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Some "socialization" perspectives from home-schooled adults

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I know! You can't believe I am bringing up socialization. I can't either! Lol!

I just read this blog post:

http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/adult-homeschoolers-speak-out-part-seven-what-about-socialization/

And it has me thinking. Your thoughts?

As for me, where I live we have no homeschooling co-ops or groups of any kind. My kids have to wait until the weekend to play with other kids. They do take outside classes but there is no time to be social there. I feel like I really need to work on planning play dates a lot more because of that.

Should we, as homeschooling parents, dismiss S question and the issues the people in the above post bring up? I donno, I suppose I would home-school regardless but I do very well know what it feels like to be an outsider and am aware my kids might feel similarly for (among a few other reasons) being home-schooled/unschooled.
post #2 of 7

I think the survey results would be easier to interpret if she'd asked the analogous question to non-homeschooled kids so we could compare. FWIW, I do not think that my public high school experience prepared me socially for college. 

 

I think socialization is a valid thing for homeschoolers to think about. To me, "what about socialization?" is an annoying question because it's like saying to someone who's going to France "But what are you going to do about the language barrier?" as if they wouldn't have put any thought into it without your pointing it out. 

 

I spend a LOT of time and energy finding social opportunities for my kids and talking to them about social stuff. It's very much on my radar, but that doesn't mean I want to get into it with some lady at the supermarket, KWIM? 

post #3 of 7

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I think that everyone will learn the "social rules" differently, on different levels and at different times.  It seems to be a pretty common thing for college freshmen to have difficulty adjusting so I have a hard time buying that argument. 

 

I do think it should be on our radar but the fact remains that certain people simply will not "fit in" regardless of upbringing or mode of education.  In my opinion over sheltering is a bigger issue.  I am a SAHM whose husband is a pastor and I live in a bit of a "Christian bubble".  It's one of my biggest concerns in planning to home school.  I am trying to actively seek out ways to interact with people outside our natural social circles for that reason.  However, even though I was in public school through the eleventh grade I still managed to be pretty sheltered and still am surprised by some things at 30 so there is no perfect prescription.

post #4 of 7

I think its a very, very interesting article. The website is new to me and it has some food for thought. The one thing that does stand out is that the author seems to have come from a religious and fairly closed family, which is pretty much the opposite to my secular, highly community-involved, family. But still.

 

I have no idea how accurate it is, ask me in ten or twenty years. I remember when my kids were tiny and I was determined not to make the foolish mistakes of others and of course, I did, or made my own stupid mistakes. And my kids have turned out, basically, pretty much as kids always do, neither better nor worse. I guess its the same with homeschooling really. Its wise to listen to those who have gone before, but not let problems they had paralyse us into inaction.

post #5 of 7

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post #6 of 7

I have a friend who was homeschooled as a child. He is a socially "normal," college-educated, gainfully employed, married happily expectant dad. I also know another guy who was homeschooled and didn't like it. But you know what, dh and I both went to school and didn't like it. I don't think that any one educational or parenting method will guarantee you the outcome that you want.

 

As far as socialization and our children, our issue is needing to moderate the socializing so that we actually get some schoolwork done. For August, I have literally scheduled schoolwork time on my google calender so that it happens. There are lots of children on our street. While they attend school, we see them a lot on school breaks and every day after school. We also live in an area where there are plenty of homeschoolers to hang out with during the day.

post #7 of 7

Thanks for posting to this.  I am considering homeschooling right now but haven't yet made the plunge (for a few reasons) and am trying to take all sides and factors into account.  I would like to say though that this "survey" and discussion should just be considered anecdotal, of course.  This is put together so that no real information can be extrapolated to make any sorts of conclusions.  The wording, the sample, the lack of a control, the innumerable confounding variables...  I don't mean to undermine this because there is a place for this too.  I would just not like it if people made decisions on this as there is lots of really good research suggesting that homeschooled children are just as well "socialized."  It is all certainly worth taking into consideration though.

 

And, for my anecdotal evidence - from working in the public schools for many years and then as a psychotherapist for several years after that -  I am not sure I want my kids to learn "the rules" that dictate the behavior of children ages 5-18.  There are the many stories of children being bullied literally to death.  There are the stories of alienation, addiction, and a whole host of psychological problems that come from learning to live by these rules, away from the safety of people that care about them, at too young an age.  Psychologically speaking, it is easier to have to relearn the "social rules" as an adult rather than to try to change the very shape of their brain from a lack of feeling safe and secure...

 

All this said and I am still not sure if I am going to homeschool :).  There are lots of loving caring schools with warm and supportive adults and there are many ways to counter the negative effects of schooling.  I just wanted to throw in my two cents in case this sort of discussion was making someone hesitate about homeschooling.  

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