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Monday, March 5, 2012

Why Do We Homeschool?, Part 4

And now for one last look at the final thoughts in a four part series that answers that ever-looming question, "Why do we homeschool?"...

If you need a quick recap of the first three answers, head on over to...
Why Do We Homeschool? Part 4-because we believe it provides the most accurate picture of true socialization.-The Unlikely Homeschool

4.  We homeschool because we believe it provides the most accurate picture of true socialization...that's right...SOCIALIZATION!


If you have homeschooled for any length of time, or are even in the process of CONSIDERING homeschooling, chances are, you have been interrogated with questions surrounding the socialization (or lack thereof) of your children. 

Homeschooling critics love to point out the fact that my children are not privy to daily interaction with their peers...meaning thirty other kids their exact same ages.  But, why is that considered a BAD thing?  In my opinion, this never-ending socialization inquiry is best answered with a few logical questions.  

First...when else in life do you ever have a room full of people the exact same age?  How many adult professional or social circles are divided up this way?  If it were such a positive, or necessary segregation, why wouldn't those same principles of separation be carried over into adult hood?

On the contrary, the majority of a person's life is spent in the company of people of all ages.  Why?  Because a true SOCIAL ORDER requires a sampling of numerous life stages.  A healthy social experience has a wide spectrum of ages represented so that the older can teach the younger, the younger can learn respect, and they both can glean from the strengths and weaknesses of the generations before and behind them.

I'm so grateful that my children do not have to be hindered by any age-prejudice when choosing relationships.  They have learned to value friendships with adults and kids older and younger than them and never feel the need to ostracize anyone due to a chronological number.

Second...why would I rely on the moral/social code of a seven-year-old to be the moral/social compass for MY seven-year-old?  Is it essential to have thirty seven-year-olds crammed together in a room to magically impart a level of social etiquette to one another?  How many REAL LIFE social boundaries are established due to the examples set by children who have not yet mastered social boundaries themselves?

As homeschoolers, my children are in constant contact with people of all ages and are able to see wonderful examples of how one IS or IS NOT to act in social settings.  And isn't that what socialization is all about?  Since when did socialization constitute having a lot of friends that are the exact same age?  Isn't the very definition of SOCIALIZATION the ability to interact/function in numerous social settings?  In my opinion, the only social awareness that is established in the example of a traditional classroom setting is the ability for one seven-year-old to interact with another seven-year-old.

So perhaps, by the traditional school view, my children are quite unsocialized.  But I'll whole-heartedly embrace that label knowing that TRUE socialization means actually interacting with the WHOLE of society...not just a handful of people born the same year.

*Obviously, "What about socialization?" is not the ONLY question that pops up from the curious or the critical.  For more answers, be sure to check out my Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions.

6 comments:

  1. I found myself wanting to scream, EXACTLY!, as I read this, thanks so much for the insight and for your blog, so much help and inspiration here.

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  2. And learning to get along with their siblings and develop strong relationships within the family as well.

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  3. Well said! Our kids have so much socialization there's barely any downtime! And it's with, like you said, ALL different ages. They are able to interact (and usually behave?) well around grown-ups, in church services and with the various ages of kids at their gym activities. Thanks for saying it so well!

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