The first thing anyone ever says to me when I say that we are a homeschooling family, is “Well, do they get enough socialization?”
I find it incredibly ironic and quite insulting at the same time.
One, why is everyone so worried about whether my kids are getting socialized at all, and not MORE worried about the way their kids ARE getting socialized? No one seems to stop and think about what things their kids are learning from their social opportunities from peers, and the atrocious behavior exhibited by some school kids. As report after report comes forth about school bullies and suicides over them, I am surprised we have enough time to worry about the million kids that are homeschooled and their social experience, and not the MILLIONS of kids that go to school who may get really crappy social experiences from the thousands of schools that exist out there?
A kid will get picked on because he’s too fat, or too thin, or not cool, or doesn’t have the right clothes, or doesn’t watch certain shows, or wears glasses, or isn’t fast, or is too smart, or isn’t smart, or has two Dad’s, or likes Star Wars, or doesn’t like ballet, or she is a girl.
I was once at a local park and overheard the conversations between some 11 year old kids. One boy said to one of the girls as she was sliding down a pole, “Just pretend it is a pubic hair, so and so, you slide down those everyday.”
Hmm. I am only mad at the time I didn’t call the police and report him for sexual harassment. Next time I will. I should have been more proactive, but I was alone with my own two babies. But is this the social opportunity my kids are missing everyone is so worried about?
All I am saying, is that society needs to worry a little less about my kids socialization and a little more about kids and their behavior across the board, all kids, all the time, and why we seem to be allowing crappy behavior to continue.
If you wonder why I might find the idea that my kids are going to be weird and socially inept because they aren’t getting ‘socialized’ by societal standards irritating, listen up. I love my kids. If I didn’t think homeschooling was the best choice for us all around, we wouldn’t have done it. I would not intentionally do anything to harm my kids, and I sure as hell hope that I don’t create a pair of uni-bombers.
So let me be the worrier about what is going on for my kids. I promise I worry a lot. I promise I will be harder on myself than you ever will. I promise I will do my best to not create any outcasts as so many of you seem to be fearful of. I promise they will learn. I promise I will try and teach them to be kind, compassionate people about the world around them.
I can promise you I will try. I can’t promise you about the results.
Lucky for me, neither can the regular old fashion school. After all, I went to a really good public school that is usually on the lists for top 100 schools in the country…and guess what? I ain’t perfect by a long shot.
Spill it: Why is socialization such a strong concern for people? Seriously? Is it really a worry about me and my kids? Or is it really a worry because they think it is a commentary on their own choices?