Thursday, February 5, 2015

Socialization? Really?

** disclaimer: while we decided that we felt homeschooling was the right decision for our family at this time, I truly believe that there is no one "right" answer for educating your children, and each family must decide for themselves which route is best for their children, be it public school, private school, or homeschooling. They are all equally valid options **

I was recently approached by someone close to me regarding the fact that we are homeschooling Jena. They were asking how she was doing, what was she learning, did she like it. They seemed genuinely impressed at what she was learning, and shocked that she liked "school".


Because all four children in their family, ranging from Kindergarten thru 4th grade, all attending public school, ALL of them hate going to school. Dread it. Can't stand it. Hate school.

They find it odd, they said. Usually you hear of one kid hating school. Or one kid loving school. And most kids somewhere in between. But all four of them HATE it, and they're looking for answers, so they decided to question me about homeschooling.

So, by his own admission, all four of the children in his family absolutely HATE school. I think we can all agree that if you dislike something that much, you probably aren't doing your best work or reaching your full potential either.

In his frustration with their current school situation, he chooses to approach me to ask questions about homeschool. Seems impressed with what she is learning and how she is doing, and especially with the fact that she LIKES school and learning.

So of course let's argue that my daughter's not getting properly socialized {{ head desk }}

He brought it up gently, as if he were genuinely concerned for Jena. I pointed out all the different activities Jena was currently participating in with her peers:

- Sunday School (coed, all 1st graders, includes children of several different racial / ethnic backgrounds)
- Girl Scouts (all girls, K thru 3rd grade, includes girls of several different racial / ethnic backgrounds)
- play group (coed, age 5 thru 10 [with younger siblings in tow], includes children of several different racial / ethnic backgrounds)
- gym class (coed, age 5 thru 10, includes children with autism, sensory issues, etc)
- science class (coed, age 5 thru 10)

While there is some crossover, each group is a different set of kids with which Jena is building relationships.

He told me that was all well & good, but it's no the same as spending all day every day with the same friends who are all these same age as you.

{{blink, blink, blink}}

He's right. Attending five different activities with five different sets of kids, building friendships with kids in a wider age range is not the same as spending six hours a day, five days a week with the exact same kids, who are all in the same grade, approximately the same age.

I attended public school. While we didn't choose it for Jena at this time, we do still believe it is a viable option. But do not preach to me about how it is a great way to socialize your kids.

Besides, I personally am not making education decisions for my children based on their social life. There are plenty of other opportunities for them to make friends and socialize. I don't have to compromise their education to do so.

Your kids hate school. They aren't doing as well as they could because of it. You're impressed with what my homeschooled child is doing academically. And the ONLY argument you can come up with against it is socialization? Really? Sit down.

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