Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And the answer is....

I attempted to create suspense by ending one of my recent blog posts with a Hollywood type "cliff hanger".... are my children (and home schooled children, in general) unsocialized? It is a truly intriguing question, I'm sure. And, I'm afraid I have left my readers hanging a lot longer than I had originally meant to. I had intended to revisit the subject right way but with our overwhelmingly full social calendar have not had the chance. This, I guess, answers the question quite quickly and concisely, albeit without much drama or fanfare.

My children and I are, obviously, kept busy enough and, yes, they interact regularly with other children. They have friends who attend public school, friends who attend Catholic school and, friends who are home schooled like themselves. They are friends with boys and girls alike. Some of their friends are older than they are, some are younger and some are the same ages. I have heard, and have seen for myself, that home school children are often very good at communicating with all kinds of different people. By not spending 6 to 7 hours a day in a classroom of their "peers", they are able to interact with and build relationships with many different kinds of people. My children know all the employees at the library, they are on a first name basis with the grandmotherly cashier at the grocery store, they all play well with the pre-schooler across the street and they have helped out while I've babysat for a friend's toddler throughout the past year. They are accustomed to talking to adults as well as children of all ages. My children, while not necessarily social butterflies, are fairly good at communicating and tend to make friends easily. They certainly never feel lonely or isolated!

Now, all that being said, I do think the concern surrounding socialization was valid only a few short years ago. When I was growing up (in the 80’s and 90’s) I had never heard of home schooling. Everyone in my neighborhood attended the local neighborhood school. In fact, the sidewalks were busy in the mornings with all of us walking to school together. Back then (and, of course, even earlier) home schooling was rare. It was considered radical and controversial. I’ve heard stories of home school families whose children could not play outside for fear the neighbors would turn them in for truancy. Many families did choose to isolate themselves to do what was right for their children though it was not readily accepted or respected. I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to those home school pioneers who risked persecution from uninformed friends and family in order to pave the way for the acceptance of home education. I am so blessed that others had the wisdom and courage to forego the “normal” socialization (that includes so much bullying and peer pressure) to blaze a trail for the home schooling families of today! I feel confident, that though home schooling does present its challenges and drawbacks, lack of socialization is not one of them! A bigger concern for us is how to fit in all the social activities and get our school work done as well!

1 comment:

  1. We started homeschooling back when feminism was in full swing and homeschooling was virtually unknown. People saw Marcia with "all those kids" in tow and asked, "So, what do you DO?" She answered, "I'm socializing five world-changers through the ethical teachings of Jesus Christ. What do YOU do?"



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