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Homeschool Family Accused of Not “socializing” Their Children?

By: Krystle Crossman

It is a common misconception that children who are home-schooled are not social with their peers. This is not true in the least but some parents take it upon themselves to look down on the parents that choose to home-school for this reason. One family even had to reach out to the Home School Legal Defense Association for help when a social worker came knocking on their door. Someone had called to state that the children were “unsocialized” because they were home-schooled and it was worrisome. The social worker stated that they were there to investigate the claims against the parents of the 10 children.

HSLDA staff attorney Mike Donnelly took the case. He stated that unfortunately this was not the first time that they have had to deal with cases like this and sadly most likely would not be the last either. When someone states that a child is “unsocialized” they are claiming that the children are being kept away from other children and peers and so they are not developing the social skills that are needed in the real world. This however is completely false. Home-school children are just as social, if not more so, than children who attend public schools. There are play groups, they take field trips, and they have siblings as well. With 10 children in the house they are getting socialization just by being around each other. Sadly there are other parents who believe that they know what is best for someone else’s children based on misconceptions that they have about home-schooling.

The mother who was being investigated stated that the social worker didn’t disclose all of the reasons that she was there. It was discovered that someone had also complained that their backyard was messy and that they didn’t feel that there was enough room in the family’s home for beds for all of their children. The mother suspected that it was a woman that she does not get along with in the neighborhood but since the reports are anonymous, she will never know for sure. In the end after the social worker visited the home and spent time with the family the case was dropped.

Donnelly states that before parents choose to home-school they should know all about the laws and their rights. There are truancy and registration laws that must be followed. There are also times such as with this case, where people will try to have the parents investigated for something that there isn’t even a law against (unsocialization). Donnelly says that knowing your rights before you home-school can save a lot of time and hassle should something like this come up, so be prepared before you take that jump.

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