Socialization
"But what about socialization?" So the typical question goes to anyone who homeschools. Find out what socialization means to homeschooling families and strategies to engage your children and your entire family in social activities and connections.
"But What About Socialization?"
What About Socialization?
Friends or relatives who’ve heard of your homeschooling plans may have already asked, “But what about socialization?” If you’re thinking about homeschooling, you might have even wondered this yourself. This continues to be one of the most commonly asked questions of homeschooling parents, despite decades of academic research and anecdotal evidence showing that homeschooled children are generally significantly better “socialized” than their institutionally-schooled counterparts. Each family will answer the question differently, but here’s some food for thought as you form your own views on socialization.
Solving the Socialization Dilemma
All children need socialization, including homeschoolers. Interestingly, the definition of the word “socialize” is “to make social; especially, to fit or train for a social environment”. The difference for homeschooling families is in how we choose to provide training that for them.
Special Ed: Factory-Like Schooling May Soon Be a Thing of the Past
Britton Manasco, writing for Reason Magazine, looks at the advantages of homeschooling, along with some interesting facets of home education. Discusses the benefits of encouraging independent thought and decentralized learning practices. The article also takes a look at the state of today's classrooms and the limitations of traditional notions of education. There is also a discussion of the use of technology in the homeschool environment and how this relates to the issue of socialization.
Statistics on Public School vs. Homeschool
Deciding how your child will receive his education is a choice that can impact the rest of his life. While your decision may depend on personal factors such as your time and availability and your child's personality, evaluating studies and statistics can also provide information you can include in your decision making process.
Socialization: A Great Reason Not to Go to School
This "Learn in Freedom" article provides research supporting the positive socialization homeschooled children receive. Discusses research supporting the conclusion that homeschooled children have higher levels of self-esteem and communication skills, and fewer behavioral problems, than other children.
Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: Logan LaPlante at TEDx
When 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.
Smart Socialization for Homeschoolers
Why do homeschoolers hear socialization questions more than any others? In fact, very few of them are home long enough to be unsocialized! Who made the rule that socialization is only acceptable if it involves a large group of same-aged children randomly thrown together on a daily basis in a place we call public school? Homeschooling offers diverse and amble opportunities for socialization. 
Home-Schooling: Socialization not a problem
One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack “socialization.” It’s a challenge that reaches right to the heart of home-schooling, because if a child isn’t properly socialized, how will that child be able to contribute to society? Home-school families across the nation knew criticisms about adequate socialization were ill-founded — they had the evidence right in their own homes. In part to address this question from a research perspective, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned a study in 2003 titled “Homeschooling Grows Up,” conducted by Mr. Ray, to discover how home-schoolers were faring as adults. The news was good for home-schooling. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.
Homeschooling Benefits: Children less preoccupied with peer acceptance
Most people who have never met a homeschooling family imagine that the kids are socially isolated. But some new research by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute suggests otherwise. Indeed, Ray's research helps to explain why the number of homeschoolers in America continues to grow. Ray reports the typical homeschooled child is involved in 5.2 social activities outside the home each week. These activities include afternoon and weekend programs with conventionally schooled kids, such as ballet classes, Little League teams, Scout troops, church groups and neighborhood play. They include midday field trips and cooperative learning programs organized by groups of homeschooling families. For example, some Washington, D.C., families run a homeschool drama troupe that performs at a local dinner theater. So, what most distinguishes a homeschooler's social life from that of a conventionally schooled child? Ray says homeschooled children tend to interact more with people of different ages.
Socializing the Sanguine Child
Dianna Kennedy shares the socialization adventures of her sanguine daughter. There are so many ways to get out and enjoy others and the world. 
Homeschooling and Socialization Revisited
Richard G. Medlin, a psychology professor at Stetson University, continues a line of inquiry he began in one of the landmark articles of the original 2000 Peabody Journal homeschooling special issue. Since that article he has published several pieces in the journal Home School Researcher, all of which find very positive results for homeschoolers’ social and academic development. In this piece his goal is to review research on homeschooler socialization that has appeared since his 2000 article.
What Is Socialization Anyway?
Many people seem to think that homeschool kids are all socially backward and sheltered. They feel that they need to be properly socialized or they won’t be able to function in the real world. And by properly socialized, they mean exposed to large groups of children their own age for 8+ hours per day so they can learn to act like the average child their age. Their question makes be wonder “What is socialization anyway?”
Links and Items
50 Comebacks for Homeschooling Naysayers

This collection of funny quips will help you answer that age-old question, "What about socialization?" 

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Socialization

For homeschoolers, the issue of socialization is not really an issue at all. The truth is that homeschooled children not only have more opportunities for socialization, but they also experience more diversity in those experiences. If you're concerned about how to manage socialization as you homeschool, this article offers some insight and great strategies. 

