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  1. #1

    Default The Socialising Problem

    Hello. My wife is expecting and I know we are jumping the gun a bit, but we have been talking about the idea of homeschooling. We both went through public school and it wasn't a great experience. She also has nieces in school and it seems like many of the problems just keep getting worse.
    Our concern about homeschooling is that there isn't enough time for interaction with people outside of the family. I know there are many groups that do public activities for children, but we aren't sure if that can match a full 8 hour day, every day of the week.

    I was wondering if anyone here could offer advice or something for us to look into.

  2. BEH Dec
  3. #2

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    Welcome! And congratulations on your family.
    Consider what sort of experiences you and your wife had in those "8 hours a day" of public school... what the quality was, how much it reflects your day to day reality. Could you imagine a conversation between adults "Well, yes he could work at home, but he will lose out on all the social skills he needs to make it in the world."
    Is a class of 30 first graders what you would consider a natural social state? Im sire there are role models among them, but like in Lord of the Flies, without good guidance, theyre not likely to make the best decisions.
    In "natural" settings, like an extended family and friends group, kids interact and learn from a bigger range of ages - siblings, cousins, kids of friends.... and usually parents keeping an eye over things. How often do kids in a family situation have to line up (t-day dinners aside), or raise their hand to speak or go to the bathroom? Or sit still and be quiet while other people are finishing their assignments? To me, the anti-social thigs kids are subject to in public schools is whats freaky!

    Socialization is the ability to politely interact with unfamiliar people... homeschoolers are around their parents, hopefully a better role model.

    Having a consistent peer group is important to kids... and here are plenty of afterschool activities for them to pick from. They can play with their neighbors kids, they can play with their relatives, they can xbox with all sorts of people.
    Usually its not an issue. Sometimes, as homeschooling parents, we feel that as the gatekeepers of all interaction, that we need for our kids to have more friends. Im sure it happens with public schooled kids too, but I guess kids thrust into a class of 30some others are expected to find enough and quality ones on their own.
    Its really a non-issue. Homeschool kids seem to be more comfident in public, friemdlier and more helpful than the PS kids Ive encountered. Its nice having the kid that spontaneously offers to put the mom with 3 tots grocery cart away for her.
    The response has been "wow what a polite helpful kid". Why is it an unexpected surprise when kids are well-socialized?
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Evolved Deli76's Avatar
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    I would like to add to the above. My kids are 9 years apart. My oldest is out of the house, so dd is the only child at home. Some of us who have only one at home find that our kids get bored a bit more. There are plenty of options for kids to socialize. Whether you have 1 child at home or 20. There are play groups, educational hiking groups, library groups, field trip groups, art groups, cooking groups, and co-ops. Too many more to list. For dd, she has done art, scouts, co-op, sports and play groups. Now that she is older, she volunteers at an animal shelter and works around all kinds of people, learns how to interact with the world around her all while building a work ethic. She has met many kids of all ages. She has met some really great kids. I had mentioned and thought about putting dd back in ps, but my dad and his wife said "Why? She's such a good kid"? Its not to say that public or private schooled kids are all bad. My son went to public school from kinder to graduation. He's an awesome kid (well...adult now lol)! I am a strong believer in each child has different needs. There are plenty of social opportunities.
    Also, when your baby grows a bit, try out some home school play groups.
    And no, you aren't jumping the gun. There is nothing wrong with planning a future and doing your research.
    Congratulations!!!
    Last edited by Deli76; 10-15-2017 at 01:24 AM.
    Bobo 13 yrs old - marches to the beat of her own drum, driven, out going and loud, yet she loves nature
    Booger Boy 21 yrs old - quiet, self assured, confident and laying his own path

    umbers cucumbers!!!!

  5. #4

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    I'm homeschooling my 6th child now, my other kids are young adults and teens who were all homeschooled for most of their school years.

    No one has ever questioned whether my children were socialized enough if they have actually met them. Even my current 4 year old is just as happy to talk to the elderly neighbors as he is to play with other kids. People are always amazed at how social he is. Where did he get these social skills? From us, his parents.

    Think about it for a minute, would you rather your child learn social skills from 20 - 30 other kids their age? It's more like the blind leading the blind than an appropriate way to learn social skills. Our 4 year old was enrolled in Early Headstart last year because he has childhood apraxia. We had to correct more inappropriate social behavior while he was spending 8 hours a day with his peers and once we brought him home he had to be retrained to remember what appropriate social behavior was.

    Above and beyond learning more appropriate social skills from better role models, he is more relaxed now that we have him home, his curiosity about the world around him has returned (that light burned out spending eight hours a day of being told what he needed to learn) and he is on track to be ahead of his peers by the end of the year because we can go at his pace. Not to mention we have the freedom to teach him the skills that our local schools have decided aren't worth teaching anymore like proper handwriting...

    For us, the benefits of homeschooling far outweigh any perceived benefits of being with his peers all day.

  6. #5

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    I recognize that it can be a "problem" for some families. If you live out in the boonies or if you are the only secular family in an area with few homeschoolers or lots of extremely religious homeschoolers, then there can be challenges.

    However, in general, this is not a problem at all. My kids have had a *more* consistent peer group than most school kids - their core best friends have been around since they were all in preschool and they're in 8th grade now. They have a lot of friends that they see consistently - including schoolkids now that they're older and have been in the same activities (like ballet and children's theater) for several years. They have plenty of opportunities to work with others in team type situations. Most of our homeschool friends have pretty much the same situation.

