It seems like every homeschool blogger (including myself apparently) feels compelled to make at least one (usually several) posts defending the "socialization" question. I used to read those posts, but they all say essentially the same thing - for the majority there is no problem. I wish everyone would just drop the entire issue. That horse is dust in the wind. There is nothing left to beat, people.
So what's got a bee in my bonnet right now is people who say they know homeschooled children who have trouble socializing. Can someone introduce me? I've never met one, hell I've never met a child that couldn't socialize. By definition a child is going to be a person that is learning how to make their way in the world. They've lived less time, experienced fewer things - naturally they will not know all the ins and outs of every situation.
Right here I could also go off on a tangent about how the "socializing" that kids do in school is not the same kind of socializing that adults do, now is it? Not once since I left high school have I been taunted, embarrassed, ignored, or felt as isolated as I ever did sitting in any of my classes.
What I am saying is that all children sort of know how to socialize on some level. Maybe the homeschool children that go into the school system don't know their ways around that particular system, but if you put them with other homeschoolers they will be fine. At least in my experience. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that perhaps the socialization issue is not a homeschool thing, but a parent thing. The type of parents who might want to shelter their child will also probably want to keep them home. Just sayin'.
I am going to describe several people below. Can you guess which ones were schooled at home and which attended a school of some sort? These are all adults and none of them read my blog (except for myself and B.) So don't worry I'm not talking about any of you. If you find you identify in some way, I apologize. It's a coincidence.
Person A thinks people need to just accept them as they are, they know they are abrasive, but they have a right to be this way. They have a hard time making friends and keeping friends.
Person B dislikes any type of get-together, or at least the idea of them. Once there it's a 50/50 chance that they will enjoy themselves. People really like this person when they are around though. Generally they enjoy outings with friends more than family.
Person C talks. A lot. But they are a great storyteller. People gravitate towards them and they have a lot of loving friends and family.
Person D can never figure out when it's their turn to talk in a conversation. They either turn to leave before the other person is finished, or stay too long. This person never quite feels comfortable in a group, but somedays are better than others. Still, they have a great group of friends who love them despite their quirks.
Person E has a controlling personality that alienates those close to them, yet they can't stand being alone. They are very opinionated and dislike most people, but to your face they are perfectly amiable.
Guess what? All of these people were in the school system; some private, some public, some only through high school, others partial college, and one has a few degrees. I only know one adult homeschooler personally. He's incredibly smart, but he did have trouble adjusting to college. He's still there though - in his second year. I had trouble adjusting to college too. A panic attack during an exam sent me packing and I never went back. I also made no friends during college, never talked to anyone and had no support while there.
< sarcasm > Go public schooler with your kick butt socialization skills! < /sarcasm >
The ability to function socially is not about how a person is educated. There are just too many other factors, not to mention different personality types and upbringings. Rarely are things so simple to have just one cause. And I'm sorry to add another post to this dead topic. I guess I just needed to vent a little bit.