Lies about Homeschooling (Part One) – Your Child Won’t Experience “Socialization”

You’re a homeschooling parent.  That most likely means that you have relatives and friends who extravagantly frown at you.  They find ways to let you know that what you are doing to your kids is bad.  You’re a bad parent.  You should be ashamed.  You should be removed from the gene pool, given the travesty of nature that you are. You should be nailed up by your thumbs, no form of torture is too painful for you.

Don’t worry.  Every homeschool family gets this garbage from time to time.  It almost always comes from just a few types of people. 1) People who would never be willing to commit to their own children the time and resources that you have. They can’t be “wrong” for NOT doing the right thing, what you are doing – so YOU must be wrong.  2) People who have completely bought into the “press” regarding how important schools and teachers are.  Though they may be genuinely concerned and caring, still, they are misguided.  And 3) teachers, school administrators, school psychologists, school board members, the Department of Education – all those people whose jobs absolutely rely on you accepting them as “experts” who know more than you do about your own child.  They are not “misguided”, they are just lying to protect their jobs.

You suggest to such people that your child is fine, more than fine – he seems to be doing considerably better than his friends in public school. In response, you receive grim glares, frowns, sighs of annoyance. Don’t you KNOW?  Aren’t you AWARE?  It’s a hard world, out there!  It’s tough!  Times are tough and competitive!  How will your child ever learn to work with others, if he homeschools?!  How will he learn to get along?  How will he learn to “bear the whips and scorns of time” (Shakespeare, Hamlet), or the fists and words from the inevitable haters and detractors he will encounter?! Listen, bad mom and dad, you MUST not homeschool your kid!  He’ll end up insular, uncommunicative, alone, emotionally crippled, living a twisted life in misery in some dark apartment, wasting his life away without any sense of the value of social contact with others.

Not exaggerating here, I’ve heard all of it.

I know, I know.  Right now, a lot of homeschoolers and their parents are laughing, and rightfully so.  We know that such arguments are not merely incorrect, but disastrously wrong.  But listen, folks, a lot of people aren’t laughing.  They believe all this bunk.  They think it’s true. They believe despite the numbers, the statistics, the clear proof that this is patently incorrect.  They have been told many times that it’s true by “experts”, and by their friends who only have their best interest at heart – and who have studied the “experts”.  In fact, sadly enough, most people have completely bought into this monstrous lie, the lie of the need for public schools and the “socialization” which they provide.

It is a lie. The need for socialization is a nasty, destructive, and a very useful lie to those people trying to keep their destructive and useless jobs.  Keep reading.

Make no mistake.  The “need” for “socialization” and for any sort of schooling is a complete fabrication.  We won’t get too much into why schooling is not needed, not in this article, though I’ve written books and over a hundred articles covering it, and I will write about it again, soon.

But we will talk about “socialization”.

What is “socialization”, this thing homeschool parents are endlessly told they must allow their child to experience or the poor kid is doomed?  It is essentially the idea that a child should be exposed to others in groups.  These groups are sort of representative of society at large.  In being exposed to them as a young child, he’ll learn to adapt to exterior, social pressures and needs.  In other words, he’ll learn to “get along”, to “go along”, to “conform”, to be “a part of”.

Yes.  Well.  Sheep “go along”.  Leaders rarely “go along”.  Nearly every great discovery or creation or human development, every major religion, scientific invention of note, political systems, work of art…almost everything we as human beings hold in high regard…was invented or created or discovered by individuals who did NOT go along, did not conform, and were not a part of.  If you know your history at all then you absolutely know this to be true.  So right away, shouldn’t we be asking – why do we want “socialized” people?  Certainly not to move mankind forward.  So if not to move us forward and improve life for all of us, what exactly is the real agenda of “socialization”?

What do we want billions of sheep for, the clear and intended result of socialization, per its creator and founder.

(The following is excerpted and adapted from my Homeschool Teacher Training Course on Socialization.)