    Plus, while there are jerks in any group, most of the homeschooled kids I know are nicer on the whole than the schooled kids I know. They're better at talking to adults. They're better at asking questions. They're better at thanking people for contributions. They're better in mixed aged situations. Most of them have never experienced serious, long-term bullying and thus are just psychologically healthier.

    Sure, it's not the same as being with other kids for 8 hours a day. But... ugh. I don't like to be with the same grown ups for 8 hours a day. And when my kids are with other kids, they're engaged in doing something collaborative or playing or in an activity they've all chosen to do. That's nothing like school, where kids are sitting in a room together working on things they might not want to... just in the same room. Or being forced to do "group work" where that one kid does nothing and they get penalized for it. Or being distracted or slowed down by the others. Or having the group get ahead of them and there's no chance to catch up. When my kids are socializing, they're socializing. When they're doing schoolwork, they're doing schoolwork. I don't think they missed a thing by spending a couple of days a week just playing, usually outside, for many hours with their friends, and having math be at home with just them throughout elementary school.

    Again, I don't want to downplay the idea that some families in some communities do struggle to find friendships and social outlets. But the idea that this is a problem for most families is laughable. Homeschool socialization is a BENEFIT of homeschooling, not a drawback, for us. No bullying, no gender conformity, no single age groups, no useless "group work"... It's better.
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  7. #6

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    My daughter and I have experienced/seen both as she was in public school for 3 years before being homeschooled. She is a very social person, loves playing and chatting with friends. For us, homeschooling wins hands down in the socializing. My daughter has both a emphatic 'no' when I ask her if she misses playing or group time and school, and an emphatic 'yes' if I ask her if she gets enough friend/peer/play time now we are homeschooling.

    School socializing was actually super stressful for her. Experiencing some bulling, or seeing other people be bullied, or having empathy for the stress from her overworked/under-supported teachers in too large classes–she used to just come home and have a meltdown. Some of those things that Alexsmom says, like putting your hand up/needing permission to go to the toilet, totally stuffed her up. Figuratively and literally. She became chronically constipated, with all its associated not-nice issues, because of school.

    To be honest, I think the whole 'benefits' of school socializing is just a myth and something that gets repeated to make people feel better about the crappy industrialized education system that we have.

    Edited to add–having sat in on both public school classes and homeschool group activities with my daughter, I can also say that the quality of social interaction and learning going on in the homeschool environment far exceeds that of the school environment. I am known to come home from homeschool education outings and wax lyrical to my DH about how amazing it is to see all these happy, polite kids that are given this freedom to explore where their curiosity takes them rather than being bored with rote learning and asking/answering the expected line of questions in school. School kind of goes by a script right, and you don't get much of a chance to deviate or allow other lines of interest to evolve because their are so many kids to teach and you need to do it in a certain way.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 10-16-2017 at 08:40 PM.

  8. #7

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    My DD decided she wanted to go to middle school this year after homeschooling for the last 4 years. She has gone into a new school in a new town with confidence. Far more confidence than I had at this age and I knew kids at the school I was going into. One of her friends has been struggling with sadness and the empathy and maturity that DD has approached this issue has blown me away. I really think that her years of homeschooling and ability to play with all ages and relate to a wide variety of kids has made her a much stronger and happier person. I am so glad that we ended up homeschooling her.
    Beth
    DS14 with ASD, DD11 and DS8

  9. #8
    Junior Member Newbie Caroline's Avatar
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    This is a fun question because it's the easiest one. So long as you provide outside activities with other kids, you're golden. I've got 4 kids, the first two were homeschooled during the earlier years and my second two are nearly 100% homeschooled. Socially they are all extremely well adjusted... in fact, if you want socially well adjusted kids, then homeschool. There is soooooo many activities these days for homeschoolers, you can't fit them all in. If you did all of the social opportunities, you'd never homeschool. My two youngest are 11 and 13. They go to co-op on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Thursday they go to play practice for three hours (a theater group for homeschoolers). In addition to their friends outside our home, they consider each other their best buddies. Right now all of them are playing Mario Cart together, and they are so different from each other. My oldest is 22, and his wife is over playing with them who is also 22. Then there's 19 years, 13 years, and 11 years. Even though my son and daughter-in-law have their own place, the five of them regularly get together just to hang out together. It's really a beautiful thing and I think a lot of that has to do with homeschooling.

    I say all that because socializing should be the least of your worries. There are things to worry about with homeschooling, but socializing isn't one of them.

    Cheers!

  10. #9
    Junior Member Newbie sunflowermommy's Avatar
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    Hi nice response very helpful. I would like tk askt hough when you said there are things to worry about with homeschooling but socializing isnt one ofnthem means. Im a newbie homeschooler who tends to second guess it all still but troeing more confident everyday in my decision to homeschool my kids. But I still want to know what problems others have or are facing in the homeschooling life. Since you half mentioned it I wanted to ask you what problems if not the socializing have you indeed faced?? Thankyou forbyour time.

  11. #10

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    I think as homeschoolers, we run into troubles just the same as other parents. They would be the same troubles as non-homeschoolers would have, they just manifest in homeschooling ways.
    If you have a particular trouble, ask about it. Someone else has probably dealt with it, or something similar.
    Well-socialized kids isnt one of the troublespots, though.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

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The Socialising Problem