Synopses & Reviews
Socialization may well be the single most important aspect of education today. With high and rising rates of divorce, drug abuse, youth violence, alcoholism, teen promiscuity, and so forth, we cannot afford to let this issue go unexamined.
To cling to the idea that what we, as a culture, are doing now is the right and best way for all children, simply because it is what we are used to, is to shut our eyes and minds to other possibilities--possibilities that may well afford greater happiness, success, peace, and safety to our own children.
At a time when people feel more disconnected than ever before, we cannot afford to overlook an option which offers our youth great benefits--including the rich, fulfilling, and healthy social life they may well need for the future. Homeschooling offers great social benefits to kids and parents. When we understand them, our children are the ones who will win.
"Gathercole, who has spent 10 years homeschooling her three children, says what most people wonder about is whether homeschooled children can work and play with others, in other words, their socialization skills. She begins by noting that "once upon a time, all children were homeschooled" before more formal schooling and the development of "school culture." She notes that conventional schools offer "socialization" through peer pressure, the stress of choosing between popularity and academic performance, and excessive attention to appearance. Drawing on her own experiences as a homeschooler, she details the networks of other homeschoolers who provide opportunities for their children--and themselves--to socialize. Gathercole also points to research showing that homeschooled children have stronger self-concepts than children attending conventional schools. . . . She explores concepts of socialization, the importance of friendships with other children, strong relationships with parents, and how homeschoolers eventually integrate into the "real world. . . ."
---Vanessa Bush, Booklist, Sep 2007
"The book is broader in scope than simply socialization. By tackling such topics as what homeschoolers do, a definition of socialization, friends and peers, family relationships, safety and bullying, relationships with adults, diversity and minority socialization, citizenship and democracy, the teen years, and the homeschooling parent's social life, the author necessarily touches on many other positives of homeschooling."
---Kathy Getzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
About the Author
Rachel Gathercole was born in Zaragoza, Spain. She spent roughly half of her childhood in a small Kansas town and the other half in the fast-paced metropolis of Miami, Florida. A cheerful, intellectual child, she was educated in some of America's best public schools where she aspired to be a writer, never suspecting that "homeschooling parent" was another option lurking in her future.
Years later, with a diploma from the New World School of the Arts, a Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and three beautiful homeschooled children, Rachel has become a respected voice in the fields of homeschooling and parenting. In addition to having homeschooled her own children for ten years, she has written numerous articles which have appeared in various homeschooling, parenting, and other publications, including cover story features in Mothering, Life Learning, and other magazines. She has contributed to anthologies such as Loving Mama: Essays on Natural Parenting and Motherhood, edited by Tiffany Palisi, and Life Learning: Lessons From the Educational Frontier, edited by Wendy Priesnitz. She has researched homeschooling, parenting, and children in depth, served as a co-leader of her local home educators' association, taught writing classes to homeschoolers for several years, and interviewed hundreds of homeschooling parents and children across North America. Her education and experience have made her a popular conference speaker on homeschooling and parenting topics.
Today, Rachel is thrilled to have discovered that "homeschooling mother" was not only an option, but a challenging, rewarding path that lay alongside all of her other aspirations. She believes that caring for children is the most fulfilling thing a grown person can do. Rachel also enjoys dancing, watching movies, talking with friends, listening to music, and singing along.
Table of Contents
xii Preface: Why This Book?
xiii Introduction: A Story
1 Chapter 1: The Socialization Question
11 Chapter 2: What Do Homeschoolers Do?
33 Chapter 3: What Is Good Socialization, Anyway?
47 Chapter 4: Friends and Peer Contact
71 Chapter 5: Independence and Strong Family Relationships
103 Chapter 6: Safety, Adversity, and Bullying
117 Chapter 7: Freedom and Time To Be a Kid (Before Having to be Grown Up)
129 Chapter 8: Being "Cool"
139 Chapter 9: Relationships With Other Adults
151 Chapter 10: Diversity and Minority Socialization
167 Chapter 11: Preparation for the "Real World"
183 Chapter 12: Citizenship and Democracy
193 Chapter 13: Teenagers, Identity, and Sense of Self
207 Chapter 14: The Homeschooling Parent's Social Life
217 Chapter 15: Socialization and Success
227 Appendix A: Practical Matters: Resources, Tips, and How-To
241 Appendix B: Famous and Important Homeschoolers Throughout History