http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/socialization.htm <--- some tough and eye-opening words here.
A clip of it -
How is Socialization Best Learned?
Posted by Karen, Redwood Games
What About Socialization? For some reason, this is the main concern non-homeschoolers seem to have about homeschooling. They can't put down homeschool for academic reasons since studies show that homeschoolers do significantly better than PS students on tests regardless of their parents' educational level. So they fall back on this "concern."
It is precisely for this reason that I do homeschool. I wish to have my children be socialized so that they:
-take responsibility for their actions;
-can relate to all ages in a courteous manner;
-are not pressured into "lookism," materialism, precocious sexuality, drugs, gangs or violence;
-see themselves as individuals who control events rather than members of a group and followers to whom things happen;
-retain a close, mutually respectful relationship with their families;
-see themselves as an important part of the larger society, not some warehoused teenager with no role except consumerism.
And what do schools do to "socialize" kids?
-They group them according to age (a completely artificial grouping - when was the last time you only worked with co-workers within a year of your age?);
-they expose them to kids who have poor impulse-control and lack empathy
-they force the kids who missed a concept to go on at the group pace so that they NEVER catch up;
-they force the kids who already learned a concept to wait around wasting their time until the rest of the class catches up;
-they group kids in projects so that they can learn to work together, totally ignoring the fact that in the work place, your team-mates will be accountable for their work output and FIRED if they don't produce, thus the motivated kids do all the work and the unmotivated kids miss out completely. This is not a realistic reflection of how the "real world" works.
-they allow bullying, harassment and so on because "kids need to get tough" because they'll face it in the "real world." What a crock! If someone threatens to hit you (or does hit you) when you are an adult they are arrested! When someone steals your lunch money, they are arrested! Not only that, we adults choose our friends from people who are civilized. The people with whom we work have the self-discipline required for decent social interaction, or they are fired. We don't have to subject our children to these horrible conditions in order to ready them for a "real world."
Bottom line: The school world is a completely unrealistic place that brings kids down to the lowest common denominator.
P.S. If they are not convinced, then have them read, Reviving Ophelia. This is a book on teenage girls by a psychiatrist. She doesn't ever mention homeschooling but indicts the schools as "sick" and blames them for the problems of depression, anorexia, low self-esteem that her patients (from otherwise normal, loving families) experienced. She says that even the best of families cannot combat the effects of the constant harassment, sexual stereotyping and appearance judgement that occurs in the schools.