Top 10 Strategies for Answering the Socialization Question

womentalkingwebWhether you’ve been homeschooling for years or simply thinking about starting to homeschool the socialization question is one that needs to be answered. For those just thinking about getting started it may be a stumbling block and for many that already homeschool their children this question may even ruffle some feathers. 

Hopefully this article will help both groups come to terms with it.

Top 10 Strategies for Answering the Socialization Question

by Adriana Zoder

“What about socialization?” If you homeschool, you have been asked this question at least once. And that’s OK.

Here are the Top 10 strategies for answering the socialization question:

1. Congratulate this person for having the courage to ask. Homeschooling one’s child is like wearing braces after 35. Even though it is legal and more accepted than ever, it remains a bit of a stigma. Most people think they embarrass you if they ask questions about it.

2. Be gracious and patient, not snarky and sarcastic. People are on different journeys. The last thing they need is to be snapped at by a homeschooling mom.

3. Ask them to define socialization from their perspective, so you understand their background. It also helps with figuring out the emotion behind the question. Are they open-minded and curious? Or angry and closed-minded? Give information to the curious and don’t argue with the angry ones.

4. Know who you are and why you homeschool. Be secure with the way you socialize your children. Your tone and body language communicate more than your words. Be sure you are not offended by this question before you get asked. Then, you will be ready to answer graciously even if the question comes at you as vitriol.

5. Let them know your children attend [insert activities outside the home], where they have lots of opportunities to interact with people of different ages and walks of life.

6. Bring up the fact that people have socialized their children in the context of home for millennia. Ask, “Do you think American children were ‘unsocialized’ before 1852, when compulsory attendance was introduced for the first time?”

7. Smile. Ask: “What do Jesus, George Washington, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Tim Tebow, and Will Smith’s children have in common? Homeschooling. As far as I know, none of them has/had problems interacting with others.”

8. State meekly: “Socialization in a school environment is self-taught and unsupervised, i.e. children learn to socialize between classes or during recess and lunch. No adult takes the time to teach them the proper way to interact with each other because adults are not welcome in their circles at those times. Adults only intervene when things get out of hand. This type of socialization has more to do with being cool and fitting in than with manners, team work, and being polite.”

9. Mention this: “Personally, I have a problem with the quantity of socialization that happens in schools. Spending 35 hours a week in a classroom with 30 other children is not socialization. It is over-socialization.”

10. Talk about how teachers must constantly remind students to be quiet because, “We are not here to socialize.” School is for learning, not for socialization.

Bonus strategy: state casually that putting a 13-year-old in a room with 28 other 13-year-olds for seven hours a day is a recipe for deviant behavior.

Adriana Zoder is a polyglot, blogger, newspaper columnist and homeschooling mom. She blogs about her homeschool experience at You can connect with Adriana and Homeschool Ways on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.

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There you have it, not just 10 strategies but 11 that will help you answer the socialization question. If you can add to this list, have questions or concerns about it, or would simply like to comment on it please feel free to use the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you.



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