This is a hot topic among those that are homeschooling and those that oppose homeschooling. It is also a topic that has never really concerned me much.
I never really understood why people were so frantic about this topic. Maybe it is because growing up I was constantly around a diverse group of people in a home business setting?
I was not home schooled, but was lucky to grow up with parents and family who were involved and dedicated to the raising of my sister and me. What I learned in our home and being involved in the day to day of our family business is what has helped me handle any situation in my life. In fact that is what helped me get through school.
Am I saying that we all need to have home businesses to home school and aid in socialization? Absolutely not, what I am trying to convey is that if we are homeschooling, we are together as a family unit day in and day out. So now I invite you to think about your day to day, what does that entail?
Well my days before children and after, home business or not has always had errands attached to it, banking, groceries, misc. shopping, registration for events or activities, doctor/dentist appointments, eating out, going to the library, getting gas, going to church, helping a neighbour, taking care of the pets, visiting friends and family, etc. I think you can see what I mean. Just because we are homeschooling does not mean we live inside a bubble and never leave the house.
We are out interacting in our community taking care of day to day real life business, modelling to our children just how to interact in an acceptable manner. This is the socialization of our children, naturally exposing them to situations and people they will have to interact with throughout their life.
Being at school, a playground, or any other childhood activity where they are mixing with similar ages, playing and having fun etc. is providing them with a social outlet:they interact, and learn the ins and outs of how to get along etc.
I truly believe that our day to day will provide a realistic socialization for our children. I also believe that kids like to do things, so I have my kids involved in sports or different clubs that they enjoy. You might be thinking that I do this for a break or for them to get “socialized”, and you would be wrong. I do this because kids are kids, and kids like to play and learn, they crave movement and creativity, they like independence too.
Address what your child needs as far as academics, physical health, and artistic expression. Once you narrow it down you take action and get them involved. You will find that the whole issue of socialization will happen as a natural and great side effect to simply addressing what your child needs in order to be a whole person. They will be out and about, and will have all the “socialization” they need, along with a large dose of family.