So today, I want to talk about one of the key things that most non home schoolers seem to worry the most about: socialization.
According to dictionary.com, the definition is:
a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values,behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
And if we accept this definition, I want to ask a simple question…How does this happen when you are forced for 15 years (assuming you start with JK and end at grade 12) to be with the same group of people?
I argue it can’t. The public school system is programming our children to fit in a ready made mold. That our kids must always be like every other kid their age. This is truly evident with the doing away with the idea that kids should not fail if they do badly. They are promoted and handed an IEP so they can stay with their age group. God has created each of us to be unique, and while we have laws and societal norms, each person must come at that from where they are.
For example, a child born and raised partly in India and then moved here will have a different “social skills” then your typical North American.
I don’t see how any child can “acquire a personal identity” if they being told to act like the rest of their peer group. They are dealing with a system that is based on what they should be able and what they look like rather then who they are and are designed to be.
It is like the comic where the animals are tested based on whether they can climb a tree.. if the animal is a monkey of course they’ll pass…but if they are a fish, well too bad so sad you better climb the tree anyway.
As for ” learning the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to their social position,” is it not really the responsibility of the parents to begin with?
So what do we do to socialize our children now that they don’t have a constant peer group?
Baker Mom and I have 6 god children whom we see regularly, 3 on a weekly basis and do a co-op program with. These three are of various ages and have special needs.
What my kids learn from this outside academics is compassion, understanding and love towards their God-siblings. Also they learn to help out.
Both kids are involved in a local skate club that meets for most of the winter weekly and they are at different levels so they are socializing with different age groups and they have a blast.
Also, we are part of a home schooling group that puts on various events and activities each month and this group is of also all ages and we find that the older ones take on responsibility for and work with the younger ones without any hard feelings.
We also are part of two science groups that meet regularly through out the year and is, again, all ages.
Attending church and the family service and kids church gives our kids the opportunity to interact with all ages.
I have found that the kids are happier meeting and getting to know people from all ages. They get to hear stories and knowledge that they would not get from anywhere else.
I believe that this Godly socialization especially within the family of God,. They have come to accept all people for who they are and do not see “differences” that are often in the public school system. Cliques do not exist and each individual have value.
Ephesians 2:10 says:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Our children can only fulfill this if we guide them properly as God intended and not change their core essence to be an automaton for the bigger machine.