Why it's wrong to prioritize socialization

One of the most persistent (and annoying) questions homeschoolers get is how on earth we are going to socialize our children. Yeah. About that.

Number one, socialization is not about getting your kid in a group of three dozen kids her exact age and socio-economic status. School is not society. The grocery store is society. When you take your homeschooled children with you into the world, you are doing much more to socialize them than you would by sending them to school.

Full disclosure: My kids, who are about as social as can be, still cannot line up properly - which they would have learned in school. I guess I need to teach them how to queue. Homeschooling is not perfect.

There is, however, a much more important reason not to worry about "socialization" in the sense commonly understood by most people. When you push your children away from you and towards a group of their peers, however lovingly you're doing it, you are telling your children that their relationships with their peers matter at least as much as their relationship with you.

And that's a problem. Which can eventually lead to this kind of issues. Not that all school children are victims of sexual harassment. Obviously not. But here's one thing that most victims of same share: They value the opinion of their peers above pretty much anything else. That's why they get pushed into doing things they don't want to do.

So while it's important for children to learn to get along with others, putting so much emphasis on "socialization" with peers can potentially lead to trouble down the road. So please keep this in mind and as always, aim to find the golden mean between having kids who are weird loners and kids who are so peer-oriented that they are potentially at risk of falling prey to bullying and harassment.

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