As faculty and staff of an online homeschool curriculum, even we at Adirondack Learning Academy understand that the decision to homeschool is a personal decision and that there are children who are better suited in the public school system. But, the socialization argument must be put to rest.
When discussing homeschooling, quite often the first words uttered are about the lack of opportunities for socialization. The stereotypical image of the isolated child learning at home is outdated and inaccurate. The flexibility and opportunities for creativity offered through homeschooling allow for students to participate in a variety of community programs such as reading aloud at local animal shelters to develop reading skills, participating in science fairs sponsored by local homeschool associations, rehearsing with their local theater group, volunteering for organizations and learning through travel since homeschooling families are not bound to an academic calendar.
Let’s explore several myths…..
Myth #1: If your child doesn’t go to school, they’ll never develop social skills.
This appears to be an argument by those who are not in favor of homeschooling. Those of us who attended public school surely recall being told we were not in school to socialize. Yes, socializing in class can be disruptive, but critics will point out recess. Recent studies have shown recess averages approximately 27 minutes per day.
Myth#2: School is where your child forms friendships.
Friendships most often develop around the classroom, not in it. The same holds true for homeschoolers. Whether in a classroom setting or homeschool environment, the focus is on academics (not socializing) during class time. Homeschoolers make friends, typically, outside of this concentrated learning time–during free play, at co-ops, in community organizations like 4-H or the scouts, at church groups, in dance or sports, at the park, in the world at large!
Myth#3: Children in schools have more opportunities to interact with others.
Homeschoolers have an abundance of opportunities to make lasting friendships and interact with people in a positive way. Homeschoolers can even participate in school sports and extra-curricular activities in many school districts. School is not the only place where children have access to other people.
As parents, we are fortunate to live in a country where we get to decide how best to educate our children. This looks different for every family. For some families, public school is not a great fit because of academic reasons, sometimes cultural or religious reasons, and sometimes it is because of social reasons because school does not always present a positive social atmosphere.
If you are considering homeschooling but the lack of socialization is a concern, we urge you to review the information presented to debunk the myths. We also welcome you to speak with our Director of Admissions, Maryann Oddo, who very successfully transitioned all 5 of her children from public school to homeschool.
Call (800)374-1007 today to learn more about the rewarding and enriching aspects of homeschooling!