5 Reasons Public School Socialization is Undesirable

Imagine telling someone that you have decided to home school your children and the first question they ask you is “What about socialization?” One possible reply would be to just say “It’s not an issue because we’re not socialists.” However this may not be received very well.

The first problem with the initial question is that it demonstrates a lack of concern for academic achievement. The inquisitor is not worried about if you will be able to teach reading, writing and arithmetic.  The top concern seems to be about something unrelated to education. This reveals an implicit understanding  on the part of the questioner that schooling serves many purposes.

The second problem with the question is that it implies that if you choose to opt out of the public school system, you will shelter your children in a way that will harm them. As anyone who has looked at the topic of homeschooling more deeply can tell you, quite the opposite is true. Parents that choose to home school are very concerned about their children and make sure that their social development is encouraged just as they take responsibility for their education.

The third problem with the original question is that it takes a negative aspect of public schooling and presents it as a positive. In fact there are many bad results from the socialization that occurs in age segregated schools.

1. Keeps Children Childish

Human beings are social beings. Children learn to behave by imitating others and the pressure to conform is strong in group settings. Do you want your kids to be childish or do you want to encourage them to grow in to responsible adults? Locking children in a room with other children during the better part of their waking hours results in children remaining childish. It delays growing up by denying access to mature role models.

2. Distracts From Learning

Do you think the main focus of school should be on learning? How difficult will it be for a child to concentrate if they are distracted by other students passing notes, texting on a cell phone, or if they are thinking about who has the latest designer sneakers?

3. Bullying

Would you willingly expose your child to violence? By sending a child to public school every day it is only a matter of time before they have an encounter with a bully.

4. Does Not Resemble the Real World

As a parent you probably want your child to grow up and enter the real world some day. Then why send them to a place where they spend all their time with people that are the same age? There is no other setting where this is done. Family members are different ages. People you meet at the grocery store are all different ages. Coworkers in an office are of all different ages. The school setting is unnatural and certainly bears no resemblance to the real world.

5. Teaches Disrespect for Others

Age segregation teaches children to dislike younger kids as well as older adults. The very act of creating a group based on the arbitrary factor of age produces this result. Psychology teaches that people tend to like members of their group and dislike members of other groups. When children spend the  majority of their time in school it teaches them that the most important group consists of those that are the same age.


The kind of socialization that occurs in public schools is detrimental to the development of children into responsible adults. Homeschooling provides an alternative that will allow you to avoid these negative aspects of public school.

If you can think of more reasons that public school socialization is undesirable, please share them in the comments section.

7 thoughts on “5 Reasons Public School Socialization is Undesirable

  1. Kathleen's Catholic

    Wow! Well said. I especially like your point #5, something I hadn’t thought about.

    We have been homeschooling for seven years. Parents of children attending school still pose that question about socialization to me, over all other issues. When they ask, “What about socialization in homeschooling?” I say, “I like it!” That surprises them. My children are social butterflies and will talk to anyone.

    You might enjoy my post about how socialization is the high point to homeschooling. Please share this link, especially with anyone who is wrestling with this issue while trying to decide to homeschool. God bless! http://kathleenscatholic.blogspot.com/2010/06/your-kids-are-stuck-in-house-all-day.html

    1. Dan Post author

      I was surprised how often socialization is the first thing that people ask about when you mention home school to them. I agree that proper socialization is actually a great benefit of home school.

  2. LS

    I can’t recall how many times in high school the teachers would snap at us saying, “You’re not here to socialize!” Has something changed?

  3. Karabeth Baptist Homeschool

    The last time I was asked the socialization question – and it has happened often in our many years of homeschooling – I was on my way to teaching a class at a co-op where my son was taking other classes. After that we would be going to a gym where my son’s homeschool basketball team practices. In other words we were gone all day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It really wasn’t a good day to ask me.

  4. Pingback: Three Noteworthy Home Education Posts | Opting Out

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