How much socialization?

Discussion in 'Homeschooling Forum' started by abcgrad94, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    We've all heard it from our friends and family about how our poor little homeschooled kids aren't "socialized" enough. It wasn't really an issue when we homeschooled before, because our church had lots of kids and activities and we did a lot with our local homeschool organization. But since dh got ordained and we moved and are in our current church, I am a little worried about the socialization aspect.

    Our church is very small, with only 2 other children besides ours, and those two are so badly behaved I really don't want our kids playing together on a regular basis. Most of the homeschool activities are at least an hour away from us now, and with the price of gas it might be a stretch just to go once a week.

    Any suggestions? My girls play well together, but after a while they will fight. They do need friends to play with. It doesn't help that a lot of our friends and family frown on homeschooling.
     
  2. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Socialization was probably my biggest fear when we began homeschooling. You get a lot of pressure from other parents and there is always this fear that I am rearing children who will be unable to function in society and end up hermits or serial killers. I think that the mechanics and facts of school are the easy part. Anyone can teach grammer or mathmatics, it is the socialization skills like friendship, loyalty, and how to work with others that are not only harder to teach but more important in life. When is the last time your boss asked you to use the pythagorean theorem? When was the last time you had to work with someone you really did not like?

    But socialization is also one of the biggest problems with the state school system. It is not the teachers and the cirriculum that scares me as much as the other kids. As homeschool parents we can exert maximum control over the other kids our children interact with and that is a very good thing.

    Our kids socialize in the several ways:

    1. Church, it sounds like that is not a good option for you abcgrad. We are blessed with a pretty good youth department right now. But I would not rule out other churches either. A good friend of mine is Presbyterian. Whenever our Baptist youth departmend has an activity he sends his kids with mine. I also let my kids attend and work at their VBS this last year.

    2. Sports, we have a good county rec leage. 3 of mine have played soccer and one has played basketball.

    3. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, we are a big scouting family. I just think this is an awesome organization. My wife and I have both served as scouting volunteers and all 4 of my children have been and are currently scouts.

    4. Summer Camp - we have a great Christian camp nearby. 3 of my 4 have been and the yougest will go for his first time this year. (he is 8). They know some of the kids already and I know several of the staff members. But they always meet new kids. My daughter especially is very loyal writing and calling her camp friends (she is 10). She is our only girl so perhaps that is why she reaches out to other girls quicker than our boys do.
     
  3. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Those were great suggestions. I do know some Christian homeschooler parents who do scouts, but I've been hesitant because we've heard the Girl Scouts promote homosexuality. These parents have said they are in charge of their local group and they don't promote it there, so maybe I'll check into it some more. Our kids do Upward basketball and cheerleading in the winter. I had forgotten about that one. Thanks. You've given me some options to think about.

    Basically, I'm not worried that they will be social misfits. It's more because they get sick of each other after a while and need someone else to play with. (There is a 4-year difference in their ages and the youngest drives the older one nuts sometimes.)
     
  4. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    With scouts so much depends on the local leadership. Nationaly Boy Scouts have taken a real beating over the last few years for our stand against homosexuality. But I have heard of local councils who don't. You just need to see what is available locally and evaluate it. My daughter does not go to the closest girl scout troop. We have one right here in town but we dirve 45 minutes to take her to another troop that we like better.

    Depending on where you live 4H or FFA/FHA might be good choices to look at also.
     
  5. TaterTot

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    I teach in a private school where many of our students have been previously homeschooled. Most of them do really well when they assimilate into the system. I have asked them about their experience and those that seem more well adjusted than others had things like sports, ballet, community theater, church programs, music lessons, etc. Those that stayed home and spent time learning knitting, sewing, cooking, gardening, etc, do seem to have toughter times relating to others.

    Scouts may not be what you need, but something like that, where another adult invests in your kids is a great way to start.
     
  6. Joe

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  7. menageriekeeper

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    LOL! Where's TLB? I heard her tell her kids the other day that she wasn't going to let them go play with others until they learned to play nicely with each other!

    Honestly, the LAST thing I worried about when taking Chris out of public school was socialization, though this was the FIRST thing everyone else griped about.

    I believe that children who learn to play well with their families will also play well with others. The family is God's first tool toward "socializing" the human species.

