Many believe that children who did not 'benefit' from some form of collective care in early childhood will miss out on the foundations of socialization.
I firmly believe, however, that collective, age-separated care, such as preschool, daycare or kindergarten often rather stunts the development of socialization skills than to nourish them.
Of course, it would be entirely possible to isolate children who are kept at home, but this is something few parents will seek to do, even if it were only to maintain their own sanity.
Most stay at home parents actively seek out other people, of which some will be children, to converse with and to have their children interact with. They will generally end up with an age-diverse groups and several adults.
Even if a parent would not actively seek this interaction, they would still get out of the house, may it just be for shopping, and meet people.
Thus, these children will learn to socialize with numerous people of all ages and both genders; in small groups at a time and in the comforting presence of a parent.
|Image: Woodleywonderworks on Flickr|
Even most adults get uncomfortable in big groups, so imagine a small child who hads the skills, nor the defences to deal with this kind of situation. Often, children react by turning inward, or becoming agressive, territorial. They may have seemingly made many friends, but they did not gain special skill they could not have gained while at home. They certainly haven't become more sociable by chucking them all together.
Collective care does not build real social skills, rather mere defense/survival mechanisms. Children who stay at home do not become social outcasts.