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Where Will I Learn Social Skills Outside of School?
People often ask things like “If you're homeschooled, where will you learn social skills?” as if school is the only place on Earth you can learn how to interact with other people.
“If children didn't go to school, how would they socialize?” - Social variant of the inept minor argument
Answer: This argument is based on the assumption that children are incapable forming relationships outside of a certain building. School can allow socialization, but children can also socialize outside of school.
A family member asked my wife, “Aren't you concerned about his (our son's) socialization with other kids?” My wife gave this response: “Go to your local middle school, junior high or high school, walk down the hallways and tell me which behavior you see that you think our son should emulate.” – Manfred B. Zysk
- Yeah, sitting in row and listening to the teacher creates real good social skills. The only thing that would be better for social skills is if you stopped contact between different ages. Oh wait! They already do that. - Kirby
- You could look for local homeschool gatherings. Some people like to take their kids there to learn together. - KittyKatBlack
- Honestly, I used to be homeschooled, and I thought the same thing about social skills, but in reality I was a lot more outgoing in the days of homeschooling. Now in school, I spend most of the day clammed up and miserable. I'm always so stressed out that I can't really think about anything but the workload, and my social life is the last thing on my mind. Then, of course, I'm afraid the teacher will eat me for talking. Really, you're going to be the same person either way. You'll just be happier homeschooled, and as long as you already have a couple friends or join some sort of group that has people in it, you'll be fine. - Hayley44
Socialization is the process of learning to interact appropriately with other members of society. It sounds like a dirty word to me, something bad, but many people think it's good and fear that if they home school, their kids will not be socialized well. To me, it sounds like breaking people in, breaking their spirits, for conformity.
How to interact with people is a type of knowledge. You can learn it like anything else. You don't need to go to school. You could read a book about it. Or in this case a good source is TV, where you can see how people treat each other. Or perhaps even better you can go outside, you can meet people, you can observe your parents, etc.
Another issue is that this is parent-centric. What's the parent doing deciding if their child needs more socialization? If your child wants to home school (after hearing your advice, which should be in favor) then start home schooling. If you're worried about socialization, let your children know what you think they might be missing. If your children find they have a problem, say trying to make some friends but failing, then your children can decide what they want to do about it (taking into account your advice). They can decide they'd like to try school to improve their social skills if they want to, value improving them and think school will help. and they can do something else if they prefer that. This is called “freedom,” and it's also a more effective way to learn. People learn better when they are in control and follow their own interests and try their own ideas about how to learn. Tthey also learn better with lots of good suggestions, many of which undoubtedly will be followed.
The real thing you can't get at home is being beaten up by bullies, teased for being different and hazed, and that intense pressure to start making progress with the opposite sex, go on dates and go to dances and the pressure to be cool and have friends. You'll also miss out on this culture that expects you to defer to authority and not think independently, a culture where an 18 year old can be expected to ask permission to go to the bathroom. They aren't free to go where they please. The teachers enforce conformity by punishing people who displease them. but worse are the other kids who don't want to risk their own status, so when you do group work, they pressure you more than any teachers, and you could miss out and tests and grades and that fear of failure that ruin people's minds for life.
Although school does offer a community of peers to a student it actually does little to help building real friendship in people. Of course, there are some people who have met in school and are ferociously loyal to one and other and are ready to die for each other. But many so called 'friendships; developed by a student in school can be easily undermined if school was taken out of the equation. For instance, a child goes to school and has many good friends which he loves. For personal reasons his parents decide to move to another country and suddenly the student has no longer the ability to physically communicate with his friends from school. For the first few months the student desperately tries to keep his friend in contact with him. He utilizes technology to acquire contact with them. But as years go by he gains new friends and forgets many of his old ones. Some of his old friends get new friends at school with the arrival of new people and are perfectly happy without him. Five years go by and the people who were once the student's friends are now strangers to him. The point is, is that many relationships or friendships (not all) are taking for granted the fact that their main place for socializing is school. Students make friends in their classes, socialize at breaks, and meet after school but sometimes it is only the school that keeps them together. There are many people who make friends at school and care not for any future circumstances for they know that they will never abandon their friends; but school has little to nothing to do with this such loyalty. It is the students who build the strong friendships they have not the school. The school but acts as a place where they first met and that can be easily replaced by almost anything. There are countless places to meet people and it is really up to how you get along with each other that determines how loyal you will be to each other.
Sometimes the community in school creates an illusion for a student, an illusion as if he has many friends who care for him. But really that illusion falters when school is removed from the equation. People in places where great suffering is common such as prisons, sometimes make friends as a way to resist and to survive. In case of war, soldiers tend to make friends with their brothers in arms because friendship makes life easier for them. But when this element is taken away it is visible that it was the only thing that kept people together.
There is no argument in favor of school when it comes to socializing. It is a place where you can meet people but you can meet people in any place. Some people tend to drift out of our lives while some stay until death. The friendships built in school have a tendency to be the ones that disappear at the first opportunity as at times they grow too dependent on school.