This is the question Jimmy got from our VERY sweet neighbor tonight when he told her we would be homeschooling Anna this fall. She was actually positive about the general idea of homeschooling but was concerned for Anna's social future.
Honestly, this is the most common question we get, which I find interesting for several reasons. Mostly, I wonder why it is everyone's first thought. I mean seriously, why is their first concern not the level of education she will receive or whether or not she will learn to read and write properly. They just have the need to know if she will be properly socialized with that one single age group of children.... hmmm...
Here is a good excerpt from a blog I was reading tonight. This comes from http://greggharrisblog.blogspot.com
"To those who ask, "But what about socialization?" I can only weep. Socialization has always been a double-edged sword; it cuts both ways. "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm" (Prov. 13:20, NASB). What my wife and I are doing in our home school is positive, biblical socialization that makes our children become wise. My children walk with me, and though I definitely have a long way yet to go, I try to be an acceptable companion to my children.
Most of our modem school-based socialization is of the foolish, harmful sort. Pooled ignorance leads to poor taste in clothing, music, films, and TV - the kind of people who read the grocery store tabloids and believe them. But the harm is far more than cultural. Disinterest in school, disrespect for teachers, rapacious dating, promiscuity, substance abuse, and gang violence also come in waves-- pounding waves of youth culture that erode moral standards. Even a small population of these poor creatures requires that high schools be run like youth prisons.
Good socialization is primarily age-integrated. It occurs when the young are included in the lives of older and wiser people, especially parents and other family members at home and the spiritual family of one's local church. Walking with the wise is a lifestyle, not a program. It is a club of fellow enthusiasts, not a class of uninterested age-mates. It includes working together, eating together, playing together, worshiping together, and studying together, This is where God placed the responsibility for child training and education, and it works very well in aiming children at God's highest and best targets in every area of life."