I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I think one way of schooