Poorly Socialized Homeschooled Kids

Whistle Transparent

My seven-year old daughter is a poorly socialized homeschooled child.

Think back. Do you remember? Playing at recess when the shrill whistle blew? It shrieked, “Stop what you’re doing. Come get in line.”

At the soccer game the other night, the whistle blew. My daughter kept obviously playing while all the other girls shuffled over to the sidelines.

She doesn’t know the whistle means “STOP” and to file along with the other kids.

She’s a real competitor, and I have no doubt she’ll get it figured out.

My kids run the gamut of playmates–young to old–white Caucasian Americans to Puerto Rican–English to Spanish–doctor’s kids to farmer’s kids–athletic to artsy–Christian to Hindi.  But I can honestly say, “My kids lack socialization skills.”  And laugh.

They’ve got great interpersonal skills, but I am leaving it to the big world to teach them to get in line.  Don’t ask so many questions.  Stop when the whistle blows.

Anyone else watched as their kids “get socialized”?  How does it make you feel as a parent?  Sad?  Happy?  Deflated?  Irritated?

Happy Monday!  (So sorry I’m full of questions lately!)


In the draft bin: Butyrate/Short chain fatty acids as related to my Metametrix is still getting researched. This butyrate is fascinating stuff. Where have I been all of these years?

17 thoughts on “Poorly Socialized Homeschooled Kids

  1. Wiese

    My daughter is only two and it is not always fun to go through the socialization stage. It definitely took a while before we learned the ropes of how to behave at gymnastics. But here is a fun one we just had occur. Recently she sat with another family at church. She did very well playing with another 7 year old girl. Several times they had to be told “shh” to be a little quieter. Then at one point an adult turned to my daughter and asked her a question and her response was “Shh!” with her index finger on her mouth.

  2. Heather

    I love that question. Isn’t socialization an issue? Yes it is. I often have to tell my children that we can not schedule another playdate/park date/ class because we have other stuff that needs to get done, like math and chores. When my kids were in school 4 years ago they received free time “socialization” for 1.5 hours a day- recess and lunch. On Tuesday alone they have 4 hours playing with all ages and all sorts of games. LOVE HOMESCHOOLING and eating Organic Paleo Food.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      “LOVE HOMESCHOOLING and eating Organic Paleo Food.”

      Me, too! Thanks for commenting! I also have to shut my kids down when it comes to play dates! And the play dates are almost always multi-ages. Talk about learning to get along!

      Hope 2014 is going GREAT!

  3. Timothy Price

    “My kids run the gamut of playmates–young to old–white Caucasian Americans to Puerto Rican–English to Spanish–doctor’s kids to farmer’s kids–athletic to artsy–Christian to Hindi. But I can honestly say, “My kids lack socialization skills.” And laugh.”

    I was so happy to read this. We home schooled our daughter and “…but what about socialization?” was the first question we got once people discovered we weren’t totally weird religious fanatics. Like your kids, our daughter got to play and interact with people of many different ages, races, sexual orientation and color, and people who held political and religious ideologies from all over the spectrum. Our daughter came out of home school as a well educated, well socialized, multilingual person. Actually she has ended up with much better social skills than me and my wife.

    Interestingly, the only people who ever asked about what we were teaching our daughter in home school were the Spanish bureaucrats who had to give us special government dispensation to home school our daughter during the 3.5 years we lived in Spain. They were impressed with our home school curriculum, because we followed the Spanish Baccalaureate, plus a whole lot more.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I loved your comment! Thanks for taking the time to leave it! Your daughter’s “outcome” sounds like the epitome of my homeschooling goals!

      We have traveled twice to Spain, and I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed it! We talk about making extended stays there. How was it?

  4. Leigh

    Love your site, I’m reading it instead of planning for the homeschool year to begin in Australia in Feb 🙂

    I find it amusing about the socialisation question – When we are asked if our kids have a problem socialising, firstly I’d like to say – there are 6 of them for starters so no they don’t! Secondly, that’s one of the reasons we homeschool, so we can monitor who they socialise with! and thirdly, they go to school and what do they get in trouble for in the class room – socialising!

    Blessings for 2015

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Haha! And I’m writing on the blog instead of planning for homeschool lessons TOMORROW. Uh-oh.

      I used to wonder about that socialization thing before I started to homeschool. Now I kind of feel that schools create somewhat of this artificial socialization environment.

      We have four, not six, but definitely they get to socialize here at home! And I was always in trouble for talking in school, receiving strategic placement of the desk so I wouldn’t talk. (Never mind I was probably trying to help someone with their math or something.) 🙂

      Blessings to You! Glad you stopped in and left a comment!


  5. Robyn

    My children are all grown now. My oldest daughter has her Master’s in Biology and is the project manager of a research project. My son has a double Bachelors, one in Mathematics and one in Engineering. He is now an engineer. He couldn’t read until he was 11, but once that light bulb went off in his head, he took off! He would have been labeled learning disabled by any school, when all he needed was more time. My youngest daughter just started community college this year, though she hasn’t a clue as to what she wants to do yet. For now it is enough for her to have the “college experience”. All of my kids were homeschooled, all are not “normal”. As my oldest daughter said to me many years ago, “Why would anyone want to be normal, it means average and I don’t want to be just average.”

    Everywhere we went we were asked about socialization. My question was always “You know, I was wondering that about children that go to school. Poor dears, having to sit at a desk all day long and with what little time they get to play having to spend it only with children that are the exact same age as them.”

    I realize that homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but it was perfect for us. I loved every minute of it and my kids have grown up to be incredible human beings. That is all a mother can ask for.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Robyn,

      Congratulations to your children and you–and to being on “the other side!” Being in the trenches here, it feels like it’ll last forever. But I know it will not. Thanks for the affirmation that this is a wonderful path in life for parents and kids. I’m so excited to watch my children grow, learn, and mature.

      Not a reader until age 11 yet now an engineer! I wish so badly that all people could hear that! That education could change. That kids weren’t forced into a mold and labeled inadequate. I also wish that people would really stop to look at the “socialization” that schools supposedly supply. It is NOT normal to be surrounded only by dozens or even hundreds of people exactly your same age. It is not natural.

      Thank you for stopping in and leaving a comment. I agree. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but it is perfect for us too!


  6. Jenni

    I don`t think that socialization means staying at [in] lines and obeying rules. It means that a person is able to reflect other peoples feelings and be polite with them and that person has no difficulties to work in a group. Some people think that very little children should be socializited in groups so that it will be easiers for them to attend school and work with other people. But it`s actually the opposite: if a child is not ready to play in a group he gets stressed about the situation. And what will the rised cortisol levels do to the child and his development towards adulthood? See watamura etc.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I agree with you. My oldest was very, very shy. She tells me all kinds of things now about pre-school that she wasn’t able to tell me then; how she’d go off and sit by herself to try to get away from the other kids. Luckily, her very best ever friend was also there, and I think that helped her be okay with pre-school. And I know one teacher was much, much better for her than another. Both excellent teachers, but one bonded better with her, helping her feel reassured. I have sent each of my kids thus far to pre-school because I wanted to. Honestly, I needed a little break. I don’t regret doing that, but I certainly in no way, shape, or form think that kids need pre-school!

      Here is an example of Watamura’s work that Jenni was referring to, if anyone is interested: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3295236/ .

      Thanks for the heads up. I hadn’t heard of Watamura.


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