Over 35 years ago, when the homeschooling movement began to grow in the U.S., the strongest argument against homeschooling was that it would hinder the development of a child’s social life. Ironically, research results of studies conducted throughout the years, by different institutions and with different groups, have demonstrated exactly the opposite. Homeschoolers demonstrate better development of social life than their peers in public and private schools. Now, the socialization argument is used to support homeschooling.

 

How Does Homeschooling Help Social Development?

Public and private school methods require that many children, with different dispositions, backgrounds, needs, and personalities enter the same classroom. Although each student has great potential for development, and the necessary intellectual capacity to use their academic preparation to develop their talents, a child is not prepared to meet the challenges and distractions of a classroom environment, such as peer pressure and lack of individual attention. These children eventually become followers of other children, ideas, and concepts, although those they follow may be violent and may behave irresponsibly.

Homeschooling places a student in an environment in which he receives more individual attention and where he can learn to appreciate and interact with people of any age, especially since the child spends long periods of time with his parents, his siblings, and sometimes, even with his grandparents. Instead of feeling pressured to follow and learn from children his own age, the child receives instruction from someone who truly has more wisdom and seeks his well-being, since the parent becomes his teacher. Children who are taught at home have the opportunity of developing their own convictions and of knowing what they believe and why. This will allow them, once they enroll in college or accept a job, to be prepared to confront the obstacles of their society, to demonstrate leadership, and thus to truly and completely develop their social lives.

The Biblical Model

The modern concept of socialization comes from the socialist perspective of the fathers of modern education. Horace Mann and John Dewey were among these “fathers.” These men rejected the thought that family is the first and primary form of socialization.

From the beginning of creation, we find that God created man with a highly social nature. We see this in Genesis 2:18, where God says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” God then provided the first man with a wife, and the first children were placed in a family. God’s plan is not to separate people by ages, but to integrate them in the family unit, thus allowing younger children to always have models or people who they can imitate.

It is not surprising that study results have proven that homeschooled students demonstrate a better development of social life. The modern way of thinking that rejects the family unit has hindered the social development of many children, while the biblical principle that commands cultivating an upright and moral life within the family is bearing good fruit.