. The gap from my grandparents and great-grandparents to my generation on the knowledge of basic life skills, home management and self sustainability has all but disappeared. I do not want my children to think that dinner only comes from a can or a blue box, and that the menial tasks of everyday life are beneath them when really all of the work and burdens I bear are a blessing from the Lord that I get to spend each and everyday with my little ones bringing them up in the Lord and caring for them as only a Momma can (with lots of help from there Daddy, I might add, also a necessary ingredient for raising healthy, happy kids). I believe public schools may have good intent but are debilitating the basic infrastructure of America. My children have dance classes. Sunday school. Homeschool co-op once a week. We have lots of friends. They are not unsocialized, awkward messes.They are polite and respectful and, yes, sheltered from more common public school settings like bullying and being pressured to grow up too fast (which in my opinion is a good thing). Well, my coffee is running out and my 1 year old is trying desperately to tell me “something.” lol. I’m with you on this. I just wish more people would see the harm that keeping children OUT of the home is doing, not keeping them IN the home. Just sayin.’ Keep up the good work, God bless!

    Posted on August 20, 2013 at 7:46 am
    1. Thank you so much for your well thought-out and heart-felt comment, CC! You beautifully articulated my heart on this issue.

      Posted on August 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm
  7. I think people get it mixed up. Government school teaches socialism, not socialization. They are different. Smart parents research and figure that out. Good post.

    Posted on August 20, 2013 at 6:52 am
    1. I so agree, Val! Love your input! Thank you.

      Posted on August 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm
  8. I totally respect what you have shared here. I believe in my heart the crux of the matter truly is that as parents we must discern exactly what God would have us do with our children. Some will be home schooled. Some will go to public school. Some to private schools. Where is He leading you to place them for education? It is there that they will grow best & thrive in every area, socialization included. It is also where God would have us as parents be in order to be used for His purposes.

    There is no right or wrong in this. May we not view it as a we & them situation. May each of seek to raise our children under His guidance for His glory.

    I was your neighbor this morning at Teach Me Tuesday.

    Blessings on you & your family!

    Posted on August 20, 2013 at 4:41 am
    1. Thank you for sharing, Joanne! I so appreciate hearing from you!

      Posted on August 20, 2013 at 4:52 am