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Socialization and homeschooling: please tell me how silly I'm being - Page 2

post #21 of 37

We're not HS'ing yet but if you want a good read about the tremendous negatives of socialization and peer orientation try "Hold on to Your Kids."  Based on the prevalent cultural norms I see and try to avoid, not sure I want my kid to be "socialized", would rather them be a bit awkward and learn who they are in a safe/nurturing context not based on what their peers expect them to be.

post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?
post #23 of 37

My dd is five and our friends who sent their kids to kindy are already in just three weeks having issues with bullying and just plain old bad influencing (cursing, eating nothing but crap, talking back, reading is uncool, etc.) 

Quite frankly, these are not the people I want my kid to relate to. If that means she's weird so be it. I cannot express how much I prefer it that way ;) 

To answer your latest question, of course there is a stigma. And you shouldn't care about it. It makes me pretty angry that as adults we are still submitting ourselves to this ridiculous high school popularity crap of whether or not our kids will be good enough to hang out with the cool (schooled) kids. I really don't know why homeschoolers seem to always answer the socialization question like we have something to prove. Isn't the whole point of homeschooling to break away from the judgement and rules and expectations of our society to teach our kids in a better way? And if so, why do we then have such a strong desire to prove we are "normal" and fit in with everybody else?

post #24 of 37

I was publicly schooled and was/still am socially awkward.  My kids have never been to public school and seem to have no problem relating to other kids when we go to the park or to swim/ski lessons.  My older son (7) has been playing recreational soccer for two years now and no one blinks when he says he's homeschooled.  He doesn't stick out and he's made friends that we've played with outside of soccer practices.  My middle son (4) is still quite young and wouldn't be in kindergarten but he's one of those kids that will talk to just about anyone when we're out.  Yesterday we were at a local tourist trap and he started talking to a visitor and ended up telling this man how babies are made. spitdrink.gif  It was entertaining for the other guy to say the least.  That's just how my kid is.  School has nothing to do with it.

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?

My son has had very little socialization his whole life because we lived most of it in a remote area with no social programs and where we didn't speak the language.  He's 5 now and in his second year of homeschooling.  We've recently moved to a wonderful community where there are many things we can do like swimming, playgroups, story time at the library.  You would never be able to tell that he has led a very different life than most of the other kids. 

I do perceive that there is a stigma related to homeschool.  Like every problem a homeschool kid has is related to the homeschooling.  

post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?

 

Definitely no stigma here: mostly matter-of-fact acceptance, sometimes a bit of envy. My kids do find it a little challenging sometimes to be included in activities with large groups of schoolkids, particularly in school-like settings, because anti-authoritarian attitudes often seem really ingrained in the school milieu. My kids get fed up with kids acting like they don't want to be a part of whatever the activity is. But as much as they care to, they insert themselves into those environments without difficulty. 

 

Miranda

post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

To answer your latest question, of course there is a stigma. And you shouldn't care about it. It makes me pretty angry that as adults we are still submitting ourselves to this ridiculous high school popularity crap of whether or not our kids will be good enough to hang out with the cool (schooled) kids. I really don't know why homeschoolers seem to always answer the socialization question like we have something to prove. Isn't the whole point of homeschooling to break away from the judgement and rules and expectations of our society to teach our kids in a better way? And if so, why do we then have such a strong desire to prove we are "normal" and fit in with everybody else?

Ouch! I wouldn't call it "ridiculous high school crap" to care if "my kids are good enough to hang out with schooled kids.". Yes, I do care because I care about my kids' happiness. I do want them to feel comfortable hanging out with all sorts of people and it just so happens that the homes homeschooled people I know are very awkward and unable to socialize well with different types of people. I think that is very unfortunate and I don't want that for my kids because I don't want their worlds to be so small that they only are able to socialize with homeschooled kids. I am asking these questions because I suspect that the homeschooled kids I've known are an anomaly and suspect I'm making broad generalizations about homeschoolers that aren't true. I don't think there is anything petty or immature or shallow about not wanting my children to be stigmatized because of decisions I've made for them. I care a great deal about their happiness. I suspect if thy were singled out, bullied, or ignored because they were "those homeschooled kids", both their confidence and happiness would be impacted.

Quite frankly, you can check your judgement. Your post reinforces in my mind the defensiveness and narrow-mindedness I'm worried I'll encounter if we take this leap and my kids end up socializing mainly with homeschoolers.

FWIW, no, I'm not considering homeschooling just to break away from rules and expectations. My biggest reason is that I strongly suspect my oldest will not be best served in the public school system in part because of his special needs.


Thank you *everyone else* for your thoughtful and nonjudgmental replies. It helps to hear a variety of experiences.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?


