A common concern for homeschoolers is “socialization”! OMGoodness! This question use to annoy me so much that at one point in my homeschooling journey I would SCREAM back, “WHAT ABOUT SOCIALIZATION?”
Kids are killing kids!
Kids are raping kids!
Kids are disrespecting teachers!
Kids are playing the choking game with their peers!
Do you think I’m really worried about my kids hanging out with and socializing with them!!!
17 years into homeschooling, I don’t get this “socialization question” anymore. Time has been on my side and has proven me right. My 4 African American sons are different from the culture and yet are very much part of the culture. They like rap music (one is a Christian rapper and has quite a following on YouTube), know the latest dances, can recite lines from any movie out there (where do they get this ability?), and enjoy Facebook, Twitter and texting.
Yet they are ferocious readers, respect authority, feel comfortable talking to adults, love babies and love to hang out with their family. Dad and I can get a hug and a kiss from any of our sons IN PUBLIC and not get treated like a big pimple.
If anything homeschooling provides more opportunities for growing your children into responsible, socially interactive adults; instead of your child sitting behind a desk surrounded by peers for 7hours a day they have a chance get out into the real world and interact with their community.
Here are several ways to make sure that your homeschooled child is “properly socialized”:
- Local sports groups: little league, soccer, basketball, etc
- Homeschool sports teams: these events often happen during homeschool hours and can be counted as P.E.
- Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are popular faith-based groups for children to join and develop lifelong friendships.
- Hanging out in the neighborhood. They can develop their peer-to-peer social skills by mingling with other kids that live in your neighborhood.
- Hanging out with cousins & church youth groups.
- Homeschool playdates: many homeschoool families or associations meet weekly at the park, skating rink, bowling alleys etc so that the kids AND moms can get out of the house.
As you can see socialization happens the same way for non-homeschoolers; they too interact in local sport groups, Boys Scouts, neighborhoods, youth groups and skating rinks. So when people would ask me, ‘what about socialization?’ I would recite our many activities. But on the inside I would think to myself, “Duh we’re doing the same things that your child is doing minus 7hours of seat time!” Aaargh!
It’s very rare now that I get asked the “socialization” question, thank goodness, because as I type this I can see that I still have some frustration behind the subject. 17 years into homeschooling I see this generation turning a dangerous corner driven by technology. None of our children are immune, homeschooled or not. I still prefer to take my chances on homeschooling my children and have them “socialized” my way.
How do you answer the socialization question? Does this issue concern you?
- What Are You Going to Call It, Then? (farrarwilliams.wordpress.com)