View Full Version : Socialization

SueEllen Grieves-Curl
03-03-2011, 09:33 AM
I know I know it a foul word and we are all tired of it. Why is it that when you tell other people that your children are home schooled that is the very first thing they think of. We are still fairly new at actually home schooling and I am already tired of this word.

My stand is that I do not feel any other 6 year old has much good to teach my 6 year old. Well when the other parent has a 6 year old they get offended. Than later on their child says a curse word and they do not even correct her. Um if my child says a curse word you could bet I would pull her off of anything she is doing and we will be talking about it. And if she decides to continue we will be leaving. So then I ask why do you wonder why I feel this way. You judge and look down on us while allowing your child to curse. I guess if you hear profanity as much as I hear please and thank you, you get used to it. And you wonder why I choose to not "Socialize" my child.

Ironically if you look up Socialism in Wiki you will find right next to it the word Communism. Now the main concept is not all that bad, however the way it has been used has been for greed and we all know how that turned out. If you do not know how they usually turn out please inform yourself.

Going back to Wiki you will find that Socialization is not all that different. I hate to copy and paste it but it really is an interesting meaning so please go read what it says.

So with this word there is a lot of different opinions and thoughts. How do you feel and how do you socialize your children or do you avoid doing that and let it come naturally?

Me I put them in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and they have other friends at varies places we go.

03-03-2011, 11:05 AM
I think my children are doing fine without their public school socialization. I take them everywhere with me when I can, doctor, dentist, shopping, errands so they see and talk to plenty of people young and old. They are in structured sports programs (gymnastics, curling, swimming, and ball), so again they meet and see and talk with all types of people. They are learning on a daily basis what manners are; how to be polite; and how to treat others with respect.

I also teach my boys to fight back, and not to be a victim (there are unofficial bullying issues in our local public school). I won't stand for bullying against my boys, and hope my kids will have the maturity to stand up for themselves (or to stand up for a sibling). My boys know that if they pick on one another, they just might get picked on themselves.

I only wish we had a martial arts class closer to home! But we enjoy whatever extracurricular that we can ;)

03-03-2011, 11:33 AM
Some thoughts, which are not just mine, as I feel like people have expressed them many times...

* Socialization happens for kids naturally - being around adults, going out, meeting others, etc. - It can't be stopped just because kids aren't in school.
* There are multitudes of opportunities for kids to socialize outside of school - including to get the sort of classroom or group experience that kids get in school.
* Homeschooled kids often learn socialization skills - such as interacting with adults in their community or interacting with children of different ages or being friends with their siblings - that school kids may miss out on.
* The sort of "socialization" that happens in school has a big negative side to it - cliques, bullying, exclusion, etc.
* Some people feel homeschoolers are generally nicer and better socialized, others disagree and have had lots of experiences with homeschoolers acting just as nasty and cliquish as kids in school.
* If "socialization" is the only reason to send a kid to school, it's not much of a reason.

I do think actually that other 6 year olds have a lot to teach my 6 year olds. But not random 6 yos they meet one time at a playground - their good friends who they see on a regular basis. I feel that learning to listen to others, make friends, deal with exclusion (not bullying - just not fitting in or finding yourself the odd one out), work in a group, etc. are all important skills that require peers.

I had a blog post (http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/a-few-good-friends/) about this awhile back that probably states what I'm saying a little clearer. I think it's not just about being around other kids - it's about forging and maintaining friendships and having a quality of interaction.

03-03-2011, 12:12 PM
Great post Farrar! I agree with all of it.

03-03-2011, 01:18 PM
Great post Farrar! I agree with all of it.


Despite my very recent post questioning the whole HS thing for our family, this and other threads renew my faith. I am anxious about pulling DD out of PS, but also excited for her in that it will free up her time to explore many different activities and socialization opportunities that a PS schedule limits severely.

How nice it was yesterday to meet up with DD after her weekly art class at the library and actually be able to talk with her teacher, and to see her interact with new friends, and to have the class welcome both me and DS in to enjoy some snacks. (That could happen in a PS, but it would be rare.) I want more of those experiences for her and for myself.

03-03-2011, 01:34 PM

Despite my very recent post questioning the whole HS thing for our family, this and other threads renew my faith. I am anxious about pulling DD out of PS, but also excited for her in that it will free up her time to explore many different activities and socialization opportunities that a PS schedule limits severely.

How nice it was yesterday to meet up with DD after her weekly art class at the library and actually be able to talk with her teacher, and to see her interact with new friends, and to have the class welcome both me and DS in to enjoy some snacks. (That could happen in a PS, but it would be rare.) I want more of those experiences for her and for myself.

I expressed some doubt on the other thread too, but I'm actually more and more certain that homeschooling is the best thing for us right now.

