Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example, starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.~The Dalai Lama
This page is about the individual human need to be social and a part of and responsible to the community at large. Please share your stories and personal commentary!
These stories, commentary & vignettes offer a view into how and why we live life without school.
A few Questions we hope to address:
- Are you worried about socialization?
- Don't your children miss being with other children?
- Are you sure your child is not being isolated?
- How will your children learn how to interact with their peers?
- How do hs children learn to deal with adversity?
- How will your children learn to cooperate with others?
- What does it mean to be socialized?
- Are homeschooled children sheltered?
I have become more aware that my children need to be with others with whom they feel a connection. They need time to play, talk, create with friends and less time being directed, even if with friends. They need to create their own socialization. Play is a valuable teacher. I see that they are "socialized" (or more aware of others and how to interact with others based on individual people and situations) every day they play with friends, every day that we are out and about in our world, every day we turn on the television or watch a movie, every day we read a book, every day we interact with each other.
I am sure that our boys socialization began while being poked and proded by nurses and doctors before we got to bring them home from the hospital. We were surrounded by family and friends the minute we were wheeled out of the delivery room. They were constantly being held and talked to by everyone for days on end.
The boys have no choice but to go with us to the grocery store, or wherever we go. People love babies and are not afraid to show it. Most of the people we come across are grandma and grandpa types. The kids are inevitably parked next to other kids at some point while strapped in the shopping carts. That's socialization right?
Neither of our boys have ever attended daycare or preschool, yet both are very outgoing and enjoy being around people of all ages. Our oldest son (4 1/2), loves to tell everyone his age and all about the animals on our farm. And, of course, our 2 year old always chimes in with something funny to say. I can't help but wonder where people get the crazy idea that homeschooled kids are not socialized. Don't they take their kids out in public when they're not in school?
We live in rural southern Virginia on a farm.
~Charlene (mom to Lucian (4 1/2) and Gary Steven (2))
I think that the socialization question comes from the assumption that a family who homeschools is living up in the mountains away from any other contact. Our family is quite busy with activities and other homeschool groups, as activities with family--they get plenty of (adult supported) social opportunities. The idea that children need to isolated by age group and that socialization comes about only through interaction with peers goes against the evolution of the human being and is a development only seen throughout human history from the mid 1800's on. It is only a recent experiment, and which judging from the isolated, lonely, scarred, and disenfranchised feeling many people come out of the school system with does not seem to support healthy socialization. The picture of healthy socialization must include a model for children to feel embraced, supported, included and valued. Who felt that way in school?
Socialization is the process of learning the norms and rules of society. We all learn how to behave and how to act appropriately in public situations. We learn this as children and as adults, when we enter new arenas, for example: college, a new professional environment etc. We are taught the cues that help us to pick up on the rules of a certain situation. If your children participate in a family, attend a church, are involved in a sports program, a scouting program, go to a museum, a grocery store, a court house, etc. they are being socialized. It has been argued that one of the main problems with public school is that it offers a skewed view of
society. Never again in your life will you be separated into age groups. Thirty, 8 year olds, are not good rule models for each other. Schools teach children how be behave in society by using peer pressure. I have long thought that the greatest advantage I give my children homeschooling them, is my guidance in social situations. I monitor, and correct if necessary, their behavior every time we go out. I also offer alternative solutions to disagreements or confusing situation. I have time to explain why and how we do the things we do. Children who are out in the world, socializing with the public at large, are much better socialized then children locked in a class room with their peer group. If my children leave home as adults who can comfortably navigate the world, I have socialized them well.
Stories & Commentary
Posts by Guest Authors
This picture isn't really related to shelter....except I have been cleaning out my shelter lately....
Posts by Featured Authors
Shock Value, by Missy
The other day, my 7-year-old son and I were leaving Starbucks. The local high schools had just let out and the tables outside were filling up with the same crowd that shows up every day: the non-conformists. The angst-ridden non-conformists who look exactly like the angst-ridden non-conformists that I went to high school with over 20 years ago. Lots of black and leather. Studded accessories. Sullen expressions. Cigarettes. The iced mochas, well...that's new....
Anything for a Friend ~ by Linda
As a child, having friends is a primary concern. Not necessarily how many friends, but access to friends. Is the calendar booked with play and social opportunities? If yes, life is great. If not, life is a miserable, torturous event to be survived with much moaning and groaning....
Socialization: A Shift in Perspective ~ by Cindy
My son, Eli, was diagnosed with high functioning autism/Asperger's Syndrome in 04/96. He knows about the good parts of autism and the hard parts of autism in his life. Eli also knows he has a tender heart which means he is highly sensitive and that he is very creative which means he is a strong right-brained learner. He is a gifted musician as well. Often, it can seem that Eli is unaware socially speaking, but I was to discover with the following incident (the names were changed to protect privacy) that he had a more sure compass....
The Isolated Homeschooler~ by Stephanie
One of the more common arguments against homeschooling is that it “isolates” kids. That somehow kids, if not in school, will never be exposed to the world at large. That homeschoolers sit at home all day with no interaction with anyone outside their family....
Socialization Already Answered~by Cindy
Eric seemed bored and I was newly nauseous with morning sickness with my fourth child, so we decided that Eric should try a well-lauded area child development center preschool associated with the local university for a half year. So in January, just before his fifth birthday, he began attending two days a week....
I am beginning to tire of the many articles, essays and responses I keep running across on what has become to be known as the "socialization question."...
Forward: This is part of a letter that I began to write after repeated frustrating encounters with a family member. This part is my attempt to share how my children live out their “socialization” as we homeschool....
Is Socialization an Issue?~by Tammy
As most of us know, one of the main concerns people have about homeschooling is whether ample opportunity is available for (proper?) socializing between children. Arguments aside about whether socializing between equal age children is necessary for a healthy childhood, homeschooling proponents claim that in today's modern age of easy communication and travel, that socializing while home educating is a non-issue....
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