Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Does Homeschool produce social misfits?

Out of all the questions we've received about homeschooling our children, I think that most have been about the social issues.

We have learned much about this, both from articles that we have read, as well as from our own experiences.

First of all, we learned that it shouldn't be assumed that our kids social lives are so healthy in a traditional school setting.

Some studies have shown a substantial decline in self-image for many children even after just the first grade. Social pressures, mean kids, bullying etc., can be brutal at any age, especially in the early grades.

All of these factors influence a child's social abilities.

One thing that we had read really stunned me. It wasn't that it was so shocking, it was just something we had never thought of before. We read that in order for kids to become socially strong and have a good self-esteem, (self-esteem has a strong influence on social skills), they needed to be guided or mentored by adults. (parents maybe?)

In the school system, most of their best social time is spent with strong influences from their peers rather than adults.

They may be taught academically by grown-ups, but most of their social influence happens on the playground with people their own age.

Our experience has been that our own children have strong self-esteems and handle themselves very well, both with other children as well as with adults.

I'm not saying that every school system is a social problem ready to happen. Rather, our personal reading and experience has led us to believe that homeschooling can produce socially balanced kids.

A one on one teaching environment from someone who loves them, more than makes up for any social concerns that you may have.

1 comment:

Dave Mack said...

Yes, some children do suffer at school. The everdy social pressures of school life can affect their self esteem.

However, these social pressures can also test their morals, open them up to all kinds of experiences and help them develop long lasting and important friendships.

Lettng them go to school and interact with other children will make them more well rounded and confident children in the long run.

But thats just my humble opinion.