"I still keep hearing of schools that, because it wastes time or makes the lunch room too noisy, do not allow children to talk even at lunch, and more and more even of schools that have entirely cut out recess. When, then, does the 'social life' take place that schools say is so important?"
-John Holt How Children Learn
I laughed out loud when I read this. Before this quote Holt talks about how teachers do most of the talking at school, even though it is the students who need more training in speech and talking. The usual rule at school is that students only talk when called upon by the teacher, and they get hardly any time to talk with one another about whatever they want. This leads to kids who don't have anything to say, who can't think of anything to say, and who think their opinion has no importance.
I will admit that I used to use the "what about socialization?" excuse, but it didn't take very long for my eyes to be opened that public schools are not a very healthy form of socialization. My kids can learn more about socialization by being exposed to people of all ages, cultures, and social statuses in a real world setting. In the "real world" our socialization is nothing like our public school experience. How many of us work with people who are all the same age as us? And hopefully we aren't still dividing ourselves in to cliques like we did in high school. Homeschoolers have the opportunity to interact with a much greater variety of people, and to feel comfortable in all types of settings. I really don't plan on keeping my children locked in the house their entire lives! So please don't be worried about my children becoming social recluses. We have lots of opportunities to be around other people, and we get to avoid all of the negative aspects of public school socialization. So I think we'll be just fine. :)