May 16, 2012

How to Avoid the Worst Kind of Socialization

Mike Smith
HSLDA President

While academic and teacher qualification objections to homeschooling are pretty much a thing of the past, the age-old question of “What about socialization?” continues to increase.

Just as we should be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within us, we should also have an answer to the socialization question. Having answered this question in many different ways, I thought it might be smart to see what the dictionary defines as “socialization,” as it can mean many different things to folks asking the question (that’s probably why we should ask them how they define socialization before we answer).

The common theme in dictionary definitions is that the individual conforms to the beliefs and actions of a larger group.

Most people agree that socialization is essential for the development of individuals so that they can effectively function within societies and for ensuring that society’s cultural features will be carried onto the next generation. That being the case, peer socialization, especially in the teenage years, would be the worst socialization today, if we want our children to be responsible adults.

I ask you in what setting, other than school, will a person be exposed to long hours, days, months, and years with people of their same age? Only in school. So this socialization, at best, prepares a person to get along in school. At worst, it prepares him for drugs, sex, rebellion against parents, and fuzzy thinking. You don’t receive training in responsibility from peers, only from adults. Therefore, the key to positive socialization is more time with parents and other uplifting adults.

I’m not negating the need for peer interaction, but it should be controlled and monitored by the parent so that peer interaction will not counteract the training and teaching of constructive values and beliefs that you do in your home. Homeschooling gives you this opportunity.

To read a detailed article that will prepare you to educate those who oppose homeschooling because of a lack of socialization, download my brochure, “The Best Kind of Socialization” (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).