My 9 year old has participated in soccer, swimming lessons, art classes, etc. with kids who were mostly not homeschoolers, and she fits in just fine.  We haven't run into any stigma, though when DD was in second grade she said there was a girl on her soccer team who had never heard of homeschooling and didn't understand what it was and asked questions like, "You have a school in your house?"  Adults who hear the kids are homeschooled usually say things to them like "That's cool!" or "You're lucky!"

post #29 of 37

I haven't read the whole thread, but my ds (now 11) has very good social skills. Always has. And I think homeschooling has given him more opportunity to develop those skills. We're always meeting new people at parks, introducing ourselves, finding some common interests, etc. Other kids, schooled or homeschooled, like him. Enough kids homeschool or do cyber school around here that there is no stigma attached to homeschooling. The only time it shows in a social situation that he's homeschooled is that in a crowd he isn't as good at angling himself to get a turn. Other kids that are more used to being in group situations are better at getting themselves to the front of a pack and getting a turn. I can live with that!

post #30 of 37

There are a few places where my girls are having to learn the rigamarole.  In 4-H they are still figuring out the Pledge of Allegiance and all the routines associated with that (but they don't stand out or anything).  It took them a while in gym class to get that hand popped up in the air like the other kids when asked a group question.  Basic, routine stuff that by 2nd grade the school kids find second nature and I don't bother with.

 

Some awkwardness could be possible with pop culture references in the future, ones that school kids seem to pick up on early, but I see that less as a HSing issue than as a alternative culture issue.  My girls seem pretty eager to go with the flow.  We'll see what future events bring.  They have a tendency to charm the socks off most everybody.

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?

 

My kids are extensively involved in sports and community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, and there are no issues. 

 

No, no stigma among the kids, but we are in Atlanta metro and it's pretty mainstream here.

post #32 of 37

I didn't read through all the previous posts, so forgive me if I'm saying something that has already been said.  My kids have never been to school, and have way more friends and social activity than any of their schooled friends (and they have several).  I think that might be more my doing, as I like to get out and about and have friends, so I've been actively connecting with other people since dd was born.  In the process, I "came to homeschooling" and started actively seeking out homeschooling families when my dd was 3 or 4.  I found that was pretty easy to do; one thing led to another, and now we have a great community of HS'ers that I can count on for friendship, camraderie, and pretty much anything else. 

 

Anyhow, right now there is a giant sleepover happening at our house with 3 homeschoolers and two public schoolers.  They all get along just great!
 

post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?

 

Almost all of the people we associate with have children in public school. I haven't felt that dd has been stigmatized or shunned by other kids or parents due to being homeschooled.

A few kids asked questions but that was pretty much it for their reaction.

 

I can't say you or your child will never meet with a negative reaction because you are choosing to do something different and some people can be jerks. The only deeply negative response we have encountered has been with a few family members not the general public though.

post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post


Ouch! I wouldn't call it "ridiculous high school crap" to care if "my kids are good enough to hang out with schooled kids.". Yes, I do care because I care about my kids' happiness. I do want them to feel comfortable hanging out with all sorts of people and it just so happens that the homes homeschooled people I know are very awkward and unable to socialize well with different types of people. I think that is very unfortunate and I don't want that for my kids because I don't want their worlds to be so small that they only are able to socialize with homeschooled kids. I am asking these questions because I suspect that the homeschooled kids I've known are an anomaly and suspect I'm making broad generalizations about homeschoolers that aren't true. I don't think there is anything petty or immature or shallow about not wanting my children to be stigmatized because of decisions I've made for them. I care a great deal about their happiness. I suspect if thy were singled out, bullied, or ignored because they were "those homeschooled kids", both their confidence and happiness would be impacted.
Quite frankly, you can check your judgement. Your post reinforces in my mind the defensiveness and narrow-mindedness I'm worried I'll encounter if we take this leap and my kids end up socializing mainly with homeschoolers.
FWIW, no, I'm not considering homeschooling just to break away from rules and expectations. My biggest reason is that I strongly suspect my oldest will not be best served in the public school system in part because of his special needs.
Thank you *everyone else* for your thoughtful and nonjudgmental replies. It helps to hear a variety of experiences.

 

I never implied that anyone (you, me or anyone else) didn't care about their kids happiness. Obviously, anyone who would even think about making the commitment to homeschool very much cares about their child's happiness.

I was making a general observation that I strongly feel that homeschoolers are way too quick to defend themselves and try to prove they are just like everyone else, when in fact I think everyone should be proud to be who they are and not feel like they need to worry about what anyone else thinks they should be. 

I was not judging you and I'm sorry you took it that way.

