1.) What about socialization?
So many other experienced homeschoolers have written well-thought out articles that articulate the necessary means for adequate socialization and how to accomplish this through homeschooling. I could give you a laundry list of social interactions in which my children will participate so that you could be certain that this aspect of their education would not fall short. But truthfully none will mimic that of the public school peer group. I am agreeing with the naysayer. Rather than try to reassure you that my children will be successfully socialized, I will instead shock you with this little tidbit...
It isn't on the top of my list.
I know. I know. I have heard all about the "poor homeschool children" who come to VBS, AWANAs, or Sunday School and how they are "just starvin' for attention" and how they have a "terrible time" adjusting to transition and change. I've seen the homeschool kids at Target during the school day in their rain boots, swimsuit, and fireman's hat and shook my head in bewilderment. "For goodness sakes woman, how is your child going to survive in the *real world* when you aren't teaching them how to dress properly???"
All the while, I could hear the voice of God through his Word saying the same thing to me. (Ephesians 6:10- The Whole Armor of God)
But mine were dressed just fine....on the outside
I have heard it all before because I have been in the nitty gritty of those conversations. Here's the deal. For every *one* homeschooled socially deficient kid there are two-dozen public schooled biblically deficient kids. Basically what I'm saying is that if my kids have some issues socially, but they are grounded *biblically* then I can say with some semblance of peace that I have done what I was called to do.
What if it were they other way around? Let's say I have raised social champions. Popular, well-liked, efficient time managers, who know when to raise their hands and how to work on a group project, etc. etc...... BUT they were not biblically grounded....then what? It just made sense (thank you God) that with his Word as their instruction there was no task too daunting to overcome....even a lack of social graces. Insert the biblical teaching of humility coupled with years of nurturing, God-honoring relationships and I have an assurance that He will provide for their needs....in all areas.
Scripture does not address their "social" well-being but it does address the importance of raising them according to the bible and that accountability falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents.
Still, I have some level of concern for things that are not addressed bibically...they just don't come first when I am making parenting decisions. That doesn't mean they aren't important. Orthodontia is important for goodness sakes and it isn't mentioned in the scriptures (except for Exodus and the whole "tooth for a tooth" business).
I have lofty goals of making sure that my children are productive social human beings....I just prefer to say God-fearing productive social human beings and I feel like homeschooling is the best means to achieve that end result.
Please read Kim's (Lifesong) post here. She has several wonderful links at that post that are worth reading as well.