Saturday, January 16, 2010

The s-word, again.

Homeschoolers have a lot of fun with "the s-word." That would be socialization. I've had my share of questions from people wondering how I socialize my children. The more I think of that concept - socializing my children - the more it seems insulting. I mean, we talk about socializing our dog! But anyway, people do wonder how homeschoolers teach our kids how to act around other people since we keep them locked up all day long.

The other day we checked out a new group homeschool activity: gym day. Not a PE class, exactly, but some semi-organized sports time - indoor soccer, dodgeball, sharks and minnows - for kids ages 9 and up. There were probably 20 kids there yesterday, having a blast, running around and getting sweaty. While there I met a woman who had previously homeschooled her kid, then sent him to school for a while, and is preparing to homeschool him again. She has relatives who homeschool and is pretty familiar with it.

So I was pretty surprised when she asked me how I socialize my kids. She asked me that while we watched our kids, uh, socializing as they played these games. I had pointed out my children and they were clearly in the game, having fun, not having trouble being in this large group of kids that they had just met. I am not sure how much more socialized they could have looked.

I shouldn't be snarky about it; I imagine she is worried that once she takes her son out of school he'll be lonely and she'll need to find opportunities for him to be around other kids. But for a moment I was just stunned by the question. I just wonder sometimes how long I will have to answer it. Maybe I'll always be answering it.


DADvocate said...

The socializing question comes up a lot for home schoolers. It's not like schools are such a great place to socialize kids. From what I've observed and experienced, kids learn as much anti-social behavior in schools as appropriate social behavior.

Plus, there are a lot of idiot teachers and administrators who harm children's perceptions of adults and authority figures. 90% of the kids I know and have known were well socialized because of their parents. Period.

G said...

I never understand moms at Park Day asking about socialization either, while their kids are busy - you guessed it - socializing. I'm sure though that they'll figure it out someday!