 

Regarding the other concerns in your post ... I think you'll find that your kids may very well not end up spending tons of time with homeschoolers. We are in three different activities and none of them are specifically for homeschoolers. Not that there have been any major issues either way but I've found the homeschool groups in my area to be lot more exclusive than everything else. We have a big enough community of homeschoolers here that things have been broken up into religious groups or just unschoolers, etc. It makes it hard if you don't fit into those well so we just do what makes my kid happy and so far everything is fine. 

 

Also, I said most homeschoolers do this because we think we've found a better way to educate and/or raise our kids which is not part of the mainstream. I don't think anyone is setting out to break rules or be a rebel. I don't homeschool just to say I'm different but I am different and I don't think I'm doing a service to myself, my child or the homeschool community in general if I try to pretend we are just like the families that use public schools which if you do homeschool you will find is said by homeschoolers a lot ... a whole lot. Which I guess is a pet peeve of mine I need to get over if I want to keep reading message boards ... lol. 

post #35 of 37

my dd1 is involved with a running club where she is the only non public schooled child. All the girls seem nice, but I do notice that even at the young elementary age the ps girls seem to care more about "being cool", not being "odd" or standing out, they seem to have a shy aspect to their creative involvement. Where as my dd is not so much socially outgoing, but she is not afraid (yet) to share her creative side with the group. And if this makes her in the eyes of the ps girls as "odd", the so be it. When they are all grown up, this behavior of being cool, fitting in etc won't do them any good in life.

post #36 of 37

My aunt's two teenagers were homeschooled until 9th grade.  They were FREAKING WEIRD.  But then so is my aunt ;)  And she went to public school and has always been freaking weird.  I don't think these kids really had much of a chance!  LOL  BUT, then they went to high school and got along just fine, there, despite their weirdness.  I think they were more able to just accept that some people don't like who they are and some people do.  I think they likely made better choices about who to be friends with, and who their real friends are.

 

And then there was me.  I went to school all the way through and was super socially awkward and was basically tortured all through school.  Looking back, I wish I was homeschooled.  School was boring academically and complete torture socially... until I switched schools as a senior and *decided* to reinvent myself.  And then it was awesome, but I apparently didn't realize it was a choice before then.  I wonder if homeschooling would have helped me become comfortable with myself and mature outside of so many people being down on me.  I dunno.   Interestingly, in college and even now I'm pretty much a social butterfly.

 

All that said, I'm homeschooling my kids.. but mostly because school isn't an academic good fit.  I wish I could send them, but that's a completely selfish wish on my part.  We have a nice sized homeschooling community in the area and friends that homeschool and we see friends who don't homeschool after school or on weekends.  I considered the social angle for my VERY social 6 yr old, but school isn't exactly social time.  They get a little social time during recess and lunch, but not that much during the rest of school (or at least are supposed to be working)... so if the academics didn't fit and my kids were pretty much aiming at socializing, it just felt wrong to me...  They go to summer camp and stuff, though.

post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Thank you everyone smile.gif. One other question.... If your kids are involved in sports or community activities not just designated for homeschoolers, do your kids have a hard time fitting in with children who attend school? Do you perceive there to be a stigma related to homeschooling?

 

I have an 8-1/2yo Asperger's ds.  At least half (likely more) of what he's involved in is with public-schooled kids.  Pretty much nobody knows he's homeschooled unless someone asks where he goes to school (and being oblivious 8yo boys, they don't often ask--they more often ask what town he lives in because some of these things pull kids from 2-3 towns).  They talk mainly about things they like and the things they like doing--which is usually not related to school or learning.  lol.gif

 

He has certainly been bullied but this has more to do with his Asperger's than being homeschooled.  He simply doesn't see it coming and behaves in ways that kind of allow things to go too far sometimes.  And then none of them knows how to turn back and "save face".  The same kids have done the same things to weaker public-schooled kids, and we know the two worst offenders well.  It wasn't a jealousy thing or a stigma thing with homeschooling as much as it was "my son is girlier than the little girl that bullied him and she's very sensitive to the fact that she's not girly" and the other kid has some VERY, VERY serious control issues that manifest in some disturbing ways, but he attempts these things with all of the kids--not just mine.  greensad.gif

 

I HAVE had a parent or two take issue with our homeschooling, but in both situations, it was really clear that they harbored guilt about not hsing their kids when they really knew their kids probably should be.  But nothing really insurmountable.  I think I feel it more than my kid does: mommies often talk about who got what teacher, what homework they are outraged to be doing, what parent-teacher conference snafus happened, etc.  There are certain times of the year where I really just feel completely excluded from group conversation when my son is involved in something with schooled kids and the mother are milling around chatting (baseball games come to mind).

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