Future impact of home-schooled..internet socialized children?

  1. I've been thinking..wondering..

    It's becoming more and more common to see home-schooled teens online in adult oriented sites. They're online frequently and they're online during hours that most teens are socializing with friends. So, it left me wondering..

    What impact will this have in the future? Are we going to turn out a group of kids who lack the basic social skills necessary to function in society? Are we turning out a group of kids who are going to live a life of depression because of the lack of a basic need..human interaction?

    No flames please, I am genuinely concerned. I know that I cherish the memories of youth..the memories with my friends. Those were the foundation of life for me..where I learned "people skills". There's no way in heck I would have chosen to spend a Friday night..or a Saturday morning even, in an online bb with adults..or with other kids even. I would have much rather been hangin' with the buds..
    and I think those experiences were instrumental in making me the person I am today. What type person will come from the isolated world of home-school and internet?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I know of several people that are/were home schooled, and they were from my church. I think home schooling is good for some, but the social interaction is VERY important. That is one of the reasons why I chose not to home school my son at this time. I simply do not have the time or energy to take him to additional social interactions. I think there are some people that can be very good in any social situation, like it was just born into them, and others have to have practice. IMHO.
  4. by   nurs4kids
    Shandy,
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have two kids, one born a natural socializer (my social butterfly ) and the other born a natural loner. I, like you, highly considered home schooling my kids and have about decided against it for the socialization reasons. I feel that in the academic arena, I can offer them much more than a classroom setting can offer (at least in the primary years), but I know I can't compensate for the socialization. My kids are at opposite ends of the spectrum, so I worry about a mainstream education. My daughter is extremely bright and I worry that she will become bored..unchallenged in a classroom setting. My son is smart (probably moreso than my daughter), but he could care less if you know what he knows and he despises structure, so I worry a classroom setting will be a nightmare for him in the early years (at least until he matures). So, which do you sacrifice? Social skills or academia?
  5. by   caroladybelle
    Most of the successfully home schooled kids that I have seen, had parents that worked hard to socialize them outside the family.

    Examples: Tball, Little league, Dance class, Matheletes, youth religious groups, group studies, chorus etc.

    These children are better socialized and diverse than I was at public school. Many home school families in large cities have networks for such things. The kids are at activities, studying or learning more of the time than public schoolers. A lot of mmy friends (the mothers obtained Master's or Ph.d's). Of course, it requires a lot of parenting time, so much more than public school, so it is a definite investment.

    By the same token, I have seen kids that never socialized outside of the family, and that is a disaster. I don't see them becoming successful adults.
  6. by   CountrifiedRN
    Funny this thread came up now, because I have been thinking about this topic recently. A friend of mine decided to home school her son this year, he would have been entering high school. He is a shy kid when he is around new people, but he does have a lot of friends. I kind of feel like she is trying to shelter him, but I don't feel it is my place to say anything about that. I also think of all the high school memories that I have, and can't imagine a kid growing up with out that.

    I also knew a boy that had been home schooled since grade school, he was middle school age when he and my son became friends. He would come to spend the night at our house to spend time with my son, but he would end up sitting with me and my husband the whole night, especially if other kids were there too. It was like he was more comfortable being around adults than kids his own age. He was very smart, and seemed mature for his age, and he didn't seem to like the silliness the other boys would display when they were together. I don't know if that was just his personality, or from not being around kids very much. But I felt bad for him because I think kids need to be kids while they can.

    I'm interested to see how others feel on this subject.
  7. by   deespoohbear
    Our boys are homeschooled, have been for 4 years. Yes, socialization is important but so is my kids' education. The schools just weren't able to provide my kids with their educational needs. My boys do know how to interact with people, including their peers. They are in 4H and various church functions. I don't think homeschooling them has been a downfall for them in people skills. In fact, I think their socialization skills have improved since they have been homeschooled. I don't allow them to be online without me or my husband being right there. I would suppose there are kids who are in public/private schools who spend all their time online after school hours, and have less socialization than my boys. It really depends on the parents/
  8. by   NurseWeasel
    I used to be adamantly against home schooling. My mom HS my brothers and sister and advocated it for my boys for 3 million reasons. I boisterously disagreed.

    Now, after watching my kids suffer through public school hell for the last 12 & 7 years, I can see that NOT having to be bullied and harassed and all that garbage might just be a good thing. I always used to say kids need to 'have the edges knocked off' by a dose of reality with other kids (socialization). It just sickens me to see the extreme MEANNESS of kids these days though. Ugh.

