What DOES "Unsocialized Homeschooler" Mean? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I watched my own kids this morning playing and reazlied that they may be "weird' by age ten becuase no one will have defeated thier spirits, the silliness will not have been stomped out of them. LIfe will still be fun.
That is what we want for our DS.

I do feel that my 13 y.o. nephew is a "young" 13 and happy to be himself and has a lot of interests and friends. He goes to PS, his teachers have said that he is tooooo obsessed with Star Wars, but I don't think it should be wrong to be an "expert" in something like that. Anyways...when he heard that we were thinking of homeschooling, his face dropped and his hands went up and pleaded "NOOOOOO!!" because the only homeschooler he knew was "weird" and had physical tics. My Sil explained to him that the tics probably had nothing to do with being homeschooled---that it may have been the reason he was homeschooled in the first place. Still, it made me feel sad that my good-natured, happy-go-lucky nephew who gets along with everyone would have this attitude. Like, he was taught that everyone deserves respect, but somewhere down the line he learned that homeschoolers were fair game.
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#32 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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BIL told me something to the effect that if he were in school, he could get BEAT UP a few times and that would solve that problem.
Interesting. When I told one of my son's 1st grade teachers that we were going to homeschool the next year, she was very negative and used that kind of reasoning. She said children need to be around other children so they can constantly get knocked down and not get the idea that they're special. Strange but true, I honestly think it bothered her that he didn't get picked on by the other children - there was a lot of disturbing bullying in that school, but he wasn't a target. His other teacher, though, loved him and was thrilled for us, and said she wished she could quit work and homeschool her own children.

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#33 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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Just a few more thoughts to toss in...
I often hear the argument from homeschool parents that children don't need same age friends - that they enjoy being with all ages. There's some truth in that, BUT...

It's been my own observation that while it's absolutely delightful and heart warming to see a group of homeschoolers happily playing and including all ages, that doesn't mean they don't also want same age friends - especially, but not only, as they're coming into ages 10 and up. And there comes a time when that can drive them to want to go to school, or demand to go to school, if they're not given good opportunities to have same age friends. I think that's just a natural human tendency. Parents can't just be complacent and tuck into their individual nests, thinking everybody's going to be as satisfied with the arrangement as they are. I've seen that backfire big time, causing families to have to give up homeschooling.

I've also seen budding teens, as young as 10 or 11, get really fed up with having to always be part of groups where the needs of all the younger children have to be met - it can be pretty limiting, and the needs of the older ones can get pretty marginalized. Not only that, but it's not that uncommon for parents to start looking at them as built-in help in looking to the needs of the younger ones. The parents often think of that as helping the older ones learn to enjoy responsibility, and being a great thing for all concerned - but it can get old.

And another issue - but an important one - I've known them to express the passionate need to have some separation from their younger siblings, even though they might otherwise like them and get along with them just fine. Maybe that's just a natural part of individuation.

We had one activity group in which there was some real animosity between parents, because those who didn't have older children didn't understand why there should be a separation of activities. They had their minds made up that their children would do just fine in the older children's workshops - and it was really maddening to try to make them understand that those older children really, really wanted/needed some personal space for a change, with just their own ages, without their younger siblings there. And that was pretty awkward - because obviously no one wanted to have to tell everyone, "Look, Joey is angry about having to have Billy around all the time! He really wants to have some space to himself once in awhile." The ones who didn't have younger siblings weren't as passionate about needing the separation, but they still relished the idea of having that kind of separation for some group activities.

These were all really nice kids - they just wanted their own space for some activities. They wanted it so much that they even developed their own separate teen group that met away from the normal park day with just one parent facilitator. I think that was unfortunate, because it mean that their parents were no longer connected through a park day, and so weren't in close communication about a lot of important issues - it would have been nice for everyone if they had felt supported enough to keep coming to the main park day and having their own space there.

Just some thoughts to mull over as you go...


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#34 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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Can I just say, while we're talking about the stereotypes and generalizations of homeschooling that are false... We seem to be offering up our own stereotypes and generalizations of PS children. It's not really fair, especially not to children like my dd who is in school and doesn't fit into any of the "children in PS are/act/do..." that have been listed here. I've met only a coupld who are truely like that and my dd makes friends with anyone she meets on the playground, so I've met almost the entire school at least once.

