Friday, November 5, 2010

More Time with Parents than Peers

Homeschool parents are probably asked about socialization more than any other topic related to educating their children.  Our culture has led us to believe that children need to be around peers in order to have good social skills, and that this process needs to start at a very young age.  Daycare centers and preschools are filled to capacity with children whose parents believe they are doing what is best for their kids.  So, when a family chooses to home educate, well-meaning grandparents, neighbors, and even strangers question their decision.  But, if we consider the second point given in the Smithsonian Institute study on raising genius children, we realize that cultural beliefs are not necessarily accurate.  The Smithsonian study found that the children who developed the highest quotient of intelligence were those who were virtually isolated from children outside of their family.  If children spend more time with their parents than with their peers, positive socialization takes place.  When a family works together, plays together, studies together, and serves others together, children tend to have fewer mental or emotional problems and are more likely to be free of peer dependency.  A study reported in Kid’s Stuff magazine found that children taught at home do not lag in social development.  The study indicated that home taught children have consistently fewer behavioral problems.  Instead of being negatively socialized by their peers, the children who were home educated depended more upon adult contact and less with contacts with other children, resulting in well-adjusted and well-behaved children.  Why?  Because they tended to imitate their parents.  Imagine that!  Not only do children who spend more time with adults than peers have the opportunity to have a higher IQ, but they are more socially adjusted as well.

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