May 23, 2008 6 Comments
Whether they realize it or not, they mean “socialize” the same way the word is used in the term “socialized medicine.”
But even if you accept that they’re talking about making sure children are sociable, making sure they have social skills, how did the schooling establishment manage to convince everyone that the government’s schools were the necessary means toward those ends? Are we supposed to believe that no one was ever sociable before the 19th-century invention of compulsory schooling?
Furthermore, practically everyone who levels this supposed criticism (or voices it as a “concern”) went to these types of schools! How do we make sense of that? Were they all popular? Were none of them subjected to long-term bullying? Most of my friends were neighborhood friends. Did these people live in neighborhoods where they were the only children? Did none of them go to church, scouts, camp, clubs, etc.? Really? All their friends were classmates and they all promoted mature and subtle social skills?
Well, I don’t really see the need to debunk such an absurd idea — a belief that one could only maintain through deliberate thick headedness — but if you want some material to counter the socialization claims, I now have something to point you to.
Linda Schrock Taylor very kindly included me among the people she forwarded this article to:
“Socializing Homeschooled Students,” by David W. Kirkpatrick
Here’s the critical line:
“Largely unrecognized are studies that show youngsters who spend more time with their peers are more likely to develop peer standards than adult ones, and the earlier they begin peer-dominated experiences the more dysfunctional their values and attitudes may be.”