Country Living Series

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The tyranny of socialization

Here's my latest WorldNetDaily column entitled The Tyranny of Socialization.


  1. Excellent article...I actually linked it to my facebook page...=)

  2. Hello Patrice,

    "Socialization" has obviously been a hot-button word to those of us who homeschool, and who have endured the disparaging comments of friends and family.

    I might have told this story here before, but I believe it bears repeating in the context of your column on this topic today.

    My best friend, his wife and 6-year-old daughter were visiting us several years ago. His wife is an attorney for a large Central Valley (CA) school district. She has repeatedly told us that homeschooling is illegal in California.

    What she means is that the word "homeschool" does not appear in California's Education Code ... so it must be illegal. That's despite the fact that the Ed Code provides for at least three kinds of "homeschool" options.

    And, naturally, "socialization" plays a large part of her argument against homeschooling.

    Anyway, when they were visiting we had to make a stop at the local homeowners' association clubhouse to run an errand. While my wife was taking care of that I sat in the car with my son, and my friend and his family.

    A pickup football game got started on the clubhouse lawn, and my son, who was 11 at the time, asked if he could join them. I knew most of the kids there -- the mix was about half and half homeschooled and public schooled. I said OK.

    So, as we were watching these kids play and interact with each other, after awhile I got an idea. I asked my friend's wife that if she had the chance to take any of these kids home with her which ones would she pick.

    She rose to the challenge and pointed out several as the best behaved, most "socialized" kids. Can you imagine my great pleasure in telling her each time that the kid she chose just happened to be a homeschooled kid?

    Patrice, you wrote:

    "But these critics also fail to realize that most homeschoolers have little interest in getting along with these types of peers."

    I'd like to submit that, based on my experience, even most critics of homeschooling have little interest in interacting with the typical public-schooled kids of today and prefer the company of properly "socialized" homeschooled kids ... whether they even realize it or not.

    As a side note, -- and I think (hope) there's little chance my friend's wife actually reads your column or visits this forum -- their child is such a brat that it has actually interfered with us wanting to get together with them. She's about 15 years old now, and is falling into the typical teenage public-schooled kid mindset -- in other words, potentially heading for trouble.

    When critics ask us why don't we want to "socialize" our kids by letting them join the public schools, my answer to them is, "Why would we want to lower our standards that much?"


  3. Love the article. I told a couple of my co-workers that my wife and I are planning to home-school our children (they are 2 years and 10 months old). The very first thing that they asked was "what about your kids being social?!" Luckily one of my co-workers said that any kids can learn to be social if you teach them and take them outside of the home. I think the common misconception is that people who home-school their kids never let the children leave the house...ever; which is ridiculous.

  4. I linked on our homeschool blog. This is the one question that irritates me the most. It never fails that the strangers asking it are being trailed by sullen prosti-tots who cannot be bothered even to glance up from texting.

  5. I personally hear this question all the time. I'm not homeschooled but I dropped out of junior high a couple of years ago for medical reasons, and I'd have to agree with everything you say about public schools. I hear the 'you need to be socialized' speech from everyone: doctors, family, friends, teachers, they go far as to try to bribe me back into school... not for an education but because I should be with my peers (the same ones that drink, smoke, curse, disrespect everyone).

  6. Amen! Well said!

    Matthew 6:33

  7. What a strange coincidence! Earlier today I was speaking with my husband about our youngest grandson, an active, independent, outgoing, curious little boy that can be a handful if he doesn't have enough physical activity, and told him of my worries about the boy's future if he goes to a public school. His older brother, a quieter, more sober child, is doing well in school because he is capable of sitting quietly for hours on end as is required of our school systems with their emphasis on testing and teacher accountability.

    I don't think youngest grandson would be a welcome addition to any classroom where the teacher's salary and, indeed, entire career depends on the (state-mandated) test scores of the children in his or her class every year!

