One of the first questions that we are asked, and one of the main criticisms of home schooling is how to affects a child’s social interactions. Concerns at this level are unfounded, and though it’s always good to explore consequences of decisions, lack of social skills in home-educated children is not actually a real problem at all.
Most schoolchildren happen are grouped by their age and distance from the school, along with parental views about the quality of the school. They may also be grouped by ability or gender. They have little choice in who their classmates are, or who they are going to be from year to year, and this can be stressful. Our experience, is that the kind of social interactions that take place in the classroom are generally not pleasant at all. Teasing, bullying and belittling, are often justified by school leaders and supporters as ‘character-building’, good for young people, because life is not fair… We at Tutors International do not share this view. We do not agree that such a learning environment is good for children at all. And especially when it is easy to create a home-based education that is rich in social opportunity.
Just consider any voluntarily-attended, non-school, sport or activity. Children choose these because they like to do them and they are grouped with other young people who share their passion or interest. The do not all attend the same school. They do not need to attend any school. If they were home-schooled they would not be excluded from taking part in a sport they love, or from playing with a band, or acting, or from spending time with good friends and making new ones. In fact, if their schooling was less time-consuming and stressful they would have more time for their interests and probably enjoy them more too.
In deciding whether home schooling is a viable alternative for your family, it is important to discuss all the consequences and benefits. Just like some children suit being at boarding school while others do not, some children will benefit from home schooling because of the way it can be tailored to learning style and fitted around other commitments. One thing is certain though, home schooling does not reduce opportunities for social interactions. If anything, it’s the opposite.
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