The following are articles that include concern about the social lives of homeschooled kids.Â Despite the amount of information about the ways in which homeschooled kids get out of the house, as indicated byÂ accounts asÂ varied as stories about successful homeschoolers, community activities, and sports, as well as online indicators such as the Carschooling site, the stereotypical image of ‘homeschooled as cloistered’ continues.
The homeschooling parent in the followingÂ article rebuts that allegation that homeschooled children “do not get socialization skills.”Â Also of noteÂ is that the ability of parents in Virginia who haveÂ only a high school diploma to homeschool their children is not a new option, although there is now a different filing requirement.
WCAVÂ television, Charlottesville, Virginia, 20 July 2006, Laws Make Home Schooling EasierÂ Â Â Â
WHSVÂ television, Harrisonburg, Virginia, 23 July 2006, Laws Make Home Schooling Easier
However, some critics have blasted the idea of home schooling and the new laws. They feel the kids do not get the socialization skills they need to succeed in life.
The next article is about public-school-at-home, a form of education that shares the general venue of ‘home’ with homeschooling.Â Critics of non-institutional education areÂ often concerned about the loss of mass-school “culture,” but they rarely speak about the decrease in peer pressure, a category that gets numerous hits in an online search.Â
It would be nice if there was an objective third-party cost-benefit analysis comparing the various forms of educational delivery systemsÂ by looking at longitudinal information, but so far we’re stuck with doing what humans have done for ages — playing it by ear.
The Acorn, Agoura Hills,Â CA, 20 July 2006, School without walls coming to LVUSD
On the downside
In theory the new school promises to open the doors to choice, but school officials said there will be some downsides.
When a student leaves a comprehensive high school, [Assistant Superintendent of Education Joe] Nardo said, they also lose out on the “culture,” which may mean a loss of friends and activities. He predicts that some students may have a difficult time with the transition.
Articles with general tips for back-to-school don’t neglect homeschoolers either.Â I’m afraid that the advice for homeschoolers in this article from Miami, Florida merits only a Homer Simpsonish “Duh.”Â
Modern parents who have weathered infancy, babyhood, toddlerhood, and the rambunctious years of threes, fours and fives, all with the help of books, magazines, newspapersÂ websites, chatrooms, television programs,Â innumerable talk show hosts, and all the advice from helpful friends and relatives,Â probablyÂ caught on to the concept ofÂ ’playgroup.’
Miami Herald, Miami, Florida, 8 August 2006, Start smart: 10 tips for a healthy school yearÂ Â Â Â
By home schooling, you don’t have to worry about heavy backpacks, bad lunches and separation anxiety. But the lack of social interactions could pose a problem. The solution: Meet with other home schoolers in your neighborhood and set up activities, [spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Ari] Brown advises.
But I think we’re way past worries about socialization.Â It’s time for the mainstream, or at least the mainstream outside of Oregon,Â to catch up and enter the modern homeschool world.
The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, 31 August 2006, Home schooling hits the roadÂ [printer version for full article on one page]
Two decades ago, when Oregon made home schooling legal, families sometimes struggled to find opportunities for social and academic interaction. Now activities and classes catering to home-schoolers are so plentiful that the challenge is how to choose among them.
“You could be gone every day of the week, and you’d never be home, schooling,” said Lynette Isaak of Colton, who started home schooling the first of her five children 21 years ago and now is a consultant to other families. “We really do have to be much wiser now to pick and choose.”Â Â Â Â …
As more families decided to home-school, they pooled resources to start co-ops and parent groups, orchestras and sports teams. Support sprouted in communities, too, with libraries, schools, community centers and private instructors offering classes and activities at times when other children are in school.
“If you can’t find something for your kids, it’s because you aren’t looking hard enough or being resourceful enough,” said Tara Weinstein, who home-schools four sons, ages 5 to 10, in West Linn.Â Â Â Â …
Some parents say home schooling leaves more time for their children to have outside activities, because their schedules are flexible and one-on-one instruction means no time is lost to classroom management.Â Â Â Â …
Still, she said, “there’s so much out there, you have to know when to say no.”Â Â Â Â …
“The image of home schooling is changing, and I think it’s because it’s growing and there are options to get your kids out there socializing,” Spitzer said. “It’s not just the geeky weirdos who are doing it.”
Choices were always there, they just weren’t the ones offered by schools.Â
You pays your money, you takes your choice.