I completely agree with Farrar that socialization is a matter of quality rather than quantity. I was thinking back to my own childhood. In elementary, I had a best friend who meant so much to me, but I didn't meet her at school. She was a grade ahead and lived in my neighborhood. As I got older, I made friends through school, but also formed groups and dated people met through life outside of school. You don't need a lot of friends, but you sure do need at least one good friend as you get older. Luckily ds and dd are very close and fill that need for each other right now (though they have other friendships too).

03-03-2011, 02:40 PM
Socialization is the least of my concerns. My kids are out and about and after a bit, they warm up and will chat your ear off. They talk to people of all ages, which IMO, is real socialization. You don't live life with people your own age but rather with people of all ages and backgrounds.

I don't remember that much socialization in school anyway. I remember it being against the rules to talk during class and even during lunch. We could talk in recess, but I don't know how much time schools allot for recess these days anyway.

Stella M
03-03-2011, 04:33 PM
Home schooling is great for my children's socialisation!

Not to be contrary, but it hasn't been so 100% rosy in terms of their ability to socialise. Being minority secular in a Christian world. Experiencing behaviours you'd associate with schools. Having to deal with kids with disengaged parents. And so far as I'm concerned, all the quirky, interesting kids seem to be in school here and all the dull "I just want to go to Bible camp, get a boyfriend and wear lipgloss" girls are homeschooling!

And it really gets to me that here, everyone holds to the party line of there not being any social issues with home ed, when there blatantly are. Yes, jaded and bitter!

I know the schools are full of air heads too, but mixed in are the interesting kids. They're sure not out here...friend-wise, my kids would probably be better off at school. It was fine when they were little and could be their own friendship group but now they want to branch out and what do they get ? Invitations to Baptist youth group and conversations about clothes, that's what. How boring can life get ?

And what about the parents ? I am very able to deal with a variety of people in a variety of situations by virtue of much teeth-gritting practice but I'm kinda sick of it. All my friends are in the school system. All my potential friends in this city are in the school system. And whilst finding this site has been incredibly helpful to me in terms of feeling like there are people out there homeschooling who I'd want to talk to IRL, it isn't real life.

In real life I have to go to co-op and hang out with a bunch of mothers talking about their next Christian - only camping trip. Yesterday I was so over it I spent most of the afternoon outside with the little boys who were way more entertaining. Also more polite.

On reflection, I would say h/s has failed my daughters socially. Sure, they missed out on a lot of the crap but they also missed out on finding a group of friends who they could be themselves with. My son is having a better time of it; he has a few good friends atm, all, of course, Christian!!

03-03-2011, 05:50 PM
Melissa, did you italicize socialisation to try to get us to spell the British way? ;)

I'm sorry you've had that experience, though. I hear these stories and I feel like that so easily could have been us if we lived in a different sort of community. It makes me extra grateful for the fact that I live in such a liberal area, where even the Christians in our homeschool groups are liberals. Of course, I also hear stories from parents around here saying they can't find friends and that's just confusing to me. Then it turns out they never go out. So, um, duh.

03-03-2011, 05:51 PM
That's sad Melissa :(

However your story is one of the very reasons why I work my butt off to ensure that my kids and myself have a solid social circle.....I see that as a huge part of my responsibility. I do not want teens that don't have friends...I don't buy into the notion that kids will be fine with just their siblings, we all need and crave human interaction outside of the family unit. Granted littlies are fine at home with just mum and dad, but as someone that runs a largish inclusive support network I see it all too often...teens with no friends.

Making friends takes work, you can't sign up for a gym class and tick that off as socialisation, in my opinion anyway...that is a structured class that leaves little time for interaction. Now if you meet an hour before hand or stay back and hang out for awhile then fair enough. I just don't get the whole attitude of my kids attend this class and that class but still have no friends. I also don't agree with how little importance many homeschool parents seem to place on building solid friendships for their kids.

I totally agree that there is definitely an issue with the social side of homeschooling, it is so segregated all based on religion and that is very sad....in saying that as a secular family I'd prefer my kids to not have to be indoctrinated every time they went on a play date!!

Stella M
03-03-2011, 06:08 PM
Oh, we go out! We've been going out for nigh on 8 years now! And we have put a consistent effort into trying to create social circles for our kids. However, you can't conjure like-minded people out of the ether.

03-03-2011, 06:12 PM
Oh, I hope you know I didn't mean you! I just meant that in some places it's impossible to find a social group for homeschoolers. And even if you're somewhere where one can be found, it still takes effort.

03-03-2011, 06:16 PM
ditto that...I wasn't aiming that at you, it is just my thoughts on the whole schbang!

Stella M
03-03-2011, 06:21 PM
Oh, I know :) Don't mind me, I'm just having a tetchy day.

03-03-2011, 06:23 PM
Maybe pie will help. Do you have pie? I think pie is the most social of desserts.

