Is Socialization Really a Homeschool Problem After All? Educators without an allegiance to traditional schools are asking that question more often these days.

Dr. Gary Welton of the Center for Vision and Values asked that question recently in an article on his group’s website.

He points out that every homeschooling parent has been asked the S-Question: “What about socialization?”


Welton rephrases the argument this way: Students who attend schools outside the home are socialized better because they spend so much time with their immature peers, whereas students who attend school within the home are poorly socialized because they spend so much time with their mature parents.

He studied the issue by surveying 223 families (asking questions of one teen and one parent), 95 of whom were schooling at home.

He found that homeschooling teens socialize more than other teens – but the interaction is more often with adults than their peers.

But Welton says the larger view of socialization is to develop character. For example, socialization in an unhealthy subculture that fosters criminal behavior is not healthy socialization.

In order to assess positive youth development, he and his colleagues measured five traits which, as a whole, suggest that a teen is developing character. The five aspects that they measured are contentment, selflessness, forgiveness, resilience, and gratitude.

He says positive socialization in those areas comes from adults.

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