“Socialization” is a buzz word.  It was first coined by Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929).  Cooley was an instructor at the University of Michigan in sociology and economics.  It’s important to know that he taught both sociology and economics, as you’ll soon understand.

Let’s discover a few things about Cooley, from his writings.  He was not a scientist.  Scientists believe in numbers.  They believe in statistics and provable, verifiable, repeatable results.  In his writings, Cooley made it quite clear that he had no interest in statistics, only in “observation”.  And he would often use his own children as “guinea pigs”.  Additionally, he did not believe that people have any innate, inner ability to formulate a sense of morals or integrity.  He believed that such things were taught, and almost entirely learned from the groups that a young person belongs to.

Mr. Cooley had many “interesting” ideas.  He believed in a class or caste system.  He felt that each “class” would contribute something different to society.  This is much like the old and rotten system in India in which each “caste” has its own unique assignment, from the philosophical life of a Brahmin to the manual labor of an “Untouchable”. This is a system which many social reformers (including such people as Gandhi) despised and tried to change.

So the acceptance of one’s “place” in the world and one’s inherited work was an important part of Cooley’s view of life.  To quote Mr. Cooley directly: “How is a man to find where he belongs in life? The more original he is, the less likely is he to find his place prepared for him.”

So don’t be “original”, that’s his suggestion.  Instead, find the place prepared for you.  There is no “free will”, or freedom of decision.  Your life was decided not by you, not even by God, but by the circumstances of your birth.  So spake Cooley.

What a sad view of the potential of the individual.  He believes each of us incapable of creating our “place” in the world. We are incapable of changing our lives.  We all live the life we were doomed to live at birth, and cannot change direction.  This does not leave much room for personal interests, growth, creativity, or any other personal factor that many of us cherish, does it? It’s also so patently wrong as to be breathtaking in its stupidity.

History books are loaded with THOUSANDS of true stories of people who changed their lives, and then the lives of others.  You KNOW people who, through their own efforts, changed their lives for the better, and perhaps the lives of others.  You KNOW people who defied “fate” and learned to do something other than the work of their family, their father.  You may well BE such a person.  Yet, Cooley’s reasoning here is a rationale supporting socialization, as clearly stupid and wrong as his reasoning is.

There’s more.  Mr. Cooley believed that society was the all-powerful shaper of a person’s very nature.  Not God, not heredity, not even the person himself.  Nope, the crowd shapes the man.  That’s his belief and the mainstay of argument behind “socialization”.

Cooley did not believe that individuals shaped themselves, or for that matter, that they even shape society. (Where did society come from, then?  Um, gosh, don’t ask such difficult questions.)   We are each the result of the needs of society alone, and should accept and embrace that fate.

It’s all so silly and wrong, but there you have the underpinnings of the concept of “socialization” that largely drives education today.

Mr. Cooley’s texts have become a staple in the Psychology business, and little surprise there.  But how do all of Cooley’s ideas fit nicely into economics, the real reason they are employed by schools today? Why do public school teachers and their unions use Cooley’s ridiculous assertions as their bizarre, misshapen weapon in their attempt to murder homeschooling?

More to come.
_____

As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.

But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.

In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Steps (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.

CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)

Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.

Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.

Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.

Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.

Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.

For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.

We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!

12 comments for “Lies about Homeschooling (Part One) – Your Child Won’t Experience “Socialization”

  1. September 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for this. Totally agree. As a former home school kid and now home school mom, it’s amazing to me how so many people SEE how home school DOES work, compliment me on my parenting, but then say things like “*I* could never homeschool, my child NEEDS socialization.”

    • September 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      It amazes me as well. It amazes me how more people can’t see the horrid and dangerous result of public schooling. A parent’s first job is to keep their children safe. Education follows after safety. Schools simply aren’t safe, and socialization is a very dangerous lie. Thanks for writing!

