Friday, February 11, 2011

New Remarks on Socialization

I swear, if I hear one more person ask me about "socializing" my kids, I'm going to scream.

Look.  When I was in school, and I tried to talk to my friends, my teacher would turn to me, fire in her eyes, and say, "You are not here to socialize, young lady!  You are here to learn!"

So why do people think that homeschooled children are somehow missing out if they don't learn to stand in line?  Do they think I lock them in a closet?

My kids talk to everyone.  They use please, and thank you.  I've taught them that the definition of being a lady/gentleman is someone who makes others comfortable in their presence.  They are comfortable asking adults for assistance.  They attend Church activities and Cub Scouts, walk themselves to their events (or ride their bikes), show up early to help their leaders set up and stay after to help clean up. 

In a typical day, they talk to: the grocery store clerk, the librarian, an ex-cop, my business partner, all the kids in the neighborhood, their nephews, Scout leaders, Church leaders, and neighbors.  Because they'll play with any kid that's reasonably nice to them, they are highly sought after playmates.

Mercedes shovels the walks for us.  She's decided that with the next snow, she's going to shovel walks and driveways for some of our older neighbors (and maybe make some money at it). 

You know, they get along well with nearly everyone, they know how to deal with bullies effectively, and they often help others learn to deal with challenges of friendships.

That is how I want them socialized. 

No one thinks they are weird - in fact, they are remarkably well adjusted. 

Of course, we all know public school never turns out strange, maladjusted children.  Ever.  Right?  And if it does, it's obviously the school's fault.

What?  It's not?  You mean, kids turn out to be like their parents?  What a concept.

Relax about socialization.  Relax about socializing.  You want your kids to manage in the real world - not just the pressure-cooker of public schools.  If you take them places with you, and allow them to interact with a large variety of people - they will be fine.

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