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This is Homeschool: Socialization!

Nine Kids

 

Socialization. If you have been homeschooling for any length of time, or know someone who is, I’m sure you have heard that dreaded word.  Usually couched into a question:  “What about socialization?”  Because apparently there is this image of a lonely child stooped over a book or computer, shut up in a house, whenever anyone hears the word “homeschool”.

Guess what?  For most of us- it isn’t true. 

Are there parents that use homeschooling as a way to isolate their kids?  Are there parents that do absolutely nothing but stay at home and stifle their poor little prisoners?  I’m sure there are….  But I have never met them.  A lot of people will have an old tired example of this one family they know that does this or that….. Followed by a terrible story.    Well the families we know choose to homeschool because they like taking an active role in their children’s education- and huge part of that is getting out in the world and exploring.  Finding new places, meeting new people.  PLAYING.

Our group, which is an amazing secular group here in Missouri, has regular classes, field trips and play dates.  We have the opportunity to choose all sorts of fun things to do.  There are clubs for paleontology club, constellations, and robotics.  There is a bowling league, roller skating day, gym days and open swims.  There are tie-dye parties, trips to train museums, military museums, butterfly exhibits, guitar classes, and so much more that it would be tedious to list it all!

Yesterday, we had our weekly play date at my house.  The kids ran around, rode their bikes and took turns doing target practice with a bow and arrow.  Then Hannah slept over her friend’s house.  Today I picked her up along with a couple of girls and we went to a gym day.  Then a whole bunch of kids (we are talking NINE kids here) ended up at my house to play and have dinner with us.  Now Patrick is having his best friend sleepover.

Does it sound like my kids need more socialization?

11 Responses to This is Homeschool: Socialization!

  1. Many years ago, when I was unschooling my older 3 children (now all in their 30’s) my mom asked my oldest son about socialization. He looked at her for a minute and replied “Yanno Gammy, I’m just too busy with gymnastics twice week, swimming lessons twice a week, going with mom every morning while she babsits for an excersise class, cubscouts at least once a week and sunday school etc to worry about my social life.” He then grinned and walked away.
    My youngest is almost 17 and has always unschooled. Throughout her younger years (to age 10) she went with me several times week while I ran several different breastfeeding support groups for low income moms and did other volunteer work at a single moms center. Now we have a farmlet and she goes to 4-h, volunteers at the state organic fair and local farmers market and works with kids at a sustainable living group we go to every year. She attends a weekend of radical workshops for teens and is very active….and generally has no use for the averaged ‘schooled’ child. She has Aspergers and loves her alone time and spends more time with older people working on solutions to social issues. She says she doesn’t need a faux social life forced on her by a system with ideas she is NOT comfortable with….she can choose her own social life.

    • OMG. Wow, Kate. That is super awesome.

      I was actually in B&N today looking through books about surviving bullying (I have PTSD from it) and dealing with being an adult on the spectrum. I can’t even imagine how different my life would have been if my parents had taken a different route than forcing me to public school every day.

      ” She says she doesn’t need a faux social life forced on her by a system with ideas she is NOT comfortable with….she can choose her own social life.”

      THIS EXACTLY THIS.

      <3

  2. I think that most every homeschooling parent that I have met does an exceptional job of ensuring that their children are not isolated and exposed to a variety of fun educational activities. What I don’t hear spoken of as much is what is done to help home schooled children be exposed to people that come from backgrounds that are significantly different than their own. I know that growing up I did gymnastics and swim class and church group but everyone in those groups had backgrounds and beliefs that were pretty much the same as what I was raised with. School was really the only the place that gave me the opportunity meet and spend enough time with people of different backgrounds, to develop friendships with people that came from backgrounds different than me. Just curious about how you address this issue with your children. Thanks!

    • Because our group is secular, we have families with lots of different lifestyles, parenting styles, and religions. There isn’t a lot of ethnic diversity here though, which does bother me. However, that is indicative of the area we live in- Springfield, MO is 91.5% white. Luckily for us, we are transplants and my kids have grown up with friends with many different ethnic backgrounds.
      But my point is, even here they have friends with varied family dynamics and lifestyles.

      • We live in very diverse area but I still have difficulty finding activities and events for my children to participate in, that reflect that diversity. My children are still fairly young so I am hoping that as they get older and can better express their own interests and build their own relationships, it will be easier
        .

    • The public school I went to was 99% white and 89% Christian. I only got to know other ethic and religious backgrounds through extracurriculars in neighboring cities.

  3. I love that your kids get so many opportunities to play and to get out of the house. I’d love to homeschool …. but – a) I don’t have the patience for trying to plan and implement lessons, and b) we don’t get out of the house enough when I have days off from work. It would not be the experience that I want my child to have of learning.

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