  2. Dave
    October 2, 2012 at 10:17 am

    It might also be prudent to discuss where socialization is leading with the abundance of social media choices and young people’s proclivity toward aggression when confronted by statements or viewpoints they encounter which oppose their own. Socialization has taken a nasty turn down a sort of electronic destructive highway, ruining friendships and increasing the frequency of bullying that all young people encounter. It is a very serious issue that is not being properly addressed by educators or parents.

    Also, children in what they see as real, viable, adult type ‘relationships’ at 9 and 10 years old and taking those relationships seriously as they are proliferated on social media websites and causing each other dreadful psychological and physical harm when one person tries to even start a simple discussion about matters relating to school with someone else in their class. The amount of hate coming from young people on social media websites, especially as it pertains to relationships they clearly are too young to even consider, let alone have, is alarming to say the least.

    This is a very different world and the more time that goes by without real definitive change in every way, the less viable and more archaic schooling in any traditional classroom seems. The reasons why classroom teaching in its’ current format is viewed as a bad choice only seem to multiply with each passing year.

    Thank you, Steven, for your efforts at trying to institute positive change and for your illuminating posts regarding the option of home schooling.

    Warmest Regards,

    Dave (an educator seeking positive change and options so that all children and teens can experience success.)

    • October 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the kind words. I agree with your description of social media – it is a two edged sword, isn’t it! But where does the aggression of the young really come from? Is it innate to the species, or unique to our time? I would argue that media of all sorts (film, TV, music, advertizing, etc) all promote violence and tend to desensitize children in particular to the consequences. I’ve been a writer and director my entire adult life, and am in an unusual position to complain about this trend, as I also see the results when I teach. I believe this is one important source of the aggression you mention.

      I also think that we live in increasingly less charitable times, a period where we’re ever less concerned about others and their way of life, less forgiving and/or accepting. There are MILLIONS of exceptional people who do not fit this description, of course, but far too many people do – and they pass their intolerance and anger down to their children by example, lecture, “education”, you name it. All that hate you observed on social media is a symptom, and it comes from somewhere. I see it largely as a result of the dreadful education we’ve received for generations. The poorly educated (at any income level, by the way) often live insulated lives, surrounding themselves with what they find comfortable, what they do understand and what they have experienced. This often consists in large part of local or familial prejudices and hatreds. These may be what a young person is most exposed to, and what he understands best as he “matures”. We see this sort of problem all over the world today. It always existed, but as you point out, with media and technology as it is, such problems spread rapidly and become a plague. And so they have.

      Like you, I am profoundly involved in an effort to see to it that EVERY child has a chance to “win” at life. I believe we must win this war for the future. We must provide our children a broad and real sense of the world, and provide them the tools to change it. We must truly empower them with education and with minds sharpened toward curiosity and intelligent, and with sane abilities at the ready. If we do not accomplish this goal at ever-increasing levels, I feel that the human race will be in for some very hard times. Thanks for writing!

  3. Dave
    October 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I completely agree that outlets of all types promote violence and the desensitization of children seems to be happening at earlier and earlier ages, but what is truly disturbing is that with the social media, young people have a perfect ‘easy’ vehicle for aggression.

    Even a young child knows that he isn’t going to find a readily available rocket launcher that he can tote on his back while walking down the street, prepared to blow up the bad guys he encounters as he has seen done by a movie hero.

    In the case of electronic social media, unlike a movie or video game, there is a door young people can walk through that is seemingly (in the moment) consequence free, and a medium they have complete control of. They get to decide how far to go. They decide on the desired reaction, and it is clearly a calculated exercise. Desensitization may play a role here, but in a passive sense. Young people clearly CARE about the reaction they are going to get when they use social media. They are LOOKING to do harm in these situations.

    A double edged sword indeed.

    The real problem is definitely in the education children receive from day one. Parents that spend less and less time molding their children and sending them to school and then other after school programs as well as a list of activities are a BIG part of the problem. A parent is supposed to be the one person who knows what is best for their child. This is something you have addressed time and again in your writings.

