Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Socialization & Homeschool

I had someone ask me that question again yesterday, that nagging question..."Do your kids get socialization?" I really, really dislike that question.

This is a good read, for those of you who wonder.


karintom said...

The beauty of homeschooling a preschooler... you don't get these silly questions yet! I'd just like to thank you for providing my own son with meaningful and adventurous "socialization". You've also reminded me that I will have to have some answers up my sleeve to some of these challenging questions in the near future. Your sons speak volumes to what a great job you are doing (socialization included)!

Karyn&Kelly said...

Ugh. That's right up there with "When are you going to have another baby?"

Your kids are social butterflies! :)

Blessed Mama of 4 said...

oh I LOVE that article... I wish I'd read it YEARS ago.

and I really don't like that question either!

runninggal said...

In my observation as a teacher, homeschooled kiddos far surpass their public school counterparts in their abilities to relate to people of ALL ages!! They are comfortable hanging out with young children and can carry on conversations with adults.

I see similar patterns from Central Christian as it's a small enough school that kids interact across grades - 1st graders and highschool kids rub shoulders and even get to do some things together.

Keep up the great job Amanda!

Karyn&Kelly said...

I don't think it matters if kids are homeschooled, private schooled, public schooled, etc. etc. You as a parent are responsible for your young children's socialization, so I don't think there should be generalizations on what category is more "socialized."

That being said, YOUR little boys are quite the social butterflies. You, as a parent, are making sure of it. :)

runninggal said...

I agree with karyn that God can bless all situations. Where the public school is lacking is that it keeps each age socializing all day with just that age...2nd graders don't learn well in this setting that the 5th graders or 9th graders or adults in their world are safe to talk with because they don't get much practice.

homeschooled kids get a lot more practice at hanging out with kids of all ages and adults as they aren't stuck in a classroom all day with just their age group. And that really does make a difference.

As a teacher out there in the world teaching and having a husband out there, we have definitely noticed that homeschooled kids stick out in this area. They look adults straight in the eyes more often and carry on a realy conversation with you. It's quite amazing and quite consistent.

Karyn&Kelly said...

Let me just put this disclaimer:
Julie and I are friends and this conversation in no way changes that. We are not at odds. We are simply discussing and I appreciate that, as pals, we can discuss, even disagree, and that won't change our friendship. We're just boucing ideas off each other. :)

The problem that I see again is generalizations. Amanda started this post because she doesn't appreciate being asked 'are your kids socialized?' The reason people ask this in the first place is because of the misconceptions and generalizations out there. Such as: that home-schooled kids are socially inadequate, that christian-schooled kids are over protected, that public school kids are pressured and exposed to evil. These are just assumptions that quite frankly, sadden me.

Honestly, at this point, we will most likely be sending our daugther to public school, because that is how we feel God leading us in this area. I hate to think that she has a disadvantage already because people assume that she won't be as 'socialized' as her peers. :( I believe that as her parents, we will expose her to several different environments in which she will come in contact with and communicate with adults, children, and the human race in general. Obviously, I can't be over her every moment, saying 'talk to that person,' and 'look at them in the eye,' especially while she's at school. That's something she'll have to figure out on her own, just as she will someday when she's an adult.

One could say that children in school will be forced, more than their homeschooled counterparts, to interact with other adults/people simply because their parents aren't there. One could also make the assumption that public school kids are better socialized and ready for the 'world' because they will be 'in the world' so to speak and not in a controlled environment. These statements are a prime example of blanket generalizations. And yes, I'm playing the devil's advocate.

I have had interaction with several homeschooled individuals over the years, and nearly every one of them has had some sort of major social 'hang up.' However, I am making a purposeful decision, that just because that has been my experience thus far, to NOT make these generalizations about every individual who is homeschooled. I highly admire the families who homeschool, but I equally admire parents who send their children to public/private school. I admire parents in general who make it their mission to educate, socialize, and prepare their children to fight God's battle in the world. That is amazing.

Obviously, each family has to follow where they are feeling led by God in regard to schooling their child(ren). I hope that as fellow moms and Christians we will continue to support each other, even if our choices are different. No one way of education is perfect. There will be hardships in each of the three areas, some similar hardships, and some completely unique to the type of schooling.

Sorry for the novel Amanda! LOL