This is how we answer the big question about homeschool and socialization
And in this article, my turn to ask questions, see if you can answer them - honestly.
When people hear you homeschool, they grasp for air and then quickly ask the question as if they don't really want you to notice how "worried" they are for your sake.
What is that question?
"But what about friends and socialization?"
I've just recently had this question asked twice in one week.
One person even suggested that the biggest mistake I could have made was to take my son out of public school, because he is shy.
My answer: some people are introverts and some extroverts.
Even children that are in public school all their lives can be introverts.
Sadly, the introverts gets bullied the most.
As I'm writing this, I'm thinking back to when my son was still small, about 2 years old. I said to him, these two people (showing me and my hubby) are your best friends.
As we were jumping on the bed and riding tricycle (yes, jumping on the bed and riding on a small tricycle) I told him that we are the only friends that will ever really care about him and his future.
Does my kids have friends?
My son has a friend that he had since he was in public school who regularly come visit.
I must admit here that some of those friends disappeared as soon as we started homeshooling.
Personally I think the parents are afraid that their kids will hear how much fun homeschooling is and their kids will want to do it too - so rather keep them away :-D.
My daughter, doesn't have friends who come to visit, because while she was in public school she didn't have friends.
There goes that theory that says when they are in public schools they have friends.
When she was in grade 1 she had a great friend, BUT this friend was a boy.
The kids being too big for their shoes these days, said that he is her boyfriend and they are going to get married.
They teased them regularly and both of them couldn't take it anymore, so they stopped seeing each other at break times.
After this, she would sit all by herself at break times. If she did make a new friend, it didn't last long. She realized that this friend just wanted to share her lunch (or any other favor) and it was not about being a friend at all.
So now its my turn to ask a question
Are friends really that important if they only hurt them and destroy their self confidence?
Must they go through these things to become stronger people while still finding their roots?
I don't think so.
We are not unsocial, sometimes we go to have a braai (BBQ) at some friends and we do leave the house to do things.
It seems as if some people think when you homeschool that you are cooped up inside your house the entire day (every day) and do nothing but teach, learn and study.
Couldn't be more wrong. We have allot of fun too, baking, going to the movies, shopping, camping and all the fun things people do.
In general, kids didn't study psychology (yet) and they are not considerate of the feelings of others - sad but true.
They don't know that years after they hurt someone - that person is still struggling because of being the victim of bullying.
They continue with their lives as if nothing happened and they don't even think back to the times they hurt someone else.
They don't think of the consequences when they hold a child smaller than them in the bathroom and don't allow them to come out.
As a parent standing outside, waiting for your child to come out can make you worry.
And when a child comes out and says that another boy doesn't want him to come out, what would you do?
OK, I know I handled this situation wrong by going into the boy's bathroom and grabbing the other boy by his shirt and telling him to stop. But he started in grade 1 already with his bullying and I thought that this was enough. In my eyes I was the only person who could stop it.
To make things worse
When they get to high school, kids are under allot of pressure.
Like: "come-on, have a smoke. Don't be so scared, have a drink," and not to mention how much kids are confronted with drugs these days.
The scariest part is that drugs are already available for kids in primary school these days.
(See, although my kids are not in a public school, I still know what is going on there.)
Because my kids are different
My son has ADHD. Many children asked me (when he was still in public school) "what is wrong with him?". I would just smile and say "nothing".
Get your free report on how to help your child's memory
And having dyslexia doesn't make it easier on my daughter. When she had to read out loud in the classroom the kids would LAUGH OUT LOUD.
Picking up a crying child from school every day is heart breaking.
Again we are the ones who has to pick up the pieces.
She is actually an extrovert and will start talking to people she only just met, but when she was in school she never spoke (unless she had to).
My turn to ask questions
Let's look at this a little further.
Like taking a looking glass and looking back to the past to see the future.
How many of you still have your friends you had in school?
How many of you started smoking or drinking because of the friends you had?
Did those friends do you any good?
Did the pressure of having to say NO make you stronger or give in (to things you never would have done)?
Who are still around? Your parents? Your school friends?
And when things went wrong, were your friends there?
So are friends as important as people make them out to be?
Is socialization having bad influences around OR having fun and knowing you are protected?
Want to read more about homeschooling and socialization?
This article was part of the I-Homeschool Network linkup and if you need to read more about socialization and homeschooling, click on the picture below:
Feel free to share this article with your "friends"
How do you feel about your current circle of friends? Enough to want to share this article with them? Go ahead, I'm sure their all good - share.