or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › so if the whole socialization issue is a crock, why so many classes?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

so if the whole socialization issue is a crock, why so many classes? - Page 3

post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
if the whole socialization arguement is a crock why so many classes?
Because "socialization" is a totally different thing than "social interaction." Socialization, by definition, is adopting the values of those around you. That's definitely not for us. Social interaction OTOH is about having fun and spending time with friends.
Pet peeve...sorry, I'm anal like that. lol! :
post #42 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaxanmom View Post
Because "socialization" is a totally different thing than "social interaction." Socialization, by definition, is adopting the values of those around you. That's definitely not for us. Social interaction OTOH is about having fun and spending time with friends.
Pet peeve...sorry, I'm anal like that. lol! :

thanks I guess I've been confusing these in my mind :
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
thanks I guess I've been confusing these in my mind :
lol! It comes from one too many times hearing the socialization comments from non-homeschoolers. I heard it again one day and got to thinking "Waaaaaaaaait one second...heck NO I don't want them 'socialized'!!!" lol!
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
thanks for all the insight. I really appreciate it. maybe I am confusing the reason people do classes to the whole socialization arguement. need to think more about this!
I think you might well be. Honest mistake. My children love to take classes, be involved and do things all the time. They love variety and they love some routine, for instance, going to soccer class every week, knowing that on Fridays we go to homeschool group, etc. We often do MANY classes at once, but only because the children LOVE it and I think it's great for them to have as many varied experiences as is possible. I think it really makes for a much more well rounded person. I've had so many women tell me, for instance, that they were not sporty, but yet, they were never on any teams. I was very sporty, but not until I had tried numerous sports for years, then I started to actually be really good at them, but the goal was never to be an expert, but to have fun playing on teams or in solitary sports. I wish so much that I had been in some extracurricular art classes, fun things like pottery and oil painting and watercolor when I was a child, so that I would have seen myself as more artistic and just plain for the fun factor.

Classes for us are NEVER about the socialization or social interaction, even, though it is nice that the children occasionally get to have another adult teach them things, work with them, give them insight and show them others way of doing things, that neither I nor DH would have naturally suggested. And honestly, though my children have PLENTY of friends and tons of adquaintances, they have never once made a meaningful lasting relationship from a class. To me, good quality socialization and/or social interaction really requires spending much more time, meeting more people and being able to narrow it down and find those friends who you can really make that extra special bond with, beyond the superifical "it's fun to play with them", even though I think it's fantastic to be able to have fun with a wide variety of children, as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
Because it's not about socialization. When my kids take classes, it's because the class is about something they enjoy doing.

dm
Big time. And for me, to just experience and try things they would not have tried as much at home. Variety is the spice of life and my children love to go out and see the sights and experience new things.

We, as the consummate busy family, also have plenty of pajama days where we lounge around the house, play computer, read stories, even watch TV and movies, play with art supplies and just laze around, really, enjoying ourselves with no care in the world. I think that since we are not wasting time in "school", we have so much more time in all of our days for all the fun stuff, plenty of relaxation time (free time to play imaginatively, for instance) than any institutionally school time could ever have.

Also, my children run around and get WAY WAY WAY more exercise than their institutionally schooled counterparts. I tend to think that unschooling has added many, MANY years to their lives!!
post #45 of 52
Under the age of 5, the only class my first son did was Music Together, and he really preferred jumping on the couch during class, so we didn't do that anymore.

For my second son, the only class he's done is parent/child gymnastics, which was really more just of an hour of open gym for him to play on the equipment while my older son took his class upstairs at the same time.

It will be interesting to see if my younger son likes taking classes as much as my older son does. I can't think of a single class ds1 has taken that he hasn't loved.
post #46 of 52
I think how necessary classes and/or scheduled group outings are depends on the child and the family.

DS and I did a parent-child gym class when he was 3. It was not necessary but it was a good thing for me to be able to mention when people asked about school (we were in France then and school starts at age 3). And it did give DS some names to say when he was asked about his little friends. He picked two boys he played with and two girls that I guess he liked the looks of since he didn't play with them at the class and told everyone those were his friends.

BUT, we haven't done any classes since then besides an English class for kids that I ran for awhile. I really need to find the right one for DS because he is like a PP described her DS when he was younger: "excitable, imaginative and noisy". I need something that's really fun and not too strict (adults where I live tend to be stern with kids & I also suspect he could be negatively regarded because he doesn't go to school).

Most things around here seem to start at age 6 or 7 so we might wait it out another year and just continue with playgrounds, toy library, an occasional storytime, maybe try taking in a show at the Children's Theatre, etc. We do get out quite a bit. My DS is far from being sheltered and home-bound.

For my DS I think just putting him in any class for the social part of it would be a mistake. I don't think that's what other people are doing, though. I think many kids are really enjoying their activities but I think my DS will do better if he's just a little more mature before he starts structured classes, lessons or workshops. Unless I really end up finding something that feels right for the upcoming year.
post #47 of 52
The classes my dd1 takes, are not for the socialization aspect; not unlike school, they don't get to talk all much during the class. The classes are because she wants to take the classes.
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
if the whole socialization arguement is a crock why so many classes?
Socialization is not why my kids do activities and classes. Definitely not! They're serious introverts and don't particularly enjoy group activities for the sake of group activities.

My kids do classes and activities for one or more of the following reasons:

(a) they can have access to materials and facilities that they couldn't otherwise eg. they took pottery classes because they wanted access to a wheel and kiln, they did gymnastics because you can't just 'play' on that dangerous equipment without some (lightly) structured professional supervision and guidance

(b) they are interested in becoming integrated, useful contributors to our community eg. they perform music at the nursing home with a group of fellow homeschoolers on a monthly basis, they belong to the volunteer group that maintains the community garden

(c) they get access to people they enjoy as mentors and to expertise and knowledge they wouldn't otherwise eg. my eldest really enjoys the company of a friend of ours, and enjoys watercolour painting, so when the friend, who is a painter, offered a watercolour class, she jumped at the opportunity to sign up; the mentor-like relationship has proved a very beneficial thing for my adolescent.

(d) some sorts of learning experiences are not possible on an individual basis eg. my kids love playing in an orchestra and in various chamber music ensembles, and two of them love playing soccer. It's hard to play Bach Orchestral Suites or develop your fullback skills without being part of a group.

For us our activities roster has nothing whatsoever to do with "learning social skills" or "socializing with agemates."

I have a four-year-old who is desperate to be involved in classes and activities; she asks all the time. That's because she has older siblings doing these things, she's along for the ride, they are her role models and everything they do looks so cool to her! But when my eldest was four? She didn't ask, and we didn't do any such scheduled activities.

Miranda
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
My kids do classes and activities for one or more of the following reasons:

(a) they can have access to materials and facilities that they couldn't otherwise eg. they took pottery classes because they wanted access to a wheel and kiln, they did gymnastics because you can't just 'play' on that dangerous equipment without some (lightly) structured professional supervision and guidance...............................

(c) they get access to people they enjoy as mentors and to expertise and knowledge they wouldn't otherwise eg. my eldest really enjoys the company of a friend of ours, and enjoys watercolour painting, so when the friend, who is a painter, offered a watercolour class, she jumped at the opportunity to sign up; the mentor-like relationship has proved a very beneficial thing for my adolescent.

(d) some sorts of learning experiences are not possible on an individual basis eg. my kids love playing in an orchestra and in various chamber music ensembles, and two of them love playing soccer. It's hard to play Bach Orchestral Suites or develop your fullback skills without being part of a group.
These are reasons we do activities too, especially (d).

Sure DH could teach Ds *how* to play soccer, but how could he play it with no team? I am perfectly capable of teaching DD to cheer (captain of my high school squad thank you very much ) but then how could she actually do it without being on a squad?

I think the mentor thing is overlooked a lot too. I'm not to worried about it in my youngest, but I do feel that my 13yo really does benefit from having other adults play a significant part in her life and education. She has a great bond with both her cheer coaches and her art teacher and I think it's wonderful!

Oh, and I know DS only wanted to take gymnastics because of the tumble track LOL!
post #50 of 52
"Socialization" is rather an ugly word to me, it sounds like what you have to do with puppies to help them be good dogs. "Socialization" sounds like an indroctrinization into society, which I guess in government schooling, it is. If you think in terms of "socializing" or "social time", it sounds more like what it is-- time spent in the company of others. 'Most everybody needs that! If you differentiate between socialization and socializing, the social activities of homeschoolers make more sense.

Homeschoolers tend to argue against the mandated socialization of public school-- the idea that kids need to spend the majority of their day sitting in a classroom with 20 other kids. But they generally don't deny that all kids want to socialize with others to some extent, whether they're introverted or extroverted.

I think the "classes and things" can be roughly divided into two categories: the actual skill-building classes/lessons, and more social activities: homeschooling groups, park days, etc. One of the things that appeals to me about homeschooling is that it frees up a lot more time to pursue the former; think about a 7y.o. sitting in P.S. for 7-8 hours and taking dance and piano lessons compared to a HS'd 7y.o. that is in "school" for probably less than 3 hours a day, plus no "commuting" back and forth to school. The second child has so much more time to spend doing anything, whether formal classes or climbing trees.

While some homeschoolers may indeed be "overscheduled" (which would be very hard to determine without knowing that child, IMO) they are more likely just taking advantage of the 'free' time that comes with homeschooling; time for the lessons/classes, time for practice, and time for decompression. I understand why homeschooling parents say that these classes aren't for "socialization", especially if they are private lessons with a teacher.

The second category is stuff that IS social, or for the purpose of socializing. Joining homeschooling groups, field trips, park days, low-key soccer teams, birthday parties... Is there any reason to assume that homeschooled kids don't need or want to socialize with other kids and just have fun? Homeschooling doesn't take place in a vaccuum, and it doesn't seem to take the whole day either. I intend to HS when I have kids, but that doesn't include cutting them off from society, including the society of kids their age.
post #51 of 52
Like others, my kids are just following their interests.
post #52 of 52
I was one of those privileged only children with parents who were high-achievers. For awhile going to five activities a week on top of school -- I know that was a lot in retrospect, but I definitely would have kept three of those activities. Now I still enjoy dancing, singing and swimming. I have a limit for each of my children: 3 different classes or practices a week -- no more. I'm also going to try to cluster them together since we're planning on taking Fridays off. We also have afternoons off so it shouldn't feel like overkill.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › so if the whole socialization issue is a crock, why so many classes?