Families who choose to homeschool often receive questions about their reasons for choosing this path and how they manage. Let’s be honest, homeschooling is not an easy feat and sometimes even curious strangers will want to know how you do it! Others may have well-meaning concerns though and want to know about the long-term effects of homeschooling. Perhaps one of the most frequent questions families hear is “Aren’t you worried about your kids socially?” iCademy Middle East, being a leading American School of Dubai, presents some guidelines on this subject here.
This concern stems from the idea that because homeschooled kids aren’t interacting with a classroom full of other students, they aren’t getting the proper amount of social stimulation. Many people assume that they won’t be able to interact as well as their brick-and-mortar peers, will be lonely, or awkward.
While there are a multitude of reasons families choose to homeschool, often it is precisely to address these social issues. Concerns about school environment are rising and are consistently listed as reasons for homeschooling. Bullying is an ever-present problem in traditional schools around the world and often, due to the sheer number of students, many schools simply don’t have enough manpower to deal with this problem effectively. Anxiety due to academic and social pressures and the feeling of having to maintain the general pace of one’s peers is also a huge motivator for families to look at alternative schooling.
Proponents of traditional schooling often tout the idea that their students are better learning how to work in groups and stay organized. However, studies have consistently shown that this is not the case. Homeschooled students often score higher than their peers on a range of social metrics, including cooperation, responsibility, and self-control.
The reason behind this is that most families who homeschool are busy! When not constrained to typical school hours, there’s plenty of time to volunteer, participate in sports, learn specialized skills, and devote extra time to pursuing genuine interests. For families looking for a blend of structured learning and flexibility, there are co-ops and learning centers, such as iCademy Middle East’s Learning Center in Dubai Knowledge Village. Here, students benefit from the social interaction with peers and learning coaches, but can do so on a daily schedule that fits their needs. There’s no lack of opportunities for homeschooled students to develop the skills to interact, cooperate, and most importantly, make friends.
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