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Does Homeschooling Impact Social Skills?
Q: My child is having a hard time in school and asked me to homeschool her. If I do, will it impact her social skills?
A: Yes, homeschooling will have an impact on her social skills -- in a positive way! Homeschooled kids are not subjected to the peer pressure, violence, drugs, and other negative influences that are all too common in today's schools. For instance, Molly is a new girl in my daughter's homeschool drama group. She has a facial deformity that impairs her speech slightly. Up to this year, she was in public school (she's 13). Her mother shared stories about the teasing, cruelty, and even physical violence her daughter endured in school. When her mom finally tried homeschooling, she was amazed at how easily Molly assimilated into the homeschool community. It seems that the homeschooled kids didn't care that she was different. There was no need to humiliate her to make themselves feel better. The homeschooled kids have a lot of freedom and are generally content with themselves and their educational path. Unfortunately, Molly's situation in school was not an isolated incident -- I hear similar stories every week. Her mom's only regret? That she didn't homeschool Molly sooner!
It is a myth that homeschooled kids lack social skills. In fact, the actual statistics paint quite a different picture. In every study or test that I have read, homeschooled kids consistently outperform their schooled peers, both socially and academically.
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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.