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I gotta share this with you all, since I don't know many homeschoolers in real life... came in my email today!

"That Dreaded "S" Word

It seems that the question most often asked of homeschooling
parents is
"What about socialization??

Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging
and
playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching. Eventually,
they begin to talk. ...

W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts --
helps
me keep track of them.

W2: (Smiles) I'm Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do
you
come here a lot?

W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.

W2: Wow. Where do you find the time?

W1: We homeschool, so we do it during the day most of the time.

W2: Some of my neighbors homeschool, but I send my kids to public
school.

W1:: How do you do it?

W2: It's not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with the
kids
every day after school and stay real involved.

W1: But what about socialization? Aren't you worried about them
being
cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the
opportunity for natural
relationships?

W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some
friends
who're homeschooled, and we visit their grandparents almost every
month.

W1: Sounds like you're a very dedicated mom. But don't you worry
about
all the opportunities they're missing out on? I mean they're so
isolated
from real life --
how will they know what the world is like -
- what people do to make a living -- how to get along with all
different kinds of people?

W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTO, and we started a fund to bring
real
people into the classrooms. Last month, we had a policeman and a
doctor
come in to talk to
every class. And next month, we're having a
woman from Japan and a man from Kenya come to speak.

W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other
week,
and he got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo. My kids were
absolutely fascinated. We
invited him to dinner and got to meet his
wife and their three children.

W2: That's nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for
the
lunchroom on Multicultural Day.

W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.

W2: Oh, no. She's on a very tight schedule. She has two other
schools
to visit that day. It's a system-wide thing we're doing.

W1: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, maybe you'll meet someone interesting in
the
grocery store sometime and you'll end up having them over for dinner.

W2: I don't think so. I never talk to people in the store -
certainly
not people who might not even speak my language. What if that
Japanese
man hadn't spoken
English?

W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it.
Before I
even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he was going to do
with
all the oranges he
was buying.

W2: Your child talks to strangers?

W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he's with
me,
he can talk to anyone he wishes.

W2: But you're developing dangerous habits in him. My children
never
talk to strangers.

W1: Not even when they're with you?

W2: They're never with me, except at home after school. So you see
why
it's so important for them to understand that talking to strangers
is a
big no-no.

W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meet
interesting people and still be safe. They'd get a taste of the real
world, in real settings.
They'd also get a real feel for how to tell when a situation is
dangerous or suspicious.

W2: They'll get that in the third and fifth grades in their health
courses.

W1: Well, I can tell you're a very caring mom. Let me give you my
number -- if you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meet
you."
 

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Thanks for sharing that!
 

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I remember getting that a couple years ago - it completely changed my way of thinking about child-stranger interaction. We now follow the "if mom is there, it's okay to talk to whoever you want" rule.
 

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Very good...I shared it with our unschooling network.

It does kind of turn the tables on the socialization question and make you see the irony of the question.
 
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