But What About Socialization? Answering the Perpetual Home Schooling Question: A Review of the Literature
This book by Dr. Susan A. McDowell  uses research, statistics, and the experiences of homeschooling families to answer questions and counter myths about homeschooling and socialization. Read through a discussion of the multiple meanings of socialization, what parents, leaders, and children have to say about the issue, and what the research shows. 
Homeschool Socialization: Providing Social Settings for Your Child

This article details some ways to foster a rich environment of social interactions that help enable healthy emotional development for our children. 

Dear Naysayers, Your Socialization Argument Doesn't Hold Water Anymore (And It Never Did)

Socialization is often the first thing that enters into people's minds when they think about homeschooling. Why is that? Well, there are stereotypes that feed into the idea that homeschoolers are shut in and isolated. But the reality of homeschooling today is just the opposite of this. This article breaks down the myths of socialization with reasoned responses. 

Home Schooling and the Question of Socialization

Virtually all homeschooling parents will hear the question at some point ... What about socialization? It is a puzzling question to homeschoolers, as the term itself has various meanings. This well-documented paper by Richard G. Medlin takes a look at this question and concludes that homeschooled children certainly are not isolated. In fact, they associate with and feel close to many types of people. Their socialization skills are very good and they demonstrate good self-esteem, confidence, and resiliency. 

Homeschool and Socialization

People are now realizing that homeschooling offers great socialization benefits. This article takes a look at what socialization actually is and how it is achieved so well by homeschooled children. 

Is Homeschooling Anti-Social?

Accusations fly freely about how homeschooling socially isolates students from the outside world.  Meanwhile, homeschool advocates contest this claim as a myth and counter that the social scene, and social teachings, at local schools are so toxic their fumes could fuel the entire homeschool movement. Homeschooling offers freedom for students to engage more deeply and in more kinds of community than they could in a typical school. It is not fair to assume that homeschooling is detrimental to a child social development. Homeschooling is, in fact, proving to be for many families, the perfect solution to the social ills that permeate our schools. 

The Last Word on Homeschooled Children and Their Social Skills: Why and How Our Worry About These Children Needs to End

When talking about socialization, we are referring to children's ability to engage with and function effectively and productively in the world around them. Schooling can play a role, but not the powerful or always positive one so often assume. Homeschooled children are generally found to be well-adjusted and demonstrate fewer behavioral problems than their schooled peers. 

Don't Waste Your Time Homeschooling: 72 Things I Wish I'd Known

Traci Matt, a veteran homeschool mom helps you make the most of your homeschooling efforts. She takes a look back at 20 years of successes and challenges, offering tested strategies to assist you on your home education journey. This book will help you learn ways to keep a peaceful home, stay out of the isolation trap, practice self-care, learn how to live with teens, and respond to the questions of others.

Looking for Another State?
Featured Resources

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
Now you can realize the joy filled homeschool of your dreams! This modern classic is written by the homeschool mom who first carried Charlotte Mason's writings to America in her suitcase in 1987. Miss Mason's books were soon republished for a new generation. After ten years of intense study and successful application of Miss Mason s principles with her own children, Karen wrote A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning ™. Today's parents can now see what a C...
Guiding Your Catholic Preschooler
There can be no greater delight in parenting than passing on the Faith to the next generation. To help with that glorious responsibility comes Guiding Your Catholic Preschooler, a parents handbook to home-based religious instruction for the youngest members of the family. Filled with practical ideas, developmental guidelines, and a contagious enthusiasm for the treasures of the Catholic Faith, this exciting guide makes raising truly Catholic kids one of life s greatest pleasures. Recommended in ...
One Thing at a Time : 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day
Simple, effective ways to put things in their placeThose piles of papers, clothes, and other things you thought you'd successfully de-cluttered have returned, and this time they brought friends. What's the use of trying to fight the clutter? Is there a better way?This powerful and useful guide delivers solutions that work, no matter how overwhelmed you feel. The answer isn't an elaborate new system, or a solemn vow to start tomorrow. Instead, psychotherapist and organizer Cindy Glovinsky shares ...
Christian Unschooling : Growing Your Children in the Freedom of Christ
For too many years, the segment of homeschoolers that consider themselves "Christians" and "unschoolers" have been ignored. Many thought one couldn't be both a Christian and an unschooler. But Teri Brown with Elissa Wahl expose that not only to Christian Unschoolers exist, they are growing in numbers. Through Christian Unschooling: growing your children in the freedom of Christ, the authors support Christian unschoolers everywhere--letting them know they are not alone. For those Christian parent...
Rhythms of Learning : What Waldorf Education Offers Children, Parents & Teachers (Vista Series, V. 4) (Vista Series, V. 4)
In numerous lectures and through teaching teachers for the first Waldorf school, Rudolf Steiner described and suggested methods of education based on the rhythmic unfolding of spirit, soul, and physiology in children as they grow. In each section of "Rhythms of Learning," Waldorf teacher Roberto Trostli introduces the reader to lectures on specific aspects of children's rhythms of development and how Waldorf education responds. We are shown how Waldorf teachers must, through their own inner capa...