    A parent who believes they are doing the greatest good for their children in the choice of school based on appearance and other programs and activities with a foundation based on enrichment may instead be doing their children a complete disservice. Without proper time for real interactions and guidance from parents on a regular, consistent basis, everything else they plan is entirely meaningless, even if they were somehow fortunate enough to find some mythical (and ultimately nonexistent) ‘perfect’ school.

    You just simply CAN’T leave a child alone to live their life, they aren’t prepared for it, they have no experience. You HAVE to be there with them on the journey, not send them off to experience it completely on their own.

    A child learns to be properly independent with the help of their parents when as a baby, they take a first step. It HAS to be the same at every stage along the way throughout the crucial formative years.

    If parents cut the classroom education cord and allowed themselves to be the educators of their children, instilling proper values along the way, we would be far better off as a society. The children would still be able to do all of the extra curricular activities they now enjoy, but now as a result of the positive experience of not only spending more time with mom, dad or both, but also learning their basic education from them, the overall results would be far more positive.

    Such a plan involving parents directly educating their kids would strengthen the bond between them, curtailing another disconcerting recent phenomenon, the absolute hatred, disregard and disrespect children display for their parents.

    A parent more involved in their children’s education can also cut the commercialization of children considerably. In an effort to give their children what they believe they need, parents are spending outrageous sums of money on everything under the sun to be sure that Billy is as up to date as the rest of the class, and to make amends with their conscience that tells them they aren’t spending enough time with their kids. Parents spending less time with kids because they have to make more money to satisfy the corporate machine who manufacture a lifestyle that is irresponsibly packaged as ‘necessities’ to keep children happy is a destructive path that is unnecessary.

    Children don’t need $300 shoes or $200 jeans that they will outgrow in a couple months for any other reason than to not be teased and bullied at school for not having them. Ask a parent who dresses their kids expensively why they do it and they will tell you its for their kids’ safety, so that they are less likely to be bullied for what they wear. The irony is that parents tell their kids not to give into peer pressure, and yet THEY give into it just to ensure their kids’ safety on the playground. An unhealthy situation manufactured as a result of the ‘school’ experience that could be eliminated with home schooling.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see how one thing affects everything. Again I applaud you for your outstanding efforts to illuminate everyone on the merits of homeschooling. Like you, I could elaborate on all the subjects I have covered here. My apologies for rambling, but as I’m sure you sense, this is just a subject I am very passionate about.

    Dave

    • October 5, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Hi Dave, Well, you know I pretty much agree with everything that you wrote. In the end, the parent is responsible for their child. If they give over responsibility to a school, whatever happens next i8s, finally, the parent’s responsibility. If the parent allows a child open access to this useful and dangerous thing, the Internet, it’s the parent’s responsibility. First job a parent has – keep the child safe. A child who is not safe and hence, in danger, is not going to learn much, not going to grow much into a productive adulthood, with some rare exceptions. Second job – create opportunities for real experience and education based around the child’s apparent (or actual) interests. And on it goes, but safety first. And schools are not safe, not anymore if they ever were. Thanks for writing.

  4. November 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    I am a homeschool student, and the one reason why I withdrew from the public school system was for the lack of “acceptance into society”. All socialization is is really just cliques, and those who don’t fit into cliques have the connotation of being antisocial and a good for nothing. What they really fail to realize is how much you gain from doing useful stuff, rather than waste your time socializing 24/7. This is a bit biased, but those who care more about socialization could really care less about education and don’t realize how we absolutely could not live without education. As a story in my Literature textbook said, this man did not know how to read and write; so when he began to suffer from heart attacks, he could not read the nitroglycerin bottle cap which said: “childproof; push down and twist to open”. Thus he sadly died. It is fiction, but there is much practical application to education which many public school supporters fail to realize.

