Originally Posted by Roar
"Be careful" is about social contact is a very reasonable caution especially when the parent homeschooling has social anxiety. It may ruffle feathers to say it but as a long term homeschooler speaking with other homeschoolers I feel comfortable being honest about the reality. It varies a lot by individual circumstance, but it can take some effort to make social connections. If a parent has social anxiety, Asperger's, depression, etc. it can be a difficult situation because the steps required to make social connections may be a lot more difficult. I have encountered older homeschooled kids (even late elementary and middle school) who due to these sorts of factors really had not had adequate social opportunities. These may not have been an issue if the family socialized regularly in other ways, but due to social anxiety or other factors that hadn't been happening. There was some significant catching up to do and often kids struggled. For kids who already have a genetic tendency toward social anxiety, very little social experience made them less sure and more wary.
To be clear that isn't to say that people shouldn't homeschool, but rather to say "be careful" is a pretty reasonable suggestion. Be mindful of this need for your children and have a plan of how you will handle the places where that hits up against your own challenges. These are reasonable matters to discuss in your home as you begin this adventure.
I think "be careful" is good advice regardless of where your child goes to school. We should all, as parents, "be careful" about the kinds of social situations we expose our children too. However, specifically in reference to homeschool, it seems like bad advice to me. There is nothing inherent about homeschooling that makes it a better or worse experience for socialization. The kind of socialization needed really depends on the child.
You talk about kids you knew with a tendency toward social anxiety, who became more wary and unsure as a result of lack of social interaction. So presumably for them, a school setting would have helped. I also suffered from (and still do) social anxiety, and I went to public school. It was without a doubt the WORST thing for me (my mother even admits that). I ended up severely depressed by the end of high school, and spent the next decade basically in social isolation just to get myself to a point where I felt at peace again. As a child, I would have benefited GREATLY from being kept out of most social situations, and only interacting with others on my own terms, when I was ready. But that's just me.
My point in saying this, is that yes the word of caution "be careful" is good advice, but ONLY in a general sense, IMO. Know your child, and be careful to provide them with the right kind of situations. Linking the word of warning with homeschooling, IMO, is irresponsible. It paints the picture that homeschooling carries with a risk that simply isn't there. For some kids, the potential isolation that can happen with homeschooling can be bad. However, for some it can be exactly what they need. Just like for some kids, PS can be bad, while for others it's exactly what they need. It's all about the individual child and what they need, rather than some inherent risk in either schooling situation, IMO. I hope that makes sense. I don't always express myself clearly, even though I'm very wordy, LOL.