The first question people ask about homeschooling

Last week Eddie and Harry attended the Boys’ Brigade for the first time while Caitlin went along to her first visit of the Girls’ Brigade. The boys are already members of the Beaver Scouts and Cait had to join the Girls’ Brigade in the next town as the nearest one to us had meetings on the same night as her Guides meetings.

All the children had a great time and came home chatting away about their evenings.

Now, when any one of us ventures into a new environment with new people the usual conversation pieces crop up. The two talking points that raise the most interest are the answers to:

How many brothers and sisters do you have?


 and

Where do you go to school?

The answer to the former question is met mostly with disbelief as surely nobody has families with so many children any more.

The latter is normally met with the first thing that people wonder and was something immediately raised by a curious leader at Girls’ Brigade.

The socialisation question.

Or as she put it, “Do you enjoy being home educated or do you miss socialising?”

I’m quite sure she was well meaning in her question and no, I didn’t take offence to it but do find it strange that people equate homeschooling (or home-educating as most people in the UK prefer to refer to it), with being lonely and isolated.

For a start, did the lady miss where Caitlin actually was that day?

She was at a Girls’ Brigade meeting.

With other girls.

Socialising.

And, as already mentioned, the reason she had to travel to that particular meeting is because the closest one clashed with her Guides meetings on another weeknight.

Again, socialising.
With other people.
Then, she also serves on the altar at church.

We’d better be careful. She’s mixing with the outside world again.

That’s not counting all the extra activities she takes part in. Camping twice this year already, two concerts and an upcoming Eurodisney trip are just a few examples.

And to add to the mix she comes from a family with several siblings of all ages and abilities.

That’s a whole range of socialisation with different kinds of people, a variety of ages and a wide range of social environments for them to take place in.

Plus there’s the extra bonus that she’s only distracted by half a dozen other children (her brothers, in case you missed it), rather than 30-odd during her lessons.

So as you can see, socialisation isn’t the issue. In fact, she probably enjoys the peace and alone time when she gets it.

Yet it still makes me laugh that when you mention homeschooling, socialisation is almost always the first concern that people have.

2 thoughts on “The first question people ask about homeschooling

  1. I think that homeschoolers will ALWAYS receive that question. My thought is…there are so many factors that go into socializing but if society wants to set the bar at what occurs in our schools (here in the US), then our society is a lot worse off than what I thought it to be.

    Actually, I thank God for all the great laws protecting homeschoolers in the USA. And TX is one of THE friendliest states. I actually enjoy seeing the "wow" look come across the faces of those who ask, out of ignorance, the social question. They leave our conversations "educated" on homeschooling and always in a positive over it.

    As for the big family questions…good Lord! You know how I feel, "mind your own business!" 🙂

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