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The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling 1st Edition

33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1600651076
ISBN-10: 1600651070
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gathercole, who has spent 10 years homeschooling her three children, says what most people wonder about is whether homeschooled children can work and play with others, in other words, their socialization skills. She begins by noting that "once upon a time, all children were homeschooled" before more formal schooling and the development of "school culture." She notes that conventional schools offer "socialization" through peer pressure, the stress of choosing between popularity and academic performance, and excessive attention to appearance. Drawing on her own experiences as a homeschooler, she details the networks of other homeschoolers who provide opportunities for their children—and themselves—to socialize. Gathercole also points to research showing that homeschooled children have stronger self-concepts than children attending conventional schools. Focusing on how homeschoolers address misperceptions, she explores concepts of socialization, the importance of friendships with other children, strong relationships with parents, and how homeschoolers eventually integrate into the "real world." Great encouragement for parents who are homeschooling and those who are considering it. Bush, Vanessa


"The definitive book regarding the socialization question surrounding homeschooling." -- Foreword Magazine, July-August 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mapletree Publishing Co.; 1 edition (June 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600651070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600651076
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 135 people found the following review helpful By AVA on July 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, I would say this book does a good job of refuting, point-by-point, the most common misconceptions about the lack of socialization of homeschooled children. Although I had a few problems with it (quite a bit of repetition and somewhat outdated statistics), the book presented a fairly comprehensive argument that homeschooling does, in fact, provide children many benefits where socialization is concerned.

First of all, even die-hard supporters of public school education can't deny the negative socialization ever present in schools these days. As a Social Worker, I worked in elementary schools before I had kids. I decided to homeschool my future children at that point based on what I witnessed. I specifically recall listening to the conversation of 2nd graders in line for lunch, discussing what their favorite part of the movie Scream was. Um, no thanks for my 7 year old child feeling like the odd man out and like I'm somehow overprotective, mean, etc. for being one of the few parents who won't allow horror know, at SEVEN! Also, I witnessed children who were made to be silent as stones the whole way to, through, and from lunch. Not a word. When they were finished eating, they lay their heads on the table and if they were good little boys and girls, they were rewarded with a single M&M or Skittle. Of course, they could lose this reward for uttering even a word after it was granted. Shocking, I know, but I am not making this up. I witnessed it with my very own eyes--another experience I wouldn't describe as teaching proper socialization skills. These are just a couple of specific examples but there are many, many more. I could go on ad nauseam, but you get the point and, if you've had kids in school, you've heard many more examples.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Lorel Shea VINE VOICE on September 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Rachel Gathercole's book, "The Well Adjusted Child-The Social Benefits of Homeschooling" sorely needed to be written. As a long time homeschooler, I have talked to countless parents who say that they would like to homeschool their children, but don't due to fear of social isolation. My anecdotes and assurances sometimes tip the scale, but not always. If you or your spouse or extended family are on the fence about homeschooling, please do yourself a favor and buy this book. The author builds a brilliant case for the positive social aspects of homeschooling, in a clear and logical manner. I also appreciate the fact that she does not actively bash schools, and appears sensitive to the tough demands that today's institutional teachers face.

Home education is an incredible opportunity for children to learn at their own pace and in their own way. It is well known that homeschooled kids are often winners and finalists in national level competitions, such as the geo bee and spelling bee. Individualized education is quite simply a better fit for many children, and gifted children especially, who may be several different "sizes" at once. Would anyone care to argue that a tailor made suit would not fit better than one purchased off the rack? Sure, there are good schools out there, just as there are some people (both parents and children) who simply would not do well as homeschoolers. But for the great majority, homeschooling can be whatever it needs to be to fit the individual child. I believe that it is well documented that kids can benefit academically from homeschooling. The question then, is how do these home educated kids do with peers, and will they be able to interact well with people as adults?

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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jenny on July 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
It seemed like you could find a book about every other topic related to homeschooling, except the dreaded socialization issue. Not any more! This book was so helpful to me in dealing with the one subject that I didn't have great answers for when all those well-meaning friends and relatives asked bunches of questions about homeschooling. Rachel Gathercole has helped me to dig deeply into the notion that public school is the ideal model of socialization for our children. She has also helped me to really see all of the positive socialization that my kids get every day because we homeschool. If you're concerned about homeschooling because of socialization or you need bigger ammunition to fend off those relatives, get this book!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Gift For You on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a FANTASTIC book about squealching your fears of homeschooling. This book backs itself up with studies and statistics to make the public school crowd choke!

I was VERY excited about homeschooling our children after reading a few books. But this one put me WELL over the top!!! It just talks about homeschooling kids not only being well-adjusted and out-going, but being MORE so than their public school peers.

It breaks apart the myths and ill feelings about people who are thinking about home schooling. We're NOT freaks and we are doing it the way it's ALWAYS been done BEFORE the mega corporations needed cogs to fill holes with in order to get product out so that people can buy and consume and buy more and need to go to work to do their cog working in order to pay for consuming!

This is the kind of book that I wish there were more and more of so that I could finish this one and KNOW there is another one JUST as good waiting for me to read... and hey, who knows... maybe there is!!!!

The last chapter is GREAT! It sums the whole thing up and you can take it around and have people read it to calm them down when you tell them your "crazy" idea.
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