Friday, September 14, 2007

The Socialization Fear and Homeschooling

A nice article about one homeschooler's view of socialization.

My favorite -- the author recounts a story of being scolded for talking in class and being told "we are not here to socialize." She then wonders, "If schools weren't made for socializing, then why on earth would anyone assume that homeschoolers were missing out?"

Why is "what about socialization" often one of the first questions we homeschoolers hear? Just think about it for two seconds and a whole slew of answers come:

-- why would you want your child "socialized" with or by other school children? Is anyone laboring under the illusion that much of school interactions are polite and courteous?

-- is socialization one adult per 30 kids, telling them what to do? How is this like real life?

-- how many quiet or shy children really wish they had been pushed at age 5 or 6 or 7, to interact with other kids their same age? See question 1.

Oh well, to each, his own. I, for one, am glad that my second-grader does not respond to my requests with "whatever." I am glad my second-grader doesn't ask me if I'm going to talk about "s-e-x" when I ask for a few minutes to chat with my friend alone.

I've got a post coming up in a few weeks on Life Without School that discusses my thoughts on socializing vs. civilizing. Stay tuned!


lydia joy said...

I hear you on this one, have gotten it over and over.. the other day my neighbor says, "I hear you are homeschooling, why would you want to do that when you live right across the street from one of the best schools in the best school districts around, when does he get to play with other kids?" Oh he gets too, he has 3 brothers and cousins and other homeschool friends, neighbors......why I am I defending myself again -this is none of her business anyway, people just don't get it, they don't like people who think outside the box, funny things is homeschooling is super popular these days.....I just smile and nod, and laugh at these people....they can't get to me anymore, I am happy to be with my kids!!!

Marjorie said...

Thanks for your comment. The socialization argument really makes no sense. I wrote a post over at Life Without School about civilization vs. socialization. I'd rather have my kids civilized then undergo the materialistic-consumer messages that seep into the schools.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Yeah, socialization. That seems to be the one thing people are really concerned about. You don't hear 'how are you going to teach them calculus' or 'what about all that valuable butt on seat time' or 'whatever'. It's 'But your kids will be weirdos!' As you can guess, people often ask me this when we are at some 'social' event...Hmm...

Marjorie said...

You're right - the question can only come up when you're around others, out and about. Next time, I just might answer, "well, we're here with your kids, isn't that socialization?"
There was actually a mom on a local list who is considering homeschooling but concerned that she will be perceived as a "weirdo." I think she's got a bigger issue about the importance she attaches to other people's opinions than about whether to homeschool.