Socialization is one of the biggest apprehensions parents struggle with when considering homeschool for their kids. The stereotype that homeschooled children are not as socially adept as non-homeschooled children is coming closer to being debunked as research is released. Homeschooling can actually give your children a chance to be socialized in a healthier fashion.
When you put a group of twenty or so kids together, peer pressure can be unbearable. The stress of wanting to be like everyone else can force kids to do things they would not normally do. They can even lose bits of who they are while conforming. For example, a girl who loves ballet could quit when she reaches the fourth grade because her classmates called it babyish. Homeschooled children are not in this competitive environment as much as non-homeschooled kids. Of course, they face peer pressure with friends and in extra-curricular activities, but it is not their normal for forty or so hours per week.
Because homeschooling gives kids the opportunity to spend more time learning within their community, they are able to meet a variety of people in places like parks and museums. Not only does this foster a deep connection with the people of their community, but it also allows them to learn how to spark conversations with different kinds of people of different ages. Many homeschooled kids quickly learn tools for starting engaging conversations, like asking people questions about themselves to warm them up. These are tools non-homeschooled kids are not forced to use as much, so they might not learn as quickly.
Because homeschooled kids are often responsible for seeking out social interaction, they can be more independent-minded and accountable for their own situations. For example, if they want to have fun on vacation, they will likely know that they will have to make a friend by starting a conversation with another child at the hotel pool. Homeschooled kids are more likely to do this.
Non-homeschooled kids spend all day at school, then cram extra-curricular activities and homework into the evening hours. As they reach high school, this often means sacrificing sleep, hobbies, and quality time with family. Homeschooling allows children to get their school work done faster. They often have time for more extra-curricular activities that enrich their lives and education. All of this can be done during the time that other kids are at school, leaving the evening hours free for peaceful time with family.
Alone time is invaluable to growing children. It is their time to dream and find out who they are. Non-homeschooled kids rarely get time to themselves. Their daytime hours are spent at school. As soon as they are out, they likely have homework and extra-curricular activities that keep them busy until bedtime. This schedule is mentally exhausting, as it leaves barely any time for the kids to relax and be alone. Homeschooling allows kids to get everything done when it comes to work and school while still having time to themselves at the end of each day.