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Home-schooling: What About Developing Social Skills?

By Yolanda Spivey

The number one topic that comes up when you’re thinking about homeschooling a child is “socialization.” Many educational critics believe that home-schooled children are not capable of participating in society fully because they lack the necessary social skills to fit in.

Today, it is proven, that many home schooled children do adjust well socially.  Not only do they outperform their public school peers, they also fare well as adults in all areas of life—from being gainfully employed, participating in their communities and voting.

In his book, The Hurried Child, Dr. Raymond Moore explains the myth of “socialization” as it pertains to homeschooling.  He writes, “The idea that children need to be around many other youngsters in order to be socialized is perhaps the most dangerous and extravagant myth in education and child rearing today.”

Research continually shows home-schooled children having more self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth than their public school counterparts.

Dr. Moore found in his extensive research that some children don’t do well in large groups.  Peer pressure is a constant at most public schools, and there is a risk that children never really discover who they are.

School.familyeducation.com came up with the following tips to ensure that parents who home-school their children can make sure their child’s socialization skills stays in tack:

1. Find other homeschoolers in your area and strike up friendships. This can be done via the Internet, your place of worship, a food co-op, or library. Put up notices on safe billboards in your community.

2. Join a group like 4-H. 4-H is a youth development organization. Your child can choose one of their many clubs, based on his or her interests (rocketry, crafts, environment, animals, dance, and many more). All are welcome, and it’s free.

3. When you meet families out with kids during school hours, ask them if they home-school. I know of many friendships that started that way!

4. Find out about the sports programs available through your local parks and recreation department. Team sports give kids the opportunity to meet peers with common interests.

5. Volunteer your services. Visit local nursing homes, shelters, etc. One young homeschooler regularly visited a nursing home with her mom and gave elderly women manicures. Giving unselfishly to one’s community sets a good example and develops true socialization skills.

Parents are also encouraged to take their children out to museums, beaches and parks where there are crowds.  They should also allow their child to take up dance, drama, language and music classes to enhance their skills.

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