This article is written by Mike Ferris, the president of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). I thought it was worth passing along. :)
While academic and teacher qualification objections to homeschooling are
pretty much a thing of the past, the age-old question of “What about
socialization?” continues to increase.
Just as we should be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within
us, we should also have an answer to the socialization question. Having answered
this question in many different ways, I thought it might be smart to see what
the dictionary defines as “socialization,” as it can mean many different things
to folks asking the question (that’s probably why we should ask them how
they define socialization before we answer).
The common theme in dictionary definitions is that the individual conforms to
the beliefs and actions of a larger group.
Most people agree that socialization is essential for the development of
individuals so that they can effectively function within societies and for
ensuring that society’s cultural features will be carried onto the next
generation. That being the case, peer socialization, especially in the teenage
years, would be the worst socialization today, if we want our children to be
I ask you in what setting, other than school, will a person be exposed to
long hours, days, months, and years with people of their same age? Only in
school. So this socialization, at best, prepares a person to get along in
school. At worst, it prepares him for drugs, sex, rebellion against
parents, and fuzzy thinking. You don’t receive training in responsibility from
peers, only from adults. Therefore, the key to positive socialization is more
time with parents and other uplifting adults.
I’m not negating the need for peer interaction, but it should be controlled
and monitored by the parent so that peer interaction will not counteract the
training and teaching of constructive values and beliefs that you do in your
home. Homeschooling gives you this opportunity.