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#35 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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When I hear that term, or the idea of kids who "look" homeschooled, I think of the kids who dress funny and/or in dirty clothes, have bad homegrown hair cut, don't comb their hair or brush their teeth, and have no boundries. ( I only know one family like this, and they have burned through all the homeschool groups in our general area.
These were all of the hs families I knew growing up. I desperately want to homeschool, but DH is still seeing that image of hs. The only other family he knew had children who went to public high school and had a *very* difficult time dealing with the transition, i.e. their parents hadn't prepared them for deadlines, asking permission to go to the bathroom, etc.

So I don't think people who express concerns about socialization are "in the box" thinkers necessarily. They're just responding to their experience with people who are homeschooled, and I think it's only been very recently when the majority of homeschoolers didn't seem like weirdo religious kids.

One of the issues I'm struggling with is how much we will be able to provide activities for our children to do with other children so that they have experience with other people roughly their age. I think it's important that they know a variety of people, but I believe children do need at least some time spent with other children.

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#36 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 08:04 PM
 
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Can I just say, while we're talking about the stereotypes and generalizations of homeschooling that are false... We seem to be offering up our own stereotypes and generalizations of PS children. It's not really fair, especially not to children like my dd who is in school and doesn't fit into any of the "children in PS are/act/do..." that have been listed here. I've met only a coupld who are truely like that and my dd makes friends with anyone she meets on the playground, so I've met almost the entire school at least once.
I don't see it that way. I think that we're discussing how our hs children get to avoid the socialization/pressures that PS kids get. It's well known that popularity is important to many kids in PS. This can keep them from truly being themselves. How affected they are by the social pressures of school is different for each individual child for sure. It's good that your daughter seems self-assured enough to avoid those pressures. It also speaks well for your school. We're just helping to reassure a parent who may need some reassurance after a bad visit with her BIL. Hopefully, next time he starts in on her, these arguments will come to mind and she'll put him in his place!

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#37 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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I don't see it that way. I think that we're discussing how our hs children get to avoid the socialization/pressures that PS kids get. It's well known that popularity is important to many kids in PS. This can keep them from truly being themselves. How affected they are by the social pressures of school is different for each individual child for sure. It's good that your daughter seems self-assured enough to avoid those pressures. It also speaks well for your school. We're just helping to reassure a parent who may need some reassurance after a bad visit with her BIL. Hopefully, next time he starts in on her, these arguments will come to mind and she'll put him in his place!
It's sort of along the lines of that other thread, Things you can do in homeschooling that you can't do in PS. Have you spent time with the parents of a child who wants to be like everyone else? The parents have the same desire. It's not the school that causes it, it's society. I'm just trying to point out that for the same reason you can't paint all homeschoolers with the same brush, you can't paint all PSers with the same brush.

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#38 of 57 Old 11-09-2008, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you spent time with the parents of a child who wants to be like everyone else? The parents have the same desire. It's not the school that causes it, it's society.
That seems a little...broadly stroked? I am one of many who has nothing against PS kids, but I do have some distrust for public schooling. I didn't pick up on any stereotyping of PS students in this thread.
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#39 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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That seems a little...broadly stroked? I am one of many who has nothing against PS kids, but I do have some distrust for public schooling. I didn't pick up on any stereotyping of PS students in this thread.
Well, there are some people in the thread listing ways that homeschooling children are different from those in public school, a lot of which has more to do with the parents involvement and what they are teaching their children then anything else. That is stereotyping... actually it stereotypes both sides... and it's not fair to any child. I'm pretty sure it's possible to discuss the lack of socialization stereotype without saying things like "I can usually tell the homeschooled kids in a group because..." It's also possible to explain why homeschooling is better for your child without trying to put negative characteristics on kids who do go to school.

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#40 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 02:10 AM
 
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The most shy and mousy homeschoolers I ever met were a family who had JUST taken their kids out of school. The oldest had just started her freshmen year of highschool when she was taken out. She was extremely quiet, no social skills, dressed like someone's grandma, etc. The only thing that changed after they started homeschooling is that they were happier and a little bit more talkative and friendly. Yeah, there are unsocial homeschoolers...but there are plenty of unsocial schoolkids too. I think your personality is a huge factor and it's annoying when it's blamed on your education.

People ask me about socialization all the time when they find out I was homeschooled. It's ridiculous. I have friends, I'm married...I'm obviously able to carry on a conversation with them...so why is it that my social skills are in question?
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Here's my take on it:
it's all about popular culture. If you don't know about the latest fad and what's considered to be "cool" right now, aren't interested in the "flavor of the day", or if you have your own interests that aren't considered trendy and don't care, then most mainstream sheeple will think you are wierd and can't socialize.