    I expected a protest from SwampMan but, surprisingly, he concurred. He said at his school, one of the new (young female) teachers is writing up high school boys for disciplinary action whenever she hears them utter something that she deems "sexist". Somehow I doubt that she does the same thing when girls deliver a sexist remark!

    His idea was that both boys needed to be homeschooled so that the oldest grandson, a mature first grader (grin), would be able to learn practical skills such as carpentry, masonry, welding, livestock care, horse training, food growing, camping, etc., along with the academic skills in which he excels.

  8. What irony, that just yesterday, I had an unexpected chat with a neighboring public educator, who was peering over the cattle fenceline at our newborne bull calf. She asked me if I missed teaching in the public schools? (I retired from teaching at a local community college about 5 years ago.)

    I said NO! I don't miss the system politics, the student abuse, and the unethical fact that teachers are controlled by entitlement laws that promote teens toward a grade advancement and graduation, that they clearly did not earn!
    I'm in a "leave no child behind", district.
    The board, felt this applied to "young adults" as well!

    I told her under NO circumstances, would I or did I ever advance a student who had NOT earned the grades,and by successfully passing the objectives of the course.

    We then discussed the current trends in our school district toward the occurring decline in student enrollment numbers due to parents pulling their children out of the public schools to homeschool them.
    The first auto response out of her mouth was "But, what about their socialization?"

    I replied, "What is more important to you, honestly earning a core quality academic education, or, becoming a recipient of the county and state welfare system?"

    I left her speechless. And just about this time, the baby bull I had been holding, shat all over her shoes. I Had to excuse myself because I needed to get to a safe place to be able to laugh out loud!

    Our county has the highest high school pregnancy rates in the state, AND, the highest unwed mother rate, as well as the highest number of teenage welfare recipients in our state.

    She, by the way, used to be,(before she retired), the Superintendent of the School District in our county.


  9. Two brief thoughts...

    A fellow home school father used to answer the, "what about socialization?" question with, "It's OK, we're not trying to raise socialists".

    My own standard reply is, "The question of socialization isn't 'whether-or-not', but 'when and with whom' ".

  10. I always said that kids couldn't learn socialization from other kids who didn't have social skills. The peer argument doesn't wash, either. I thought the whole purpose of teaching kids social skills was to enable them to interact with adults in society when they grew up, not with kids.

  11. Notutopia wrote:

    "Our county has the highest high school pregnancy rates in the state, AND, the highest unwed mother rate, as well as the highest number of teenage welfare recipients in our state."

    Is this what they mean by socialization?

    Great thread. I love this bunch. All y'alls' knowers work. Nothin' worse than a busted knower.

    And speakin' of knowin' ....where in the heck is Anonymous Patriot?

    A. McSp

  12. This column was extremely offensive. The irony is that you actually end up supporting arguments for public schools and what you refer to as "socialization. Driving your children past a local high school for the "Weekly Freak Show." Through your lens, young people -- people you have never talked with -- should be judged by the clothes they wear. If they wear clothes you don't like they are "freaks," and you are teaching your daugthers to label people freaks because of what they wear, not by who they are. If your children were in public school, they would socialize with all kinds of young people -- some with different views, some with different hair styles, some with different religions, etc -- but all worthy of respect, not judgement. My daugther is on her way to dental school, graduating with a 3.9 GPA. Wore all different types of clothes in high school. One student of mine has tatoos over most of her upper body. Not my thing, but she graduated college with a 3.8, graduate school with a 4.0 and now works with refugee communities. Boy, what a freak.

    I would write more, but I am truly horrified with this column and the quickness to judge and generalize.

  13. As my very intelligent husband always said, "You socialize ANIMALS; you civilize children."

  14. Great post. Socialization is the #2 reason I hear from non-homeschoolers for why I should put my kids in public school. The #1 reason (as of late) is that my kids should be the salt and light to the non-Christian students in public school. Perhaps you could address this issue in a future post? I'd love to hear your thoughts on that topic.
    Andrea S

  15. Bravo for this article! I am single divorced mother of 4. My kids do go to a public school, but it is a small rural public school. They are protected from some of the worst of what is experienced in large public schools. The bullying, the dangers of drinking, and risky sexual behaviors still exist. Fortunately, my kids understand this and avoid it.

