One of the biggest concerns that parents have about homeschooling is: “How will my child be socialized? I don’t want my child to be awkward.” This was certainly my biggest concern as well. My son loves to be social. He is very outgoing and chatty and will greet anyone he sees on the street, even if they are too far away to hear him! I knew homeschooling would be the best option for his education, but I also wanted to make sure he still had friends and could continue learning the necessary social skills to function in the real world. So I did research on the subject.
Here’s what I found out:
1. Children who are homeschooled are actually socialized better than students who attend a public school! What?! Here’s why: Students who attend public school are placed into a classroom full of peers their same age. This means that they are only learning how to be socially appropriate with people at their same age level. Homeschooled children receive plenty of opportunities to socialize with people from many various age groups and with many different types of peoples (family, public, professionals, etc). This is because they have more time to talk to grandparents, go on trips, visit stores, join clubs and extra-curricular programmes. Why is this significant? This is so important because it teaches children how to act around more than just one age group of peers. For example, how to read tones, facial clues, body language, how to decode different types of vocabulary, etc. And therefore, how they should appropriately respond in a variety of situations. This better prepares children for the real world. How often (after graduation) are people put into a group of people where everyone is their exact same age? Very rarely.
Because children are put into classes with their same-age peers, they are usually all around the same maturity level. This means that they are all learning the exact same social skills at the same time. They are making the same mistakes and copying them from each other. They are picking up on negative behaviours and not knowing if they are negative or not because their friends are “doing it too”.
Further, because class sizes are so large, teachers often have a hard time continuously correcting poor socialization behaviours because they are just so busy trying to run the whole show. It is hard to always see poor socialization in a classroom with many children, so it easily goes unnoticed until something serious happens, or it causes further, continuous problems down the line. Because of this public school children are often exposed to bullying, violence, and even trauma.
2. There are actually many ways to socialize your child with others while being homeschooled! It is easier to keep notice of and correct poor socialization behaviours because there is more one-on-one attention. Being homeschooled gives you way more flexibility than in the public school setting. If you want to stop everything and do a full spur-of-the-moment lesson on a social cue, you can. This cannot always happen in a public school because of scheduling constraints. Being in charge of your child’s learning gives you the opportunity to teach your child the (social) values that you hold most high in your home.
Homeschooling flexibility also means you can take your children to more places than a public school could go. You don’t need a bus or field trip monies, just hop in the van and take them to the store, spend time talking about how to interact with the greeters, cashiers, other customers, etc.
You can also sign your children up for sports teams, clubs, church groups, volunteer events, library meetups, etc. You can join homeschooling co-ops, where you meet up with other homeschooling families and learn about different things together and plan trips together. There are many groups out there who are local and love organizing things to get the kids together! There are even virtual playgroups and online meetings since the pandemic!
There are also many activities you can do at home to promote socialization. Play is a great teacher. Sit down and play puppets together, act out a certain scene that displays an emotion and discuss it. Play board games, it teaches turn taking. Play charades and discuss facial cues. There’s so many good ideas out there if you use your imagination and the internet 😉 (Many homeschooling groups will provide advice about play as well.) Play is not always possible in a public school, especially in the older grades. You can also find books, videos, courses, programs that are focused on social skills and turn it into a whole unit of lessons.
Because of all the opportunities to socialize you can give your child while being homeschooled, they are not isolated. In fact, homeschool children often feel more connected to those around them because they are able to get more focused, one-on-one attention and have a strong sense of self and higher self esteem. They have leadership qualities and lower anxiety with fewer behaviour problems. When they do connect with other children, it is often with someone who is also homeschooled, or someone that has the same interests as them since they meet at an interest-based activity. Homeschooled children who participate in volunteering are known to build a stronger sense of empathy.
If you sign up with Tracing Talent, your child gets the best of both worlds. He or she is able to socialize with his or her peer group on a daily basis. This group ranges in ages from Preschool to Grade 8. This peer group is small (8 students), so it is easy to correct and have lessons on proper social behaviours. As the parent, if you wish, you can have a strong input into their education plan and which values you would like your child to learn along with learning the core subjects. We will be having regular socialization lessons as well, centred around specific skills students need to learn. We will be going on numerous field trips and meeting with other local homeschooling groups in our community and experience play in a variety of formats.
Your child will be put in the best social environment possible while still receiving the highest quality education! Sign up today!
Check out these websites for some amazing ideas on how to socialize your homeschooled child:
About Tracing Talent
Some of the things we do
Personalized Education Plans developed and carried out by a Certified Teacher
Tapping into your child’s uniqueness
Providing children under our care a quality education that supports their passions and builds their skills, giving them the ability to live their best life
Using the best educational technology to enhance teaching and learning
Organizing educational field trips, special activities and other local events
Working with homeschooling boards and groups to develop highly effective home education resources
Sharing the T.R.A.C.E.S lesson framework
Want to learn more?
The T.R.A.C.E.S Framework
Treat the children by talking about something they are interested in (the hook).
Invite the children to remember what they already know about this topic.
Have children seek new information, analyze it, apply it.
Children take this information and apply it to new situations by creating a product.
Children evaluate their product using self checklists and assessments.
Children share this new product with their peers and teach them something new.