Still, I get the feeling that many people have the attitude that it's alright for me to homeschool only because I am really careful to make sure Gess gets all the socialization she needs. This attitude makes the assumption that most homeschoolers are not careful to do that. While it's true that I do go out of my way to make sure Gess gets social opportunities, (especially since she's the only young child living at home and has no siblings near her age to play with) I would say that it is also true of most homeschoolers. For some reason though, society is still hanging onto the myth that most homeschoolers lack social skills and that really bothers me.
Of course people who buy into the myth will throw out that ONE example of the shy homeschool kid all the while ignoring the fact that there are plenty of shy kids in public school too. Since both public school and homeschool kids sometimes turn out shy I think it is fair to say that being shy is not necessarily determined by how many hours are spent together in or away from a room full of their peers. Besides, why is being shy such a bad thing anyway?
So what's the truth of the matter? Well the Homeschool Legal Defense Association has published a booklet Homeschooling Grows Up that gives us some answers. For instance, according to research, homeschoolers are more likely to grow up and be involved in their communities than those in the general population. They also tend to further their education as the chart below shows.
My favorite chart in the booklet is the one that measures happiness. It measures the enjoyment of life of both homeschooled adults and adults in the general population. It seems that homeschoolers grow up to be much more well adjusted and appreciate life more than other adults do.
There is just simply no truth to the myth that homeschoolers in general are isolated and lack certain social skills and yet, that's the stereotype that we still hold. Of course, they used to claim that homeschoolers would not do well academically since they aren't taught by certified instructors, but no one really makes that argument anymore because it's been proven to be false. Hopefully the socialization myth will one day disappear too.
To leave you with a little food for thought, here is a cute video from a college student who (wait for it)....used to be homeschooled. I think he does a rather good job at shining the truth on at least 7 Lies About Homeschoolers. Enjoy!