Oh, no, wait, that's fondue.

03-03-2011, 06:36 PM
Just go a block chocolate and don't share with anyone.....who needs socialising anyway ;-) lol

Stella M
03-03-2011, 06:41 PM
I could host a fondue party but the co-op mums probably don't want heathens spoiling their cheesy Jesusy goodness with their evil bits of bread. And the girls we invited wouldn't want pie for dessert 'cos 'they're dieting!' WTH ?? Jesus needs you thin? It's like feminism has yet to reach the little backward corner of our homeschool world.

I am totally baking a pie tonight and inviting you all to a virtual pie-fest. There'll be photos.

03-03-2011, 06:55 PM
Ohhh, I should make a pie... Hubby has been asking for one. Pumpkin Pie tonight.

But on the socializing thing I have no fears. My kids are out with the neighbor kids just about every good weather day. AND if anybody knows how to get the kids to leave at night please let me know. I am always having to toss some out at dinner time.

03-03-2011, 07:21 PM
Are we back to pie? I spent what seemed like the whole day yesterday cooking for my son's birthday--french toast, blueberry cake, and homemade pizza (not all at once). I'm all cooked out for a while.

Okay, back on topic. I feel like my kids' opportunities for socializing are limited right now, partly by choice. My son completely loses his head in a large group of kids--something about the stimulation causes his ADHD to go into high gear. We've been sticking to playdates and very structured activities like karate and swimming lessons. I'm glad my kids have each other to play with (and practice social skills). We are also all homebodies by nature, and are content to putter around the house all day.

03-03-2011, 08:21 PM
It always comes back to pie.

And socialization. Two topics homeschoolers can't stay away from.

03-03-2011, 08:38 PM
You guys and your pie.....we just don't have that going on down under...I'll join you for fondue though Melissa;-0

03-04-2011, 11:32 PM
As far as socializing, I agree that just living life out in the real world provides plenty of opportunities for that. I want my kids to learn how to behave from us and kids we know, not their peer-pressuring school friends. (Case in point: Tornado came home the other day saying, "Oh damn, oh damn," over and over. Not that we're anti-profanity here, but we're careful not to say it in front of our kids. I can only conclude, based on having volunteered for his Head Start class, where he picked that up from. And it's not the first such phrase.) I think both our kids prefer to be around grown-ups, Hurricane especially. Kids don't understand him because his Asperger's traits make him talk about stuff that adults find precocious but kids think is just weird (the main reason we pulled him from PS in the first place, actually). He talks quite freely with adults, and they respond. And our kids have friends almost the exact same age across the street who play with them, plus karate friends, and now possibly one who also takes lessons from Hurricane's piano teacher. They're apparently planning on forming a band called Devo II. :)

Bottom line is I'm not sweating it. Socializing in school is overrated, IMO. I see no problems in my kids' normal development as small human beings. If and when I do, then action will be taken to correct it.

03-05-2011, 11:32 AM
I like Pie.

My son has a t-shirt that reads, "You've read my shirt, that enough socialization for the day". He wears it proudly, especially around other homeschoolers, everyone gets a laugh at it.

03-05-2011, 11:37 AM
If you look on cafepress.com and do a search for "homeschool," lots of stuff comes up. I have two ideas that I might try to put up there.

03-05-2011, 11:42 AM
Ditto Mark, we were toying around with a school name "St. Lucifer's Academy" using the College font with flames and then underneath the name have "home of the nightly BBQ" and on the back coming up from the bottom have a devil's tail. I posted this idea sometime ago on an atheist site and had about 20 people either post or pm me that they wanted a sweatshirt/t-shirt too if I made them.

03-05-2011, 12:17 PM
Mommykicksbutt--I LOVE your t-shirt idea! Extremely funny!!!! ;) Nightly barbecue, indeed!

Farrar--your post about the socialization was right on! Very adept, as usual!

Melissa--you crack me up with your refusal to just buy into the 'everything is always peachy in the homeschool world' mentality. While I am truly sorry that you are surrounded by few opportunities for real socialisation, frankly I am too busy laughing to be of much help. It is TOO BAD that you can't just summon good people out of the ether, cause if you could, I'd be summoning a whole bevy of pool boys (do they come in bevies?). Pool boys with pie! (Don't worry, I'd summon them for you, too!) Anyway, it is hard to not have a quality social support system, because really I believe it does make a difference for the better. In our house, we had a good support system for some years, that really helped. Then we moved and have been pretty isolated. Combine that with a lot of other factors that get in the way of getting out and making friendships that matter, and it has contributed to a greater sense of stress in our house. However, I have found that this site, even if it is not in person, has helped fill a void, if only by way of allowing for connections between people who "get" each other. :)

Stella M
03-05-2011, 04:52 PM
I'm all for dirty realism...

Maybe pool boys ? I'm not so into a tan...