A Contentious Issue.

When it comes to contemplating whether or not to homeschool, “But what about their socialisation?” is possibly the singularly most raised question by parents – AND their surrounding family AND friends (AND even complete strangers for that matter!) – and can often be a very contentious issue.

It is also – with all due respect – possibly the one topic on which there is the MOST ignorance and misunderstanding out there… so I invite you to come with me in this blog and let’s interrogate some of these assumptions and what I believe are misconceptions when it comes to homeschooling and socialisation.

A Storm In A Tea-Cup.

For us at Love2Learn, we can’t help smiling whenever this question is raised, because it’s almost as if people think that because you are going to homeschool your child, you are ipso facto also going to keep them locked up in a cupboard for the rest of the day! (lol)

The reality is that a homeschooling day is very often just a mainstream school day in reverse. You see, with mainstream, your child is at school (perhaps with some of their friends) in the morning; but then they’re often at home in the afternoon. Conversely, with homeschooling, your child is at home more often than not in the morning, but in the afternoon they could be visiting and playing with friends, partaking in extra-mural activities, playing sport and so on and so forth.

Naturally, the development of friendships and the opportunity to play and interact with others IS important for a child, whether they are homeschooled or not! However, in our opinion, far too much is made of this issue; when, in reality, a play date every once in a while, coupled with the socialisation opportunities provided by extra-murals, sports, church youth activities and the like, is more than sufficient.

Why Mainstream Schooling Is One Of The Worst Ways To Learn Socialisation.

I submit to you that there are a number of flaws in thinking that a mainstream school is the “ideal environment” in which to socialise a child.

For now, allow me to unpack just THREE of them:

1. The school classroom is in fact, perhaps the singularly most unnatural environment in terms of promoting significant social interaction. Once a child leaves school, it is unlikely that they will EVER again be in a room for two-thirds of a day, where everyone there is of the same age and – in some schools – the same sex!

2. Have you ever noticed that when children meet for the first time, almost guaranteed the first – or at worst the second – question they will ask is, “How old are you?” They have been programmed to determine a pecking order! Why is this?, you may ask… well simply put, because schools require children to ONLY socialise within a limited  age and grade-level range (for good reason, given the potential risks and dangers associated with older and more mature students interacting with younger and less mature students.)

The net result of this deliberate segregation promotes HORIZONTAL SOCIALISATION, but severely hampers comfort with and equipping across a broader age and grade level spread, with the result that their VERTICAL SOCIALISATION is extremely poor! As we are all aware, VERTICAL SOCIALISATION is the norm in society; and because of inadequate exposure, mainstream-schooled children can thus easily become disinterested or even unable to socialise with children somewhat younger or older than themselves!

3. The FINAL point in debunking misconceptions…

If you think back on your mainstream schooling experience; would you say that ALL of the children who finished school alongside you, were perfectly socialised human beings? The obvious and honest answer would have to be, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Now ask yourself, how could that be? … after all, they all went through mainstream schooling didn’t they!?

Clearly then, the recipe for a well-
socialised child is definitely NOT that
they must attend a mainstream school!

Homeschooling And Socialisation – What Does Research Show?

Independently conducted, scientifically valid research has proven beyond any doubt: *

  • Homeschooled children are – in the main – very well socialised! In fact, research indicates
    that they are often significantly better socialised than their school-going peers.
  • Homeschooled children are often substantially more mature – reaching the IML
    (Independent Maturity level) – at a much younger age.
  • Homeschooled children demonstrate a healthier sense of self-esteem and display strong leadership tendencies.

Homeschooled children have been proven to be
far less peer dependent and less subject to
negative or destructive peer pressure.
(Something that I’m sure you will agree is of ENORMOUS
comfort and a blessing to us parents in this day and age!)

Why Homeschoolers Are Better Socialised.

In contrast to their mainstreamed peers, broadly speaking, homeschooled children have far greater opportunity on a daily basis to socialise vertically, viz. within a broader spectrum of ages, from tiny babies to grandparents and everything in-between.

Also, they are not forced into age and grade level bands, so they do not think in terms of – nor see a need for – a pecking order!

This results in a greater ability and ease
when communicating with different age groups.
Research shows homeschooled children are
very comfortable with VERTICAL SOCIALISATION! *

In Closing…

Interestingly, research also shows that after graduation, approximately 70% (almost three quarters) of homeschooled children become community leaders and entrepreneurs, employing others and contributing positively to the economy of a country, as well as being strong men and women of God.

Finally, as a Christian family you are able to build unity, respect, love, deep understanding and closeness in and of the family unit, in keeping with God’s guidance to all of us in His word in the Bible. The family is increasingly coming under attack, but homeschooling is a wonderful God-given way of restoring strong family bonds! In the nurturing environment of your home, your child can develop poise, confidence, self-esteem, and independent thinking, away from the institutional peer pressure to conform, that is mainstream schooling.

If you’d like to know more about homeschooling for your family and also how Love2Learn Curriculum Brings Life to Learning and can be tailored to meet your home education needs, contact Marc Ries, MD of Love2Learn, today on +27 11 465 6049 or +27 83 222 6031, or email info@love2learn.co.za … or click here to read more.

To book a FREE
15-minute telephonic consultation
with Marc Ries – MD of Love2Learn,
click below:

* Follow this link for more on International Home Education Research conducted by NHERI (National Home Education Research Institute) in the USA; and this link for more on available research on Home Education in South Africa.

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