Why is socialization important? Some would say that it prepares our children for adult life in real-world communities. Today, Home School Heartbeat host Mike Smith explores this topic with homeschool mom and author Rachel Gathercole.
Rachel, we’ve been talking this week about how homeschooling provides children with positive socialization. Today, I’d like to ask you about how homeschooling enables families to build community. What does this mean, and how does it work?
That’s a great question, Mike. Homeschooling helps families build community for several reasons. One is that families are free to spend lots of time together and they often socialize as a family with other families. They don’t have to wait for certain hours of the day. They don’t have to sacrifice their family time to be with friends, or vice versa. Groups of homeschool families can and do gather frequently and these groups will often collaborate and work together creating educational co-ops, childcare co-ops, sharing resources, forming classes, exchanging ideas and so on, parents tend to know their kids’ friends well and may be close friends with the parents of their kids’ friends. Homeschooling also lacks the competitive, adversarial nature often found in the school environment. There’s no reason for homeschooled children to compete with each other for grades or even social status and it just doesn’t really happen. And in that kind of environment it’s easy for families to develop strong friendships and supportive connections with other families and individuals and the result is often a close-knit network or community of families who know each other quite well and are very able to support each other.
Rachel, we really appreciate you joining us this week. Your book is truly a great contribution to homeschooling. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.