On nearly a daily basis, I am asked about the socialization of homeschoolers. That poor horse has been beaten dead from both sides. We know who continues to address the "problem," and it has been dismissed. Yet, what I, at least, have failed to address is why socialization is not only a non-issue for homeschoolers, but socialization is better done at home.
We can point to the successes of homeschoolers, their accomplishments and their abilities, but aside from that, why should socialization be done at home? First and foremost, God commanded that parents should teach their children, in Deuteronomy 11: 18-19:
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
This coincides with socialization. With homeschooling, one is able to do what God commanded something you won't find in government schools and sometimes not found in private schools. God told us to do this, not to get others to do it.
There is a joke that goes something like this: "I used to be worried about the socialization of my homeschooled child, but now I don't worry. Everyday I take my 8-year-old to the bathroom, beat him up, cuss him out and offer him drugs."
It may sound preposterous, but seriously, that joke is not far from reality. In contrast with government education, homeschooling offers a safe environment, is physically safe, spiritually safe and morally safe. That creates a foundation which will stay with the person their entire life and keep him or her anchored. Most homeschoolers I have encountered know right from wrong and are not afraid to express it.
Bottom line to socialization at home: It creates power and a firepower that will protect and hold together a person. And that, I believe, is the reason socialization is one of the biggest non-issues in the education debate. When one side of the political spectrum is brewing a force that will be nearly impossible to break, the other side gets a little nervous.
A final point in favor of homeschooled socialization and perhaps one of the greatest is that it closely knits together a loyal and loving family. You cannot compare the loyalty and kinship found in homeschooled families to families schooled in government institutions their entire life.
Socialization is not only a non-issue for homeschoolers, socialization at home is morally superior to government socialization. A child is the responsibility of their parents, and they require care, comfort, education and love, and all these things wrap into the issue of socialization. Furthermore, because of that, socialization is better done at home with parents who know them, love them and have their best interests at heart.
To leave the life of a child in the hands of the government and strangers almost their entire childhood life is not only a mistake, but immoral.
To add a disclaimer: Not all families are able to homeschool including single moms and others but the best thing you can do is be involved as much as possible in the life of your children. To become closely involved is the least one could do.
It all comes down to priorities. When both parents are working, their two young children are in public school (and then day care or latchkey the rest of the day), priorities are definitely in disorder. Which do you love more: your children or your job? If children are truly loved and they are the top priority, that's when socialization is best done at home.
Socialization should no longer be a problem for homeschoolers, but adopted as a strength and a force that will create long-reaching and untold effects.