Many people misunderstand homeschooling and believe there is no socialization.  We get asked “What about socialization?” a lot.  However, I don’t think people really understand what they are asking about.  Socialization has many meanings.  It is the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating the norms, customs, and ideologies of society.  It is the providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for successful living.  It is the process by which children and adults learn from others.  It is a continuing or lifelong process where individuals acquire a personal identity and learn the norms, values, behavior and social skills of the greater society. It is the general process of acquiring culture, habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society.  It is obvious that socialization does not occur solely within the walls of a traditional school.  No school has a monopoly on socialization.  In fact, homeschoolers spend a significant more time in the greater community.  And, many homeschoolers are homeschooling for socialization reasons as well as for teaching life skills.

I have already blogged on the socialization issue before “Socialization and Homeschooling,”  but since the question keeps coming up, I decided to create a list.  Well, that list was longer than I thought.  Thus, this post is a list of a 100+ ways our son gets socialization.  Clearly, there are more than a 100 ways as I did not list off every single community park, state park, national park, place name, or event that we go to or have gone to.  The point is, our son is definitely acquiring culture, habits, beliefs and accumulated knowledge of our society by being fully emerged himself and engaging in the greater community.  We are not isolating him or sheltering him but rather fully exposing him to a greater world.  Our son is learning plenty of social and life skills via homeschooling.

Here are the 100+ ways our son gets socialization:

  1. Family meals
  2. Parents
  3. Grandparents
  4. Aunts
  5. Uncles
  6. Cousins
  7. Friends
  8. Friends’ parents
  9. Friends’ grandparents
  10. Neighbors
  11. Church
  12. Sunday School
  13. Church events (several times throughout the year)
  14. Swim Team
  15. Neighborhood park
  16. Houston area parks
  17. Houston area splash pads
  18. Community pools
  19. Community Recreational Centers (several south of us that are quite nice)
  20. Farms (pick your own berries and special events)
  21. Libraries
  22. Play dates or park dates
  23. Piano lessons
  24. Dentist’s office
  25. Doctor’s office
  26. Grocery stores
  27. Office supply stores
  28. Pool supply stores (we don’t even own a pool, but we make special visits so our son can talk to pool experts)
  29. Hardware stores
  30. Electronic supply stores
  31. Police Officers (at community events and special tours)
  32. Firefighters (at community events and special tours)
  33. Post Offices
  34. Government buildings (state capitals, city hall, courthouses, etc.)
  35. Pharmacies
  36. Driving in car (lots of conversations about what is seen: poverty, social injustices, homelessness, gangs, inappropriate driving, graffiti, pollution, etc.)
  37. Paint Until You Faint (art camps)
  38. Techno Chaos (classes and club time)
  39. Robotic competitions
  40. Sugar Land Skeeters games
  41. Houston Astros games
  42. Sugar Land Science Museum
  43. Houston Museum of Natural Science
  44. NASA
  45. Fine Arts Museum
  46. Contemporary Arts Museum
  47. Menil Collection
  48. Art Car Museum
  49. Art Car Parade
  50. Bayou Bend
  51. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
  52. Houston Center for Photography
  53. Day trips to free museums in other cities (Katy, Galveston, Beaumont, Angleton, Lake Jackson, etc.)
  54. A&M Physics Festival
  55. A&M Chemistry Open House
  56. UT Explore
  57. Children’s Museum
  58. Theater Under the Stars
  59. Houston Symphony
  60. Houston Ballet
  61. Fort Bend Theatre
  62. Main Street Theatre
  63. Alley Theatre
  64. Health Museum
  65. Museum of Printing History
  66. San Jacinto Monument
  67. Brazos Bend State Park (lots of special events)
  68. Houston Community College (special events and tours)
  69. Houston Zoo
  70. Moody Gardens
  71. Splashway
  72. George Ranch
  73. Liendo Plantation
  74. Living history reenactments (several times a year)
  75. Kids runs or races
  76. Nature or garden centers (several in the Houston area)
  77. Holiday events (several in the Houston area)
  78. Community events (several different suburbs in addition to Houston)
  79. Maker Faire (our son presents his work as well talks to other exhibitors and vendors)
  80. Factory or company tours
  81. Beach trips (lots of them within a short drive)
  82. Houston Aquarium
  83. Writing thank you notes
  84. Face-time or google hangouts
  85. Writing emails
  86. Phone calls
  87. Restaurants
  88. Out-of-state vacations (lots of places and people visited)
  89. In-state vacations (lots of places and people visited)
  90. Camping trips
  91. Airports
  92. Golf Courses
  93. First Tee
  94. Shuttle buses
  95. State parks
  96. National parks
  97. Parties
  98. Homeschooling group meetups and field trips
  99. Homeschooling special events (several times a year)
  100. Special homeschooling classes (monthly)
  101. Reading books (a lot can be learned via reading)

If you want to read articles on the fact that homeschoolers get socialization, then try these:

Socialization is not an issue for our family.  Sadly, lots of myths still exist about socialization and homeschooling.  Clearly, we live in a huge community and interact with a much larger community than what people perceive when they hear we are homeschooling.  I challenge others to get out and explore their greater community more.