In School, for 12 years, a child is placed with a group of peers, the exact same age, and they are all taught to do the exact same things.
Kids make wonderful, lifelong friendships with kids who have shared teachers, recesses and afterschool clubs with for years. Kids learn to stand in line, to raise their hands, to only speak when it is their turn, and to live up to the expectations of the teacher. Kids are taught character and differences from books and assemblies and well-meaning teachers. They are taught about respecting authority and following rules and directions. They learn to follow expectations, keep deadlines and read instructions. They learn quickly to “play the game of life;” what to say, and how to say it.
Kids are pressured by their peers to fit in. To not be annoying. To dress “correctly.” To like the same things as the other kids. To know what to say and how to say it. The kids that are “good” at this have wonderful experiences in school. Kids who walk to the beat of their own drums can have good experiences too….. or they can struggle.
My grandmother was… not good with people. Very smart and tenacious– it was her best and worst trait– but really not good with people. My mother thought it was because she was sort of home schooled, but in some ways, I am a lot like that grandma. (And also my mother, but minus the gift of gab.)
I have no doubt that people like me are disproportionately likely to be home schooled, but that’s because we’re more likely to be utterly miserable when expected to socialize exclusively with people in our exact demographic, and to manage to meet all the checkpoints when schooled at home.
(Nightmare time: our middle daughter shows signs of fitting in the same peevish mold.)