Here's an interesting post by a
Any universal truth in her words or just this young woman's personal experience?
I was homeschooled up to halfway through tenth grade. Having never been to school, I had no idea what to expect - although I was quite sure by that point that I would enjoy it more than I had enjoyed homeschooling. Why? Because I was lonely. I was absolutely starved for friendship. I don't live out in the boondocks like the stereotypical recluse homeschooler; I simply had no effective way of connecting. Without consistent exposure to peers, I lacked effective social skills. I was a sad, shy person.
Enrolling in school was the best thing that I ever did. I had the good luck of meeting some excellent friends, and I got into good classes. With some hard work, I've developed passable social skills I am very happy with. A year later, I'm enjoying myself like I never had the chance to before.
I wouldn't recommend homeschooling for any children aged higher than primary school, unless as a parent you feel that you can acclimate them to other children their own age on a regular basis. Those bold letters have a lot of feeling behind them. Many times have I heard proud homeschooling parents brag of their children's busy social lives - conveniently not mentioning that these social opportunities occur infrequently, only in structured circumstances, or with children of widely disparate ages. I'm not saying that children of different ages cannot be mixed. I'm saying that healthy children must be exposed to a peer group, and must have friends - real friends with whom they actually want to associate, not kids their parents have picked out for them to be friends with just because they also happen to be homeschooled.
I pick no fights with homeschooling over its academic prowess. It is obviously usually superior to the public school system. I am speaking out against homeschooling because of its utter social inadequacies. Out of the relatively large group of homeschoolers with whom I am acquainted, I do not know a single one who I would classify as well-balanced or well-socialized. Of course, the parents of these poor kids would have you believe otherwise - but you need only sit in on their homeschool meetings to hear the tales of their unfortunate children being socially rejected when they try to mix with kids from the mainstream education system.
Kids need friends. Before you post irate responses to this thread, please think about your children. Regardless of what they tell you, are they happy? Do they have real friends? Think back to your own childhood. Would you have been happy with the degree of exposure to peers that your children have? You might even ask them if they feel able to join a mainstream activity (sports, after-school clubs) and get along with other kids. You might be surprised.
-A happy ex-homeschoooler
So, what do you think?