Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Venting a Little About the "S" Word (Socialization)

Last week I read several comments on an article about homeschooling.  There were a number of positive comments, and a ton of negative.  The most common negative comment had to do with, you guessed it socialization.  You know comments like, "Homeschoolers are so sheltered, they are not like other kids (that's a negative?) or my favorite, "Homeschoolers will grow up to be shy and withdrawn and not be able to function in real society  They are missing out on the social skills they need."  Really?  Even in this day and age where the homeschooling movement is growing by leaps and bounds, colleges are seeking out homeschooled children, and there are a ton of extra curricular activities available, people still think that.  I'm thinking they must not know too many homeschoolers. 

One thing I am thankful for every day is that my children are missing out on the "socialization" that goes on in school.  What exactly are they missing out on?  Spending 45 hours a week picking up other children's bad habits and language?  Learning about things like drugs, sex, and violence?  Being bullied or made fun of because they are too fat, thin, or don't wear the right kind of tennis shoes?  A constant pressure to conform to be like their peers. Not seeing any negatives so far.

On the other hand, let's take a look at a homeschoolers "social" experience.  I'm going to use Chelsea, my 14 year old as an example.  There is not a single social situation that she is not comfortable in.  A few examples: she can play with small children and babies, spend time with teens at 4H and church, join a table full of elderly women at the Assisted Living Facility we visit, or sing in a church choir with not one single other person her age.  If there is something she has an interest in she does it regardless of who is or is not participating.  Why? Part of it is her personality.  Another reason is because through homeschooling she is exposed to and expected to participate in activities with all kinds of different people.  She is not stuck in a room with only people her own age for 45 hours a week.  She also has quite a bit of self confidence.  We love her at home no matter what kind of clothing she wears or who her friends are.

The truth is, all people are different.  Some children are going to out going, some are going to be shy whether they go to Public, Private, or a Homeschool.  But, suggesting that homeschoolers will be incapable of being a part of society is absolutely ridiculous!  Keeping them at home will better equip them to go out into the world when it is time.I do not want my children to be like everyone else.  I want them to grow up to be the people that God intended them to be. 

He who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.   Romans 12:2


Lori said...

You are absolutely right! What gets me is that they never complain about the lack of social skills that so many public schools students have! I once blogged about how a trip to the store shows that too many people, kids AND adults lack basic social skills. I guarantee you, that MOST of the people who do the annoying things, are rude, loud, and poorly dressed and/or bathed weren't homeschooled! Exactly what kind of "skills" do they think we are missing?


Lorus! said...

We agree on so many topics!
When we hear remarks about socialization I often ask, "As and adult, how often do you interact with groups of people that are all within 12 months of your age?" Children should interact with a variety of ages because that is more similar to grown up life. I feel it is better to prepare your child for adult life than have them comfortable interacting with their peers since that ends after 13 years!