Myth – Kids who are home schooled have no social skills.
Reality – FALSE! Children who are home schooled have excellent social skills. Now, as I type this – I will remind my readers that not ALL kids have excellent social skills, public school, home school or private schooled. There are children who have autism, down syndrome, just to name a few – and this can hinder some social skills. Not always, but there are cases where kids just pull within themselves. Most of them work out of it, but it does take time.
Back to the home schooled child though. Many believe that kids who are schooled at home are kept away from others, especially during the day. While some parents do fall into this category, not all do. You cannot lump all children into the same mix, and think they are going to come out the same. I am going to come at this from personal experience. We get involved! Whether it be at church, cub scouts, library days, or a huge mix of other things – we do our best to get out and get “face time” with others. I have taught my boys how to interact with people of all ages. They are just as comfortable talking to another child their age (or younger) as they are talking to an adult.
You have to nurture these skills. It does not matter if you home school or not. Nurturing the skills to interact with more people opens so many doors for them! While we were out at a camping trip with the cub scouts this last weekend we ran into a re-en-actor who was talking about certain aspects of the battlefield. My son, who is eight, was enthralled with the entire talk, and stood there asking questions about the horse, his uniform, and a myriad of other things. In the midst of their conversation my son blurted out “but can you imagine what would have happened if General Lee had actually been attacked that second time? Maybe if General McClellan had not been so scared, he would have stopped the war. If he had, I bet General Jackson would not have been killed.” The gentleman stared at my son for a second, smiled, and responded back with “While this is true, and the war most likely would have ended early, it so easy to go back and second guess decisions. I suppose that while we have hopefully learned the painful lessons from this conflict, that we can move forward to bring about a better world today.” My son agreed. After he had wandered off, the gentleman and I had a short visit, and he asked if we were home schooling. He was impressed that he not only knew some of the Generals that had fought in the war, but specific details that came after the battle at Antietam. I cannot really credit this to home schooling, (although we are studying deeper into the Civil War with my youngest this year), but the fact that we just had just spent the last three days walking the grounds and talking about the history of the site, as well as my son’s insatiable appetite for anything military history related. However, I digress.
Social skills are not taught in any classroom. They are taught at home. If you are not a social parent, this is a great opportunity for ya’ll to grow and interact with others together! Getting out, getting involved and pushing your kids to work a little outside their comfort zones can go a long way to breaching the fear of talking to someone new (although we still teach stranger danger), and helping your child to grow and learn even more! We learn so much from our older generations, and I do not want my kids to miss out on some of the amazing things that can be learned from them! Patience, time and effort are all it takes.