I used to hear this question much more than I have recently. First of all, I'll tell you that it's never been a problem for us because we are faithful church attenders and our children have a lot of friends at church. We have also been involved in one homeschool co-op or another almost every year since we began homeschooling, and the boys have been involved in homeschool sports since the beginning of our homeschool journey. So they have had ample opportunity to meet and make good friends.
But, they aren't just social with their peers. They are able to socialize with people of all ages because they are growing up in an environment where they have to socialize with their parents/adults and younger and/or older siblings on a daily basis, so they learn how to effectively communicate with people of all ages.
Now, I'd like to share some information from notes that I took at a seminar at a homeschool convention this year. The speaker was Mr. Rick Boyer, and he pointed out that as Christian homeschool parents, our goal is not the effect of the culture on our children, but the effect of our children on the culture (I can give several examples of this from our lives as well, but will do so in another post).
Mr. Boyer also asked the questions, "Is 'school' anything like the real world? Is everyone in the real world segregated into age groups?"
Schools relieve you of your ability to form any convictions, as you sit there and do whatever you are told to do.
Kids need to experience the real world. (School is not the real world).
Age segregation is killing our culture because the kids do not have exposure to people "who have been there, done that."
Divorce, sexually transmitted diseases, drugs and alcohol -- how many of these social issues were caused by kids who spent too much time at home with their parents?
I love the following example Mr. Boyer presented to the statement, we homeschoolers so often hear: "Kids need to face the real world issues and learn to deal with it." Mr. Boyer said this is how to respond to this statement; ask the person, "Do you know that it's not a good idea to stand in the middle of the street during rush hour?" When they say "yes", ask them with a little more emphasis, "Do your know that it's not a good idea to stand in the middle of the street during rush hour?" When they say "yes", this time respond with, "Did you learn that through experience?"
Proverbs 23:22 says, "Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old." If children do not grow up parent-dependent; they will grow up peer-dependent.
Mr. Boyer pointed out that U.S. kids in schools have a Negative Attitude toward themselves, and toward their peers and are resistant to parental authority and pessimistic toward the future. He also pointed out that the U. S. has the highest suicide rate in the world.
Other things Mr. Boyer pointed out about kids in schools:
Parental values are discarded.
Their personal values are under attack.
Peer socialization causes negative attitudes toward children of other peer groups.
It breaks down family relationships.
They're indifferent to the adult world.
They're not looking forward to growing up.
Their social lives are centered around play and peers.
In the past, twelve-year-old boys were interested/involved in their father's business. This is no longer the case.
So, Mr. Boyer suggests: "Don't let your kids social life "evolve", "create" it. Put an emphasis on family and build your child(ren)'s social life around service.
If you'd like to read more about what Mr. Boyer has to say about this issue, I suggest you purchase his book, The Socialization Trap. You can find it here