Are Homeschooled and Virtual Schooled Kids More Socialized?

It’s interesting to think about how many experiences Tanner and Olivia have had that they wouldn’t have if they had to attend public school all day.  

All the traveling we have done that wouldn’t have been allowed and honestly just the day to day.  Going to the store or out to lunch and experiencing people of all ages.  An art class with all ages including adults can teach more than art.

Not to say that kids that attend school can’t do things like this – but talking to friends whose kids are in school they are extremely overburdened.  Getting up at the crack of dawn, school all day, homework and extracurriculars.  So many just don’t get the same chances to just live life along with their education.

I submit that there is a great deal of education that my kids received and Tanner continues to receive, by not having to spend so much time away from normal life.  Aside from all the experiences outside the house, there are opportunities for us to connect as a family that we wouldn’t have otherwise.  The article below is a somewhat playful scene but does indeed make you think.

What about socialization? (from another angle)

Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging and playing ball.  The women are sitting on a bench watching.

Eventually, they begin to talk.

Are Homeschooled and Virtual Schooled Kids Socialized More?

W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts — helps me keep track of them.

W2: (Smiles) I’m Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot?

W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.

W2: Wow. Where do you find the time?

W1: We home school, so we do it during the day most of the time.

W2: Some of my neighbors home school, but I send my kids to public school.

W1: How do you do it?

W2: It’s not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with the kids every day after school and stay real involved.

W1: But what about socialization? Aren’t you worried about them being cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the opportunity for natural relationships?

W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some friends who’re home schooled, and we visit their grandparents almost every month.

W1: Sounds like you’re a very dedicated mom. But don’t you worry about all the opportunities they’re missing out on? I mean they’re so isolated from real life — how will they know what the world is like — what people do to make a living — how to get along with all different kinds of people?

W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTO, and we started a fund to bring real people into the classrooms. Last month, we had a policeman and a doctor come in to talk to every class. And next month, we’re having a woman from Japan and a man from Kenya come to speak.

W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other week, and he got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo. My kids were absolutely fascinated. We invited him to dinner and got to meet his wife and their three children.

homeschool socialized

W2: That’s nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for the lunchroom on Multicultural Day.

W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.

W2: Oh, no. She’s on a very tight schedule. She has two other schools to visit that day. It’s a system-wide thing we’re doing.

W1: Oh, I’m sorry. Well, maybe you’ll meet someone interesting in the grocery store sometime and you’ll end up having them over for dinner.

W2: I don’t think so. I never talk to people in the store — certainly not people who might not even speak my language. What if that Japanese man hadn’t spoken English?

W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it. Before I even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he was going to do with all the oranges he was buying.

W2: Your child talks to strangers?

W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he’s with me, he can talk to anyone he wishes.

W2: But you’re developing dangerous habits in him. My children never talk to strangers.

W1: Not even when they’re with you?

W2: They’re never with me, except at home after school. So you see why it’s so important for them to understand that talking to strangers is a big no-no.

W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meet interesting people and still be safe. They’d get a taste of the real world, in real settings. They’d also get a real feel for how to tell when a situation is dangerous or suspicious.

W2: They’ll get that in the third and fifth grades in their health courses.

W1: Well, I can tell you’re a very caring mom. Let me give you my number–if you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meet you.

–Author unknown

Melissa Knecht

Thank you for visiting our blog! I am a Mom, wife, entrepreneur, life & business coach, spiritual seeker and someone always looking to evolve. I've studied personal and spiritual development for over 25 years. It has been a worthy pursuit and has positively shaped my life. While always continuing to grow, I now seek to pay it forward to others on the path. I have 3 kids - Josh, Olivia and Tanner. Tanner, 2 of whom did graduated from virtual school. We are an out of the box family and we love it! Kevin and I have designed our lives around many trials and tribulations... but they have made it all the sweeter. If you would like to connect with me, reach out on Facebook: or through my contact page.

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8 Responses

  1. helen says:

    Loved your blog Melissa. I can’t comment as both my kids went to public school…and both did pretty well. The one thing I love about my son going to school here in NZ (I come from the UK) is, his friends are multicultural… he has Indian, fact all races for friends. I had never heard of home schooling until very recently… Its an interesting concept and you have great arguments for it ..thank you

    • Melissa Barnes Knecht says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Helen. 🙂 Not sure how public school in the U.S. stacks up to NZ… it may be a whole different ballgame. But glad they had a good experience nonetheless. 🙂

  2. Good debate about homeschooled and virtual schooled kids Melissa. I’m not a parent yet but it’s a lot to think about. There’s so much pollution in the “machine”. Another perk: You also can protect your kids from all the commercial messages out there…something that most parents are powerless to do.

    • Melissa Barnes Knecht says:

      Definitely Steve – one of my next blogs will be on the messages that come from “employees in the system” as the primary influence, vs. us that are most assuredly “out of the box”. Having us as the primary role models has allowed Tanner to dream freely and follow his passions. 🙂

  3. Really great blog post here Melissa, thank you for sharing. I always said that when I have children, I would not keep them cooped up in school all day and give them the opportunity to do virtual school.

    What you said about them talking to strangers made me laugh because I completely agree. Kids shouldn’t be taught to be timid and fearful of people, in my opinion.

  4. Kristin says:

    Love this!! Great flip side. We are a homeschooling family and my husband gets so irked about the “socialization” questions. He always says that if we teach them how to behave well and get along with siblings then they will be “socialized” wherever they go. 🙂