by Geoffrey Botkin
(An excerpt from his book The Great Escape)
American parents used to think something called age-segregated socialization was as important for a child as trips to the dentist. Socialization does have a profound influence on the child, but that influence is normally more harmful than helpful. The idea originated with a few radical 19th century educators who were self-professed socialists. They advocated public school socialization as the means by which to reduce an average child's rugged individuality, creativity and intellectual curiosity, so that adult compliance with change in society is easily achieved.
Of course, most parents are not worrying about the finer points of mass social engineering or the real intentions of John Dewey. They simply want their child to learn how to be popular and happy and comfortable among his peers. If a child is deprived of the regimented socialization of the public school environment, will he grow up to resemble a social freak, a nerd, or an egghead?
Homeschoolers have provided the answer. The evidence shows that when social graces, resourcefulness, personal confidence, and leadership abilities are measured, homeschooled youth turn out superior to their peers from school. Superior is not my word, but the word of the experts who have learned that socialization is merely a fancy term that describes how children become like one another, dependent on one another, dependent on a collective society and mentally and emotionally compliant. This kind of socialization is not good. It should be regarded as the threat that it is. It should be a very uncomfortable concept to parents who know what happens on today's school buses, in today's locker rooms, in today's restrooms, and on today's classroom TV sets.?
But, parents may ask, isn't it necessary to prepare a child for the real world? Of course it is. But it is not necessary to surrender a child to this world to prepare him to endure it. Homeschooled children know plenty about the real world. Many of them are learning that today's collapsed civilization is unacceptable. They are learning that it should be changed, and that it can be changed.?
It appears that the homeschooled children who grow up in family cultures, rather than anti-family cultures, are learning the leadership skills and acquiring the vision to renew American civilization along traditional lines. Family life is the real world, and the reason so many young families and marriages are failing is because our over-taxed, public school-dependent culture created dysfunctional families whose members rarely interacted with one another as they were growing up.