    Case in point though: My middle daughter who is 14 would not engage in any behavior with a certain boy. So he and his friends started bullying her and calling her names. She stood up to him and told him to knock it off. He did finally apologize to her yesterday for it.

    So is the socialization worth the cost of the kids being public school? No, there is many other options for socialization including church activities, clubs, and music/art activites. When my kids were preschool age, I was told to put my kids in preschool so they could learn to socialize. I look at some of these kids now and they still haven't learned good manners and polite demeanors. They are openly disrespectful to the teachers, incredibly crass, and bully others to get what they want. So what have they really learned? They have learned nothing because public schools cannot teach what parents should be teaching at home.

  16. I'm homeschooling 4th grade granddaughter. She was so far behind the rest of her classmates when I pulled her from school. She only has school for four hours at home but is not only catching up but surpassing the others. She's spending less time on socialization (and sex and drug education) and more on important subjects like math, reading, and writing.

    California now encourages home schooling, but they prefer you sign up for one of their interactive computer/teacher assisted home school programs. The school district still gets credit for the child which means they get their federal and state dollars without having to put in any effort to educate the kids. Mine isn't signed up for that. The school district doesn't deserve the money when they have people like my granddaughter's 4th grade teacher in the classroom.

  17. We homeschooled our youngest son for his high school years. After being laughed at when we told the school and teachers that we wanted him to be able to work at "grade level" or better, we decided enough was enough. We took advantage of the dstance education schools that the province offers and never looked back.Dispite the prophesies of doom and gloom, that he would become a misfit or be unable to function or get along with his peers, he succeeded. This child that was deemed "stupid" graduated on the honour roll. He is now attending a chef school where he is one of the top students. he gets along with almost everyone. He shares living space with students from Mexico, Saudi Arabia, India and Germany. Most of the socialzation that goes on now is garbage. Kids are bullied all the time and often while teaches and staff watch. The bottom line in all of this is that parents want what is best for their children,and only the parents not government,or teachers unions should be able to make these decisions.

  18. Stuck in CaliforniaMay 17, 2011 at 5:55 AM

    From: Stuck in California

    For those people that think public school isn't a freak show and isn't brainwashing your child, get a reality check! I am a public school teacher (over 20 yrs). Our child is not in public school along with over 22 (at my last count)other teachers and admiminstrators in the district I work in. Does that tell you something!
    It wasn't that way when I went into education in the 1980s, but in the past 10+years that is what it has become.
    For those of you that say don't judge them by their looks, What Are You Thinking!! That's why they do what they do and dress how they dress. They want you to judge them as belonging to a specific group and behavior standard (or there lack of).
    Let me say it this way. If teachers and administrators in public school don't submit their children to that environment, why would you?

  19. I could not help but laugh out loud reading your latest article about the inevitable “socialization” question that every homeschooling parent must eventually face (a gazillion times).

    At one point, I told my wife that I was going to go “postal” the next time someone asked me about socialization. Instead, I decided on a more sarcastic but humorous approach.

    Whenever the subject of socialization is brought up regarding the homeschooling of our kids, I now respond with comments about how our closet makes the best classroom and how we have purchased the most comfortable shackles we could afford. As for our curriculum, I relate how we meet the public school reading standard by subscribing to all of the latest girly magazines. I also add that I am as qualified as any certified teacher to teach our kids the effective use of a four-letter vocabulary or how to place a condom on a cucumber.

    By the time I am finished, everyone has had a good laugh (most of the time) and the topic of socialization has been given some long overdue perspective.

    I thank God every day that He has spared my kids the humiliation, degradation and the outright danger of a politically correct but academically and morally deficient government “education.”

    By the way, we're neighbors. I just read about you book in the Gazette Record.

    Ken De Vries