You’ve decided to make the leap and homeschool next school year. You’ve found support from some friends and family, and you’ve found others who are completely against the idea. The one thing you keep hearing is: “What about socialization?” That is the big question from everyone, isn’t it? When I first began homeschooling more than twenty years ago, I must have been asked that question every other day. Or so it felt.
One Sunday after Mass when someone asked me, yet again, “What about socialization?” I found myself exhausted from answering the question. I turned to her and exclaimed, “Yes! Yes, that is exactly why I homeschool. Socialization! How insightful of you to see that.” She turned, walked away, and never asked the question of me again.
It was in that moment I realized I had been approaching the socialization topic all wrong. I didn’t need to explain how I toted my children all over the city in the family mini-van to social activities and co-op classes. I didn’t need to point out how my family of nine was a mini society that mimicked society at large. I certainly didn’t need to get into a debate about positive versus negative socialization. All I needed to do was point out that the moral child is the socialized child.
Yes, the moral child is the socialized child. By teaching my children the Ten Commandments, I am teaching them how to socialize with their fellow man. By teaching them to love God, His church, and the world He created, I am preparing them to go out and face that world.
We hear a lot about diversity and tolerance in the public square today. By teaching my children the Golden Rule, they are learning to love their neighbor as themselves. By teaching my children all people are made in the image of God, they are learning to see the face of Jesus in everyone. This is how they will learn to interact with others in society. This is how they’ll be socialized.
Since that day twenty years ago when I snapped in exasperation, there has been a wealth of scientific research showing the typical homeschool student to be as well, if not better, socialized than their public school peers. But that’s another column for a future day.
For now, the next time someone asks you “What about socialization?” Simply say, in charity, “Socialization is one of the reasons I’ve decided to homeschool. Teaching my children to be good, moral people will properly prepare them to participate in society at large when the time comes.”
This article originally appeared on CatholicMom.com and is used with permission.