    • November 11, 2012 at 7:21 am

      Well said, Claire! I spent my High School years working tirelessly at the subjects that interested me then (and now) – theater, music, writing. Those subjects became my life and livelihood. I never worries about the friend thing in school – the friends I made were interested in the same subjects I was interested in, and since we shared common interests and projects, friendships were not hard to make. We were probably all on the outside of those cliques you mention. But many of us went on to have careers in the arts. High School – all school – is supposed to be about really preparing to take control and responsibility over one’s own impending, adult life. It should not be degraded into a popularity contest, though I will say that there’s nothing wrong with being popular OR unpopular. Loved your story about illiteracy and the results of educational failure.

      You seem very bright! Do what seems important to you, and productive. (Do get the required stuff done and done well, I guess, if it’s required, but don’t let it take over!) I believe you will probably make some very good decisions!

  5. January 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I’m a new follower and in many ways a believer. I’m just afraid to commit, and I’m mostly afraid that my ONE child (my other LOVEs school – it is her JOB) needs school ONLY to meet new friends. He isn’t antisocial, but he would choose, first, to be alone. He plays perfectly with kids of all ages. He is very similar to my husband in that regard. However, the biggest reason that I would take him out of school is this: he is quirky, but they want to diagnose him with something. The kid’s grades are 96-100 from k-3rd thus far. He does not have an attention problem. He doesn’t have a learning disability. He is bored, and many teachers (including his current gifted teacher, though his reg classroom teacher is WONDERFUL and willing to indulge his every whim) don’t have the time/won’t make the time to engage him. He is a successful pianist, actor, memorizer of all presidents, and friend. I’m feeling stuck! So glad to have found this resource. I’m not sure I am capable of educating him myself, but I like another outlet to figure out the best plan.

  6. January 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Hi, Jenny,

    Well, I personally think your choice is a simple one. Public schools are into diagnosing EVERY kid, now, and the drug companies make a LOT of money that way. So, apparently, do the politicians who support this system. Your child sounds like a bit of a loner. When I homeschooled my two, I made certain that 2-3 times a week they had friends over, or slept over at friend’s houses. What’s more, we homeschooled never less than four, and up to eight other children in our house! My kids were never alone. Your child is an artist, an area that schools notoriously fail in. For that reason alone, he should homeschool. Mine are also artists, and homeschooling allowed us to really focus on their interests, and serve their growing needs in this regard. My son is today a professional actor, my daughter a designer and writer. If you’re looking for outside advice, everything you’ve written above leads me to believe you are an ideal homeschool candidate. You should homeschool.

  7. Ron
    January 19, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Great read..completely agree. We took the plunge with my oldest son last year, and haven’t looked back. We were sending our two to Catholic School..we are Catholic, but I wouldn’t call us overly religious. Our thought/hope was that “it would at least better than public school”. Well, it’s not. They are basically public school bearing a cross. They follow all of the same processes as public schools, so shame on me/us for expecting something different.

    We had a similar experience to Jenny above. Our son is incredibly bright, but quirky. The teacher wouldn’t discipline him, only send notes home three weeks after the fact, giving us information about “challenges” he was having in class, like somehow I was supposed to discipline my 8 year old son three weeks after the fact. Finally the teacher asked for a conference to discuss our son, and when my wife showed up, the principle was there, requesting we need to have our son “diagnosed”. Diagnosed? For what? Rather than fight with them, we pulled him out immediately, and my wife started homeschooling him. It’s been a wonderful experience for both of them, and we both have taken delight in what an amazing child he is.

    My daughter, again against my better judgment, is still in the Catholic School, but only for this one year. My wife wanted a year alone with my son to get themselves in a groove, but next year, she’ll be home too.

    • January 19, 2013 at 5:49 am

      Hi Ron,

      Thanks for writing! What you describe is frighteningly typical, and as you say, certainly not isolated to public schools. In this country, far too often, private schools are scarecely-altered clones of public schools. And once they start talking about diagnosing your child and labels, I would head for the hills and pull up the road behind me. I do understand your wife’s desire to focus on your son for a year! Just do please keep an eye on your daughter (I’m sure you do and I’m preaching to the choir), because the school has already demonstrated to you its proclivities. Have a great success homeschooling, it’s an adventure!

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