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?
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.