    The arguing thing? Humph! ALL siblings argue and bicker at some point or another. My are all pestering each other right now and have been for the last few weeks. I have one homeschooled kid and two public school kids and they don't argue anymore now than they did before we started homeschooling. Matter of fact, the bickering lessened after we pulled Chris out.

    Not that I put up with a whole lot of it anyway. Disturbing Mom's peace is a bad, bad thing and you don't want to be the instigator, the instigatee or the audience when Mom's peace gets disturbed (disturbing Dad is even worse!). Usually the threat of getting to spend time alone in their room (the horror!) or worse being forced to sit side by side on the couch holding one another's hand (learned this one from TLB) is enough to get them to settle things for themselves. Mom's solutions are just plain painful! :laugh:
     
  8. Don

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    Socialization was the first thing my mother brought up when I announced we were going to start homeschooling.

    I asked her, which socialization skills are you afraid they won't get? Underage drinking? Swearing? Teenage pregnancy? Drugs? Alcohol? Disrespecting authority because it's the cool thing to do? Destorying the self-esteem of others because that's what it takes to make sure you're "in" with the cool kids? All the other social skills that I myself learned from public school?

    What she was actually afraid of, was that I was going to sequester my kids in a dark basement, and not let them out until they left the house.

    She's complimented me on how well my children get along with others, but she still doesn't like homeschooling. It doesn't fit in with her world view.
     
  9. TLB

    TLB
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    Socialization...IMHO...is highly over rated!

    "(There is a 4-year difference in their ages and the youngest drives the older one nuts sometimes.)"

    if they need time apart, send them to different corners or different rooms for a set amount of time.

    mine have been doing much better since telling them they would not leave the house until they like each other:laugh:

    however, i do have 2 (10 & 8) that will be doing their chores holding hands for the next week:laugh: :thumbs:
     
  10. trustitl

    trustitl
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    abcgrad94
    "Basically, I'm not worried that they will be social misfits. It's more because they get sick of each other after a while and need someone else to play with. (There is a 4-year difference in their ages and the youngest drives the older one nuts sometimes.)"

    If your children or any homeschooled child turns out to be a social misfit, it isn't homeschooling's fault, it is the parent's. It is time homeschoolers get over the guilt trip placed on us for not socializing our children. Stop and really think this through and you will see that homeschooling is a way better picture of society than a classroom. Where in society do you find 25 people the same age working together? A factory or the military is about the closest you can find.

    A friend of ours introduced us to the term "pooled ignorance" a number of years ago. This describes the atmosphere in most classrooms and playgrounds. Put a bunch of 13 year olds together and you will see it very quickly. Why homeschool parents feel they need to recreate this for their children is always hard for me to understand.

    A home is the perfect environment to develop "social skills". The classroom may be a better place to learn how to compete in the world, but not how to deal with people. That is why we choose outside activites that will develop skills for working, public speaking, etc.

    Talking with a bunch of kids your age for 180 days is hardly the place to learn how to learn to be a mom or dad, something that almost everybody will do. Neither is it the place to learn how to serve those younger than you or to show deference to those who are older. So lets not get defensive or feel guilty anymore!

    I have the "advantage" of having 6 children with an age span of 3-14 (plus a 1 year old foster child), so those of you with 1 or 2 children face challenges I do not, but you must also see that you have advantages I don't have.

    If your children are getting sick of each other, you do not need to turn to other people to fix it. If you do, your children will slowly turn their hearts to these other people and you will have missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity. Getting together with other families (with the dads) is what we do and find it to be better than some of the activities geared toward a specific age group. If your family and home is a happy and joyful environment your children will be lightyears ahead of their public school peers in their ability to relate to people, young and old alike.

    Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

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    We homeschool (more she than we) and my kids are fine. We do have them in a lot of activity, homeschool sports, YMCA, Cub Scouts (i'm the asst. cubmaster), horse riding, et. Some thought my daugther is "immature" at 10 because she doesn't know who hanna montana is, hasn't had 3-5 boyfriends yet (and doesn't want any) and still loves to play with dolls. I can live with that. lol
     
  12. mcdirector

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    This is what I was thinking when I read your post and here Don said it so well!

    Let the girls participate in the things they want to participate in. Don't PUT them into anything for the purpose of socialization. They learn to socialize from you and dad. You teach them how to eat properly and use good manners. They'll learn it much better in this environment than any other.
     

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