Are there social homeschoolers?
OKLAHOMA CITY— Changes in education are revealed through the recent government census. According to the government website, public or government educational institutes has grown in recent years; however homeschooling is probably the largest in the sheer numbers involved. While they are not attending a public school, these young students are still able to gain power through knowledge.
Associate Professor for Education at Oklahoma Christian University Darin Martin educates his own children at home. He is also the director of the homeschooling co-op that meets at the university. Martin insists co-ops are a healthy way for homeschooled students to practice their social skills and learn relevant material.
“We have 50 or so [homeschoolers],” Martin said. “They have three or more classes based on age groups. They take art, reading groups, thinking games class and they all go to P.E.”
One of the main concerns for homeschoolers is their socialization. Grace Chen, writer for Public School Review, discussed in an article the social needs of human beings. She explained that if children are allowed to interact and work with their peers on a daily basis, then they will develop usable, vital skills for the real world. According to Chen, these relationships can only truly be formed in public schools.
Martin disagreed with Chen, arguing that his children are well socialized.
“[My daughter] does Facebook, she texts people – a ton of friends from church, and a couple in her neighborhood and the co-op here,” Martin said. “So she sees friends quite often.”
Sophomore education major Sarah Tudor at Oklahoma Christian maintained that a balance between education and social lives is best.
“I feel like [homeschooling] is so much more comfortable,” Tudor said. “And I don’t say that as a bad thing, it can be seen as either good or bad. It’s your own environment and people can probably excel if they’re comfortable where they’re at. And if [homeschoolers] are involved in the co-op stuff, it gets them out of their shells but they’re still in the environment to learn, and that’s also a really good thing.”
The data examined by the census indicates that homeschooling has successfully established itself as an alternative to government schooling, and is expected to continue in its growth. As Tudor said, balancing learning as well as socializing could gain insight into how to better instruct young learners.
“Whether you’re homeschooled or public-schooled… knowledge really is power,” Tudor said.