The greatest, most intelligent people I know have very off-beat interests.
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#42 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 09:12 AM
 
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The most shy and mousy homeschoolers I ever met were a family who had JUST taken their kids out of school. The oldest had just started her freshmen year of highschool when she was taken out. She was extremely quiet, no social skills, dressed like someone's grandma, etc.
Not all children who are shy or "backwards" are odd because they were in any type of school situation. My oldest child, now 13, has always been very, very shy. He is shy to the point of being comfortable with himself and doesn't care what others think. He prefers being in groups, dresses normal thank you very much, but he is just shy and very quiet. It's his "personality." I think a lot of people forget that we are born with certain personalities. My son hid around me when people talked to him when he was a mere 1-2 yrs old. I remember when he was 5 that an uncle of mine that we saw often asked if he ever talked because at that age he still had never heard him talk.

My son is a very normal, smart kid at home and around people he is most comfortable with, but he is is just very shy. If I could change that part about him I would but I can't. It's who I was when I was a young child and teen and it's who my DH was as well. He took after both of us and we didn't encourage his type of personality nor did the type of schools he has attended (or not attended) encourage him to be this way. And, btw, my son has attended a public school, a private school and he has been homeschooled. Which one should I blame it on? I prefer to blame it on none of the schools because I know he has been this way since he was first able to walk and talk. I wish more people would recognize it for what it is and stop blaming school situations on how their children are personality-wise.

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#43 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 09:18 AM
 
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These were all really nice kids - they just wanted their own space for some activities. They wanted it so much that they even developed their own separate teen group that met away from the normal park day with just one parent facilitator. I think that was unfortunate, because it mean that their parents were no longer connected through a park day, and so weren't in close communication about a lot of important issues - it would have been nice for everyone if they had felt supported enough to keep coming to the main park day and having their own space there.

Just some thoughts to mull over as you go...
Well, yes, I've seen this too. I have friends that have graduated their homeschooled children, and some of those children are married and have kids of their own already. So I have been able to witness that for the past 12 years myself and have seen the various ways kids socialize. But that still doesn't mean children need to be around kids their own exact age for 180 days, 7 hours per day, 5 days per week, all of the school year either. I think it's perfectly normal and fine for homeschooled children to prefer to be around children their own age at some point or always for that matter. I would never deter that in any way. That's fine IMO. But I don't feel it's right to say that a child "needs" to be put in a school just so they can be around children their own age in "order" to socialize properly all day.


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#44 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 12:28 PM
 
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It's funny how everyone 'knows' a 'weird' homeschooler. Kind of like my experience with infertility and everyone 'knowing' someone who after they adopted, had a baby on their own. Even though for the VAST % of people, that does not happen, so the fact that everyone KNOWS someone like this is a bit suspicious
:

Now that you mention it, it does seem very similar!


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Have you spent time with the parents of a child who wants to be like everyone else? The parents have the same desire. It's not the school that causes it, it's society. I'm just trying to point out that for the same reason you can't paint all homeschoolers with the same brush, you can't paint all PSers with the same brush.
I don't agree with this at all. The WHOLE IDEA behind public school is CONFORMITY. Everything in a school is designed to encourage conformity to the desired norms of that school. Then there is the added layer of peer pressure to conform to the peer group.
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#45 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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I feel sad reading this thread. It takes all kinds, people. ALL kinds.

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#46 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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ETA: I also read stories of people saying that when they were around a group of homeschooled kids that they could "tell" there was something different about them. That they "can't but their finger on it" but it was "something....." Granted, I wasn't there, but it almost seems like these people only pick up on something either 1)because they were informed they were homeschoolers so they had an antenna up and they just HAD to find something "different" but couldn't really find something different. Or B) the kids act and think out-of-the-box and possibly more expansive than many of the adults they encounter. I swear, since I don't know any homeschooled kids in my IRL, the youtube kids are winning me over!
Count me as one of those people! I have noticed something different about home schooled children. In fact, it's that very difference that is one of the driving factors to me considering homeschooling my DS.

The difference that I've noticed is that the home schooled children were much more comfortable talking to adults, and much more comfortable talking to younger children than traditionally schooled children. I've also noticed the home schooled children I've been around are more polite. It isn't a forced politeness, but an easy-going, natural politeness.

Another thing I've observed is how much my nieces changed after they entered school for the first time at 8 years old. I didn't like the change I saw, and neither did my sister. They are back to home schooling now.

I do understand that my observation has been very limited and there is a huge range of personalities, etc.

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#47 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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I feel sad reading this thread. It takes all kinds, people. ALL kinds.
What do you mean?

