Socialization. Socialism. Homeschool.

Heather —  January 24, 2010


(also socialise) • verb 1 mix socially with others. 2 make (someone) behave in a way that is acceptable to society. 3 organize according to the principles of socialism.

— DERIVATIVES socialization noun.

Today, I want to talk about how we socialize in our homeschool. Before I get into that, I want to say that our family does have some children Homeschooling and some in the Public-School System. I share that so you know that I am familiar with school systems and various types of homeschooling. I am not an expert and this post is an opinion.

That being said, I do feel that Homeschooling is a best choice option, and if I had the guts… and a time-machine, I would homeschool my children from the beginning. However, I think we all stumble along and do our best according to what we believe mixed with what we encounter along the way. Or, is that just me?

Anyway, one question people always ask about Homeschooling is: “What do you do about socialization?” Occasionally, people ask, “How do they find friends?”

The second question is much easier to answer! This is really a question about how we:

  1. mix socially with others
  2. make someone behave in a way that is acceptable to society

We find friends and fun all over the place. In co-ops, where many homeschool families get together and run classes and have activities together, in church youth groups, in park and recreation activity classes, in museums, at nature centers…at the beach.

We find kids and adults, we even find grandmothers and grandfathers who have amazing stories in all kinds of places. We have choices. Some opportunities are even free because I am registered as a homeschool teacher (that does not happen as often as I would like, but I have learned to ask stoically)

Is it hard to access all these wonderful options for being social? Well, that depends. Personally, I am an introvert…so it has been hard to sometimes make those introductions, set up those classes and get out and find life. But, for my children, who all appear to be extroverts…it comes naturally. They are inundated with invitations.

Sometimes, it can be hard to find social avenues. Recently, we moved and I realized with real dread that we had to begin all over again. When I began Homeschooling, I had a marvelous friend who introduced me to a group of veteran homeschoolers who taught me so many things—Thank you Kia!

When we moved, I lost all those connections. In a new town without knowing anyone, you need to begin again. Sometimes it can suck. In fact, here I have written emails to two local homeschool groups and the state homeschool group. I have been surprised and dismayed to get no answer. There are caves here, so maybe….Just kidding.

So, it is not all rosy. But I can still get involved with local sports and museums…and little by little, we build our life back up.

Now, back to question #1: “What do you do about socialization?”

People who ask this specifically are often really asking:

  1. How do you make (someone) behave in a way that is acceptable to society.
  2. organize according to the principles of socialism.

This question underscores a belief many people have that people need to be raised similarly to fit in society. I disagree with that assumption.

I do agree that people need others—like Cicero says “We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race”.

And on a daily level, I know my children crave interaction: “As any action or posture long continued will distort and disfigure the limbs; so the mind likewise is crippled and contracted by perpetual application to the same set of ideas.” Samuel Johnson

However, throughout time children have been raised in their families with activities and community with great success.

Children do not need to be herded together and socialized.

The more I notice, the more I agree that with Immanuel Kant’s statement that “School is a place of compulsory culture.” And I do not mean that in a good way.

I want my children to have the joy of learning to learn…not the drudgery. I will teach them to wait patiently in a line…but to the best of my ability, I will not make them line up like cattle.

This quote strikes me very strongly. This is an idea I fight every day,

People nowadays like to be together not in the old-fashioned way of, say, mingling on the piazza of an Italian Renaissance city, but, instead, huddled together in traffic jams, bus queues, on escalators and so on. It’s a new kind of togetherness which may seem totally alien, but it’s the togetherness of modern technology”, J.G. Ballard.

You know, when you look up socialization today, the description itself and many quotes lead directly to socialism. If you follow that path, which I will for this discussion…this leads to the path our health care and school system is taking, bit by bit. And, that is not the path I want for my children.

“Socialism is like a dream. Sooner or later you wake up to reality.” Winston Churchill. And I, as does William Casey, “Pass the test that says a man who isn’t a socialist at 20 has no heart, and a man who is a socialist at 40 has no head.”

Comments anticipated and welcomed.

51bhqLWbPGL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_Giveaway: The Ultimate Guide To Homeschooling, by Debra Bell. This is a fantastic resource and I really do not want to give it away. But I would love for someone to enjoy it….so comment & enter the giveaway.

To enter, leave me a comment on this post. Giveaway will end 2/15/10.

For an extra entry, follow my RSS (1) or friend connect (1). You can also twitter (1) or post about the post (1). Just let me know what things you have done in a comment for each thing.

Smooth-and-Easy-DaysAlso, here is a marvelous free resource: Go to the Charlotte Mason website and get your free pdf copy of Smooth and Easy Days.

This post is in response to the new TOS Homeschool Crew, Facebook Question of the Week Series. Go to TOS on Facebook, this upcoming Tuesday, to read more.


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28 responses to Socialization. Socialism. Homeschool.

  1. Hi Heather,

    My sister really wants a copy of this book to keep, but I really want to keep my own copy, so please enter me in your giveaway. 🙂

    Wendy (on the Crew)

    Also, you can take a look at my post on this topic at…

    • Will do, Wendy! I do love the book too. I just was remembering how lost I was when I began Homeschooling, and how much the book would've helped me back then. A friend gave me Mystery of History, too and it took me a year to learn how to use it. I do remember being overwhelmed. But, I would definitely do it all over again!!

  2. Great post on socializing! (Don't need to enter the contest – I've already got a copy of the book. I just wanted to tell you I enjoyed your post).

  3. Agree completely. Today's school system has also change so much from just years ago. I am actually scared of sending my kids to school. Most of the time the teachers are forced to just babysit the kids instead of really getting into the joy of learning.

    You should look up on for homeschooling communities near you. You'd be suprised how many people home school their kids, and it would be a great way to socialize with others.

    THanks for following my blog! I am now a follower!

  4. This would be great….my son is turning 3 and I'm just starting the homeschool/preschool process. Thanks!!

  5. Oo! This is so exciting! I totally plan on homeschooling my kids for multiple reasons (faith and education being the top priorities).

  6. I follow you via google friend connect and now email subscribe, I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  7. Great read!

  8. Mine are in High School now but if I had it to do all over again, I would home school. They have loved school, never any problems, great students, but I know there have been outside influences.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I really think the face of homeschooling is changing–partly because of all the technological advances we have right now–I can find so many resources in a few minutes online–whereas when my college guy was 4…it was really different!

  9. Heather, this is a really great post. You don't have to enter me in the giveaway since I already have a copy. 🙂

  10. I like how your post addresses this issue. Society tries to tell parents the only way their kids will develop meaningful social relationships is to be "in the system". As you point out, the development of social relationships can take place in a wide variety of venues.

  11. This looks super cool! Would love to win it!

  12. I subscribe to you now. 🙂

  13. I was homeschooled as a kid and loved it. I'd love to incorporate some of those ideals into my home dynamic and my stepdaughters life. This would be a great book to read!

  14. I friend connected!

  15. I am thinking of doing homeschooling and this would help me out.

  16. I just subscribed by e-mail.

  17. I have subscribed by friend connect.

  18. I get asked everyday "How come you are not socializing your children? I just sit back and laugh sometimes because if you meet my children they are very social and will talk and interact with just about anyone. I feel that Homeschooling has given us more ways to socialize and not just with children their ages. __This sounds like a great book and Thank You for this post!!

  19. I would love a chance to win this book. I'm looking into Homeschooling my almost 3 yr old! Thanks

  20. I would love to win this book.

  21. I would love to win this. I am looking at having to homeschool my twins due to a metabolic disorder. I wouldlove to know where to start.

    denise_22315 at yahoo dot com

  22. Please enter me. thanks!

  23. Would love to read this, I has been a struggle to homeschool my two boys.
    Nice post by the way!

  24. I am researching homeschooling. My little boy is 3 and I am expecting our second. This would be a great resource. Please enter me. Thank you!!!