Monday, October 24, 2011

Homeschoolers: The Educated Unsocialized. WHAT????

Homeschooling parents can tell you, without hesitation, the very first words they hear from opponents of home education:  "But what about socialization?"  That's so odd to me.  Who sends their kids to school to socialize?

 I do understand that we moved our cherubs from the sun and fun of Cape May County, NJ, to the Middle-of-Nowhere, WV, and that they need to see people other than us.  I am a social person.  But, I also assert that they do not consider each student they have run into in public school a potential friend.  I think people are naturally selective in their relationships.  I told both kids going into this wild and woolly venture that they could invite friends over any time they wanted. They don't do alot of inviting.  They have established friendships with other homeschoolers in the area and spend a fair amount of time with them.  We also take part in Fun Friday (term coined by a hokey, local, homeschooling mom) activities.  We have visited the  Frontier Culture Museum and Marker Miller Orchards.  We are headed to Mount Vernon (George Washington's homeplace) next month.  We also get together sometimes just to--dare I say it?--PLAY.

I created a Facebook page called Homebodies and encourage both parents and children to join conversations going on there.  As a group (and sometimes with others), we ground-picked a truckload of apples, made 24 gallons of applesauce, studied the Constitution and its creation, enjoyed a small, intimate dinner and sharing time with two international workers who currently serve in Indonesia, and made s'mores over a fire built and maintained by two homeschoolers.  So, you see, we are quite a social bunch.

We eat, we pray, we love.  We laugh, we learn, we socialize.  Plus, our kids' teacher loves them better than anyone else on earth and knows them inside and out.  She understands when they are frustrated and never chides them for not catching on to something right away.  She doesn't excuse bad behavior by blaming it on their classmates, and she never EVER has to shed her pajamas because she was called to school for a parent-teacher conference.  She has the time and energy to collect and grade each assignment, not just the first three to pull the week's grade out of a stack of papers.  She believes her students' time is valuable. Who could ask for more?