The Socialization Debate: Public Schools vs. Homeschooling

by Janine

in Author's Opinions

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

This is an ideal that is being espoused by homeschooling parents who no longer wish to expose their children to the questionable teachings and people that are a part of the public school system. Because of the growing incidences of peer pressure and bullying, violence, drugs, promiscuity and moral relativism, the greater is the belief of parents that they need to take their kids out of public school before these influences have a detrimental effect on both their lives and their future.

It is ironic to say the least that in Dr. Brian Ray’s California study, around 92 percent of public school superintendents harbors the erroneous notions that homeschooled kids are socially impaired, emotionally unstable, and “too judgmental” of their community and the world in general. These beliefs on the effects of homeschooling on socialization have led to numerous studies on homeschooled kids. Rather than prove these beliefs to be correct, they show a very clear picture that homeschooled children and teens present a distinct advantage over their peers in public school.

Why are public educators and superintendents concerned about the growing number of parents who are homeschooling their kids? The most obvious reason is that with fewer students enrolling in public school, there will be lesser funds going into the system. Teachers, on the other hand, are afraid that they will lose their jobs to more effective parents who are not even certified educators. It is not surprising, therefore, that they would constantly put down homeschooling as not an effective form of education, specifically targeting the “lack of social skills” as a main point against homeschoolers.


However, Dr. Thomas Smedley debunked these assumptions when he did a study on homeschooled kids. He made this children take the Vineyard Adaptive Behavior Scales test, which identifies well-adapted behaviors and maturity. Homeschooled children scored very high in the 84th percentile compared to public school students who scored at an abysmal 23rd percentile.


Public schools argue that their kids are better socialized. In reality, children and teens are locked behind gates on campus, are segregated by age, are forced to remain silent in class unless called by the teacher, and whose schedules are determined by the blare of school bells. In contrast, a homeschooler’s “classroom” is the world around him/her. Parents don’t just limit teaching their children in the living or dining room. They hold lessons in parks, libraries or museums. They take weekly field trips to places of interest in the community, including churches, colleges, hospitals, fire departments, city halls, and even repair shops. Indeed, parents ensure that their kids are able to interact with people of all ages, and not just with their peers.


A second point to consider is that there is an obvious discrepancy between public school educators and homeschoolers on what traits define successful socialization. In a study conducted by Dr. Michael Mitchell, traits for successful socialization in students include popularity among peers, aggressive competitiveness, pride and self-confidence, and a drive toward materialism. In contrast, homeschoolers want their children to focus on building character and integrity, developing a sense of responsibility, and respect toward others – ideals of Christian living. It certainly is not surprising, therefore, that Christian parents and those who have strong belief systems choose to homeschool their children instead of their developing questionable values in the public school system.

Lastly, it is important to mention that these same negative values in public school are what is causing the increase in delinquent behavior, including drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, violence, emotional and psychological disorders, just to name a few. The reason for this is that kids and teens are getting their “socialization education” from other adults and their peers, without the guidance of their parents. Not surprisingly, delinquent and antisocial behaviors are practically non-existent in homeschooled children.

Learn more about the socialization debate in public schools and homeschooling today!

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