Addressing the Myth: Homeschooling Leads to Anti-Socialism
by Sandra Harris
For centuries, education within the home has been an art. To a growing number of modern thinkers, it is a mystery. Forget physics and world history. Most students need to learn how to adapt socially in a public environment. Right? But what exactly does true socialization look like?
Many of those less-informed seem to imagine home-schooled groups as children unaware of a life beyond their own household, afraid or unable to connect with others in a conversational capacity. Homeschooling, however, might just succeed on this front where traditional schools fail.
I speak from experience as a homeschooler throughout elementary and middle school. Technically, Miss Teacher was mom. Granted, the day’s cafeteria menu was whatever I could grab in the kitchen. But the unsung advantage of attending school at the dining room table is that you can mold your experience any positive way you want.
About 850,000 students nationwide were home-schooled in 1999 (I’m getting old), and numbers now reach well into the millions. In a recent PDK/Gallup study, 43% of Americans polled said that homeschooling raises academic standards. A smart group it seems, as homeschoolers continue to prove their success in both the academic AND social circles of many prestigious universities. With proof in numbers rising, the myth of homeschooling and anti-socialism wouldn’t seem to be a worthy affair. Yet many are still doubting its legitimacy.
The reality it seems, is complicated.
The traditional public school mission is to educate, in turn taking the chance to discourage the very message of socialization they work so hard to promote. With
today’s social media explosion and technological dependency, risk of individual isolation within a social capacity is especially concerning. Students at home can talk openly and express feelings without fear of favoritism or ridicule. Trips to public places like the store or bank are a frequent affair. So rather than sacrifice energy to hitch even more negativity to the homeschooling community, skeptics might want to seek satisfaction elsewhere.
All that leaves today’s society at risk is making the assumption that one schooling choice will negatively affect a child more than the other. Social anxiety will likely arise in life due to a complex combination of both environment and genes. It is virtually impossible to blame one single factor as the cause. We are better off with a blend of opinions that guide one to making the best choice for one’s family.
The two institutions are far apart in the lifetime of schooling purgatives - indeed, they bookend it. But that’s exactly what makes the choice such a sweet one: by placing each pamphlet of beliefs on something so strong as the core foundation of education itself. The issue of homeschooling socialization in particular divides audiences. It wins praise from the idealistic one-on-one enthusiasts, but public believers often scoff. But for some, concern and ridicule only make them feel further validated.
After all, that’s the kind of reaction many homeschoolers like Abraham Lincoln or Alexander the Great used to get for the rest of their ideas.
Sandra Harris is a writer for all things family-oriented. She also helps seniors find Houston assisted living.