|I am not advocating childcare, but I do believe that social interaction with children other than the siblings, is very important to raising a well rounded child.|
I have a toddler now and I am very fortunate that I do not work away from the home (except an occasional weeekend when she is with her daddy). I try to set up regular playdates with other babies because of everything I stated earlier.
l, this is the part of your post that I am responding to. My homeschooled kids have more social interaction, more interaction with the real world, and more interaction with babies, children, adults than they ever did when they were in school all day, then in after school activities, then home to a couple of hours of homework. (Each of my kids left school at some point during their 2nd grade year).
Just for grins, and not necessarily for beatgirl, I am going to list the last week's social activities my children participated in. I do respect the decisions you've made, beatgirl, and I'm not trying to convince you, or defend my own decisions. But because there are other people who are thinking about homeschooling who are reading this thread who may be under the same misconception that homeschooled children are not properly socialized, I want to list the real social activities that my real children participated in during the past week. I have a 10 year old son (ds10), and an 8 year old daughter (dd8):
- Met new homeschooling friends at a park for the afternoon. Hung out with their mom, 1 year old baby, 4 year old son, 8 year old daughter, and 9 year old son. 9 and 10 year old boys happily included 4 year old boy in their playing. After the park, my ds10 went to this family's house to play awhile longer while dd8 went to her dance class - where she has several friends from a variety of backgrounds, several of whom are also homeschooled
- dd8 went to her French class with 3 other kids - 2 white, one Indian, one hispanic. In the afternoon, our family went to a large local park where there was a huge Civil War re-enactment. We watched a re-enacted battle, walked through both the "Yankee" and "Rebel" camps. Talked with many re-enactors who stayed in character discussing their family lives, the war, their beliefs, their domestic tasks, etc. Hundreds of people from the community also there.
- Both kids and I attended a birthday party for a boy from our homeschool group who was turning 11. There were about 10 kids there - several of whom had *terrible* social experiences when they were in school - not my kids, but others - heartbreaking. All these kids get along so well, it's great to see. We then dropped dd8 off at a friends' house for a sleepover. Dd10 and I came home, and after about an hour our neighbors dropped by with their 11 year old son, and 11 year old friend, and 13 year old daughter. We had a spontaneous party! I threw some pasta in a pot - the neighbors ran home and brought back stuff for salad, dh and and our friends jammed in the barn (which is now a mere shell of it's former self - sniff). Ds10 then decided to put on a Billy Blanks Tae Bo tape, and all 4 kids - along with my friend Tae Bo'd in the living room, giggling like crazy.
: Picked up dd8 from friend's house. Had a mellow day of hanging out, cleaning up the garden, etc.
: dd8 went to her last writing workshop for the year - with a group of homeschooled kids. I took ds10 to the climbing gym where he met another kid, and they bouldered together for awhile. I then dropped ds10 off at home, picked up dd8 and took her to her dance classes.
, another mellow day. Took the kids to the climbing gym. Ds10 is developing quite a passion for climbing. Cooked dinner with dad at home, and watched movies together in the evening.
- Beach Party with our homeschool group. About 45 people ages 6 months to 66 years old from a variety of economic and racial backgrounds munching, talking, laughing, swimming, boogie boarding, skimboarding, building sand castles, digging holes.
3 - Kids spent a good part of the day in the creek collecting bits of iron they found. We learned all kinds of things about iron, and other metals from websites we found on Google. Dd8 went to her dance class. Ds10's friend who spends every other weekend living next door is in town. The two of them are inseparable when he's here. After dd8 came home, the 3 of them explored the creek, and built paper airplanes for hours.
: French class with dd8 this morning. Ds10 and his friend set up a campsite, and spent the day exploring the creek, and adding to their tree house. This afternoon, dd8 and I went to a birthday party for 4 kids - at the beach again. It was huge! Tonight, I'll camp out with the 3 kids. Dh just went to check on the camp site set up.
Also, during the week we went to the grocery store, the bank, the pharmacy, etc. where the children can and do interact with all kinds of people from their community. It didn't happen this week, but we also participate in volunteer work in our community where we interact with *tons* of people from all over.
Whew! As you can see, the issue here isn't "not enough" social interaction, nor is it social interaction only with an exclusive set of people, separated by age, or neighborhood, or family income, or race. Our issue is: Too much social! I mean, I do have to get the laundry done at some point! :LOL