(also socialise) • verb 1 mix socially with others. 2 make (someone) behave in a way that is acceptable to society. 3 organize according to the principles of socialism.
— DERIVATIVES socialization noun.
Today, I want to talk about how we socialize in our homeschool. Before I get into that, I want to say that our family does have some children Homeschooling and some in the Public-School System. I share that so you know that I am familiar with school systems and various types of homeschooling. I am not an expert and this post is an opinion.
That being said, I do feel that Homeschooling is a best choice option, and if I had the guts… and a time-machine, I would homeschool my children from the beginning. However, I think we all stumble along and do our best according to what we believe mixed with what we encounter along the way. Or, is that just me?
Anyway, one question people always ask about Homeschooling is: “What do you do about socialization?” Occasionally, people ask, “How do they find friends?”
The second question is much easier to answer! This is really a question about how we:
- mix socially with others
- make someone behave in a way that is acceptable to society
We find friends and fun all over the place. In co-ops, where many homeschool families get together and run classes and have activities together, in church youth groups, in park and recreation activity classes, in museums, at nature centers…at the beach.
We find kids and adults, we even find grandmothers and grandfathers who have amazing stories in all kinds of places. We have choices. Some opportunities are even free because I am registered as a homeschool teacher (that does not happen as often as I would like, but I have learned to ask stoically)
Is it hard to access all these wonderful options for being social? Well, that depends. Personally, I am an introvert…so it has been hard to sometimes make those introductions, set up those classes and get out and find life. But, for my children, who all appear to be extroverts…it comes naturally. They are inundated with invitations.
Sometimes, it can be hard to find social avenues. Recently, we moved and I realized with real dread that we had to begin all over again. When I began Homeschooling, I had a marvelous friend who introduced me to a group of veteran homeschoolers who taught me so many things—Thank you Kia!
When we moved, I lost all those connections. In a new town without knowing anyone, you need to begin again. Sometimes it can suck. In fact, here I have written emails to two local homeschool groups and the state homeschool group. I have been surprised and dismayed to get no answer. There are caves here, so maybe….Just kidding.
So, it is not all rosy. But I can still get involved with local sports and museums…and little by little, we build our life back up.
Now, back to question #1: “What do you do about socialization?”
People who ask this specifically are often really asking:
- How do you make (someone) behave in a way that is acceptable to society.
- organize according to the principles of socialism.
This question underscores a belief many people have that people need to be raised similarly to fit in society. I disagree with that assumption.
I do agree that people need others—like Cicero says “We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race”.
And on a daily level, I know my children crave interaction: “As any action or posture long continued will distort and disfigure the limbs; so the mind likewise is crippled and contracted by perpetual application to the same set of ideas.” Samuel Johnson
However, throughout time children have been raised in their families with activities and community with great success.
Children do not need to be herded together and socialized.
The more I notice, the more I agree that with Immanuel Kant’s statement that “School is a place of compulsory culture.” And I do not mean that in a good way.
I want my children to have the joy of learning to learn…not the drudgery. I will teach them to wait patiently in a line…but to the best of my ability, I will not make them line up like cattle.
This quote strikes me very strongly. This is an idea I fight every day,
“People nowadays like to be together not in the old-fashioned way of, say, mingling on the piazza of an Italian Renaissance city, but, instead, huddled together in traffic jams, bus queues, on escalators and so on. It’s a new kind of togetherness which may seem totally alien, but it’s the togetherness of modern technology”, J.G. Ballard.
You know, when you look up socialization today, the description itself and many quotes lead directly to socialism. If you follow that path, which I will for this discussion…this leads to the path our health care and school system is taking, bit by bit. And, that is not the path I want for my children.
“Socialism is like a dream. Sooner or later you wake up to reality.” Winston Churchill. And I, as does William Casey, “Pass the test that says a man who isn’t a socialist at 20 has no heart, and a man who is a socialist at 40 has no head.”
Comments anticipated and welcomed.
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To enter, leave me a comment on this post. Giveaway will end 2/15/10.
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