Social Limitations Of Homeschoolers?

I can't help but reflect on how limiting some educational programs can be for children socially. After all, if they don't have the opportunity to socialize with other children, how will they grow up into mature adults? How should parents make sure their children receive the socialization they need?

You've probably heard people wonder how homeschoolers could possibly be socialized. You may have even wondered it yourself as you began your own homeschooling journey. I know I did. But today I'm not talking about socializing homeschoolers. I'm talking about socializing public schoolers.

My children and I are fortunate to have a supportive homeschool community. One of the resources we've been blessed with is a local community college offering robotics courses for homeschoolers. My sons recently completed their eighth class.

When I picked them up, the teacher was talking with them about other courses they'd like to have offered. One of the ones my boys were interested in was robot wars. The teacher mentioned that it would be difficult to make that one into a course for the homeschool program but that it would fit great into the College's summer program which is offered to all children in the area. Unfortunately, my younger son has one more year to go before he will be old enough to participate in that program.

The teacher's response when I said that caught me off guard. She said she thought he would be fine with the summer courses, but that the College had to be very strict on age for the program. They had too many younger children in the past who could not participate appropriately in multi-age programs. "It's not like these homeschoolers," she said. "They're used to it."

In her experiences, homeschoolers learn well when they are in multi-age groups but public school children do not. There are exceptions, of course, and there are sporadic multi-age programs in public schools. But isn't it sad that most children do not have the opportunity to learn in a multi-age group, to learn from children older than them, to mentor children younger than them, and to learn to interact within groups of all ages?

What do you think?


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