Socialization is something that has been on my heart for almost two decades now — ever since the time we’ve homeschooled in Germany. This post is about homeschooling and the two main accusations homeschool families usually have to stand up to:
- not sending their Christian children out to be the salt and light in the world
- not allowing their children to socialize
The first charge comes mainly from Christians who say that, as a family, we have to evangelize others. Of course, we need to tell people about the Gospel, that’s not for discussion. However, we can do a lot of talking the talk without walking the walk. The second doubt comes from believers as well as non-believers who are questioning if homeschooled children are kept from socializing with others.
But see, this is not a question if we will send our children out into all the world or not, but a question of when is the right time to send them! What is meant by socializing with others?
Collins Dictionary defines socialization like this:
Socialization is the process by which people, especially children, are made to behave in a way which is acceptable in their culture or society.
Question is, what is acceptable in our culture or society? And should we care more about that than we care about what God’s Word says? Does our society value the same things we as Christians value?
Many years ago I did a project on socialization as part of a book called Wenn Kinder zu Hause zur Schule gehen. You will be able to read a (edited) English translation in the near future. As for now I want to share some of the words I wrote that time:
In other words, the children will takeover the standards, values and rules of conduct of the society.
Question is, as Christian parents, what standards, values and rules of conduct do we want our children to takeover?
Before I continue, I’m not saying that a child that goes to public school will never become a Christian! Nor am I saying that none of these children would be able to talk the talk or walk the walk. I’m saying, though, that in a secular culture the salt must be kept pure and the light must be kept on a lampstand to shine and that’s really hard in today’s public schools with today’s public agenda.
Let’s think about it… If we have the choice, should we send them into this world, into the public schools, before they are well socialized — that is, if we really want the socialization to happen according to biblical standards? Do we think they can be salt to the world without being trembled upon and losing their flavor?