    I feel for the poor victims, who have little or no recourse because the school or police won't step in. Yes, I know this from experience. It's taken til now, the senior year, for my oldest boy to finally come out of his shell and make some friends. He's actually gotten quite popular after 11 years of being harassed to no end. And I don't say that lightly.

    I also believe that public school demoralizes and undermines motivation for the bright students (again, experience). If a kid is excited about something, by all means let 'em chase it down and invest themselves wholly in the experience until the next thing catches their imagination and attention. Inspiration, challenge, and motivation are WONDERFUL ways to keep the educational fires burning.

    I think now, if I had it to do over again, and the time and motivation to invest in it this time around, I'd move to the hills, be a hippie freak, and home educate my kids. Then again, I'm going through that stage where your kids are growing up and almost gone and you reflect back on all you could have done differently, lol. Because on the other hand, I'd also want them to be near a big city where we could participate frequently in arts and social events, they could get involved and make friends, etc. They'd join the city or county sports programs, take classes at colleges and city or county programs that allow kids (art, poetry, dance, engineering, whatever!).

    Unfortunately, life / others / the children themselves / the world intervene and it's not possible to do everything perfectly or to *make* your child turn out well-rounded, polite, and successful. Oh! If only it were!!! So make your own decisions, do what's best for your family at a given place in time, and accept that you've done the best you could. Then, when the grandkids come along, spoil 'em rotten!
    Last edit by NurseWeasel on Jan 19, '03
  9. by   Sleepyeyes
    During the year that we homeschooled our son, he had plenty of social interaction with none of the bullying.

    How did he socialize? Simple. We let him go outside to see his friends after they got home from school. On the weekend, he'd see his church friends and there were always informal touch football or basketball games going in the lot across the street.

    In addition, our area has a very strong HS support network. A lot of the families will join up for extracurricular activites and other social get-togethers for the kids.

    So it's not what you think. HS is getting very popular because there is more opportunity for kids to get educated, have more parental involvement and supervision, and still be able to meet with kids their own age group.

    In fact, now, when our schools have been having more problems than ever, I am especially in favor of the idea of high-schoolers opting to take their classes on the Internet and meet at the school once a week with their teachers rather than the traditional daily class schedules that cause no end of angst for everyone because of the badly-behaving kids.
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Jan 19, '03
  10. by   semstr
    I don't know anybody here in my part of the world, who is homeschooling their kids.
    (but then we are always a bit back here,LOL)
  11. by   KaroSnowQueen
    My sister homeschools her oldest, who is eight, and plans to for the 2 year old when it's time. The eight year old is doing fifth and sixth grade level math. Not because my sister pushes her but because it is introduced to her, she learns it and says what's next.
    She attends girl scouts, intramural basketball, church groups, and a homeschool choir. She has friends from all these places and goes to friends' houses and parties, and they come to hers.
    She is very intelligent, learns much more than she ever would in public school, is very well mannered and not exposed to the filth and nastiness even first graders learn on a school bus full of high schoolers.
    If I ever had another baby (God forbid, my baby is 19), I would definitely home school it, and am lobbying my children to homeschool any grandchildren that may come!!!!!
  12. by   DebsZoo
    Originally posted by nurs4kids
    I've been thinking..wondering..

    It's becoming more and more common to see home-schooled teens online in adult oriented sites. They're online frequently and they're online during hours that most teens are socializing with friends. So, it left me wondering..

    What impact will this have in the future? Are we going to turn out a group of kids who lack the basic social skills necessary to function in society? Are we turning out a group of kids who are going to live a life of depression because of the lack of a basic need..human interaction?

    No flames please, I am genuinely concerned. I know that I cherish the memories of youth..the memories with my friends. Those were the foundation of life for me..where I learned "people skills". There's no way in heck I would have chosen to spend a Friday night..or a Saturday morning even, in an online bb with adults..or with other kids even. I would have much rather been hangin' with the buds..
    and I think those experiences were instrumental in making me the person I am today. What type person will come from the isolated world of home-school and internet?

    I understand the concern, and agree, if parents are not diligent in maintaining socialization opportunities for the children.

    We homeschooled all seven of our children for 5 years, and the youngest until the 5th grade. Our children participated in a local HS group every Fri. for arts, music and gym. Each had a cirlce of friends outside home that they would spend weekends with, all active in the youth activites in our church (gruop of over 50 youth).

    Homeschooling to "shelter" is not as bad as it sounds, if the sheltering is from bullying, violence and extrememly poor teaching standards.

    As was stated by another poster, homeschooling is not for everyone, or every child. But, approached properly, is such a benefit to the children AND parents.

    As for accessing the internet, my children do not do so without one of us in the room, unlike in public school (which most now attend), they are allowed to access anytime, with next to no supervision.

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