This post is part of FAQ Fridays. If you have a question you would like answered, you can ask it on any FAQ Friday post, or in the FAQ page.
What about socialization?
To newcomers, I plan on homeschooling my children. You can read why I am homeschooling here. This post will only address the socialization aspect of homeschooling. It will not address the budget, time management, curriculum or qualification questions you may have about homeschooling. You can ask them in the comment section and I will add them to the FAQ.
So, there are two basic camps about socialization and homeschooling.
Sports and Extracurricula Activites
Some homeschooling families want to model the public school's version of socialization. Enrolling kids into sports programs and extracurricula activities at the local school is the logical answer. This is hanging out with kids their own age doing things that they are all interested in together.
The other camp says that hanging out with kids the exact same age as you is not socialization, because in the real world and in the work force, you are interacting with people in a wide range of age levels and interests. These families lean toward community activites for socialization, where children will play with other children and learn to interact with adults.
Our family generally belongs in the second camp. Festivals, parks, libraries, church: these are real life things that our children right now are mostly spectators of, but are becoming more involved with. This is where real socialization happens for us, where our children interact with people similar to them and with people very different. They learn to respond to differences and understand them.
What about sports and extracurriculas?
Hanging out with people who are the same age as you and do the same things as you is not a well-rounded means of social interaction, in our minds. These activites have nothing to do with our plan for socialization, but have a lot to do with our plans to have each child pursue activities they enjoy. It is more of a curriculum activity than a socialization activity.