No one here is putting down public schools. I'm certainly not. All I've said is that a child doesn't need to go to a school outside the home in order to get socialization. My children have been there/done that and have been in several types of school situations and they all react the same, whether at home doing school all day or in a school doing school. It's their personality.

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#48 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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Or maybe I'm just upset because I'm a homeschooled, homeschooling, unsocialized, weirdo religious person that wears out of date clothes that *gasp* don't even match (when I get out of my pajamas) with a homegrown haircut too, that may not even get brushed every day, let alone fixed, ever.

Or maybe I'm not. I'm not telling. Whatever.

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#49 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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What do you mean?

No one here is putting down public schools. I'm certainly not. All I've said is that a child doesn't need to go to a school outside the home in order to get socialization. My children have been there/done that and have been in several types of school situations and they all react the same, whether at home doing school all day or in a school doing school. It's their personality.
The problem I'm seeing is that people are using that as a reason to start talking about what makes homeschooled children more fitting of their ideal.

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#50 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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Getting out of your pajamas and brushing your hair and teeth are bare minimum in my world.
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#51 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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The problem I'm seeing is that people are using that as a reason to start talking about what makes homeschooled children more fitting of their ideal.
Not that homeschooled children are more fitting of our ideals, but the socialization that is so often criticized is actually more fitting of our ideals. It also helps our children to be the people to grow into how we hope that they will. This conversation naturally evolves into some sort of comparison between normal (PS) and different (hs). We tend to favor the HS way, obviously, since it's what we've chosen to do.

So many times we get bashed for our "lack" of socialization. When I told some people that we were going to homeschool, some of the responses I got were "Oh, that's so sad."

We're doing something with our children that is a little different than the mainstream. It's misunderstood more often than understood. We like to comfort parents who've been attacked for their non-mainstream ideas. Sometimes that means comparisons.

Here, we tend to dislike the socialization of PS. It's a theme here, which is why we've mostly chosen a different path for our children.

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#52 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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Getting out of your pajamas and brushing your hair and teeth are bare minimum in my world.
Kudos to you. If I'm not leaving the house I'm in my pj pants 95% of the time and probably at least 20% of the time I'm in pj pants when I do leave the house. No they aren't all flannel. And I have dreads. Not really, but I would if I wanted. My hair is short and I happen to like it not brushed. It is straight and fairly thin so doesn't tangle easily. Now not cleaning teeth is a totally different issue cause its about hygiene and health.

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#53 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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Not that homeschooled children are more fitting of our ideals, but the socialization that is so often criticized is actually more fitting of our ideals. It also helps our children to be the people to grow into how we hope that they will. This conversation naturally evolves into some sort of comparison between normal (PS) and different (hs). We tend to favor the HS way, obviously, since it's what we've chosen to do.

So many times we get bashed for our "lack" of socialization. When I told some people that we were going to homeschool, some of the responses I got were "Oh, that's so sad."

We're doing something with our children that is a little different than the mainstream. It's misunderstood more often than understood. We like to comfort parents who've been attacked for their non-mainstream ideas. Sometimes that means comparisons.

Here, we tend to dislike the socialization of PS. It's a theme here, which is why we've mostly chosen a different path for our children.
Thank you - spot on and eloquent. - Lillian
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#54 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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You can dislike something with out putting down those who like it.

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#55 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 07:13 PM
 
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My husband and his sister were homeschooled and both have suffered social issues from it, however it's not the homeschooling, it's the WAY they were homeschooled. Whether your children are homeschooled or in waldorf or mainstream school, it IS important for the parents to a)have their children understand we live in a society of human beings and we need skills to negotiate our way in life and b) retain their individuality.
Socialization...I don't know if that is important, however for the child, he or she must be made to feel deeply, unconditionally loved...and from that all will be well! When you poke the surface, we are all weirdos, some hide it better.
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#56 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SMUM View Post
When you poke the surface, we are all weirdos, some hide it better.
Poke, poke.

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MissRubyandKen is offline  
#57 of 57 Old 11-10-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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As I mentioned up thread I was an introverted homeschooler. I knew I was weird and it made me uncomfortable. Now that I am older I've just embraced my weirdness and found that most people seem to like me anyway. :

I think the problem with the families that everyone seems to know is not just that they homeschool but that they do it for religious reason (not that that's bad, that's one of our reasons) and they over shelter their children to the point where they have no interaction with other people outside of their family or church group. And even if they seem awkward around "outsiders" they may be more "normal" around their group of friends.

It's still silly for people to make assumptions though that this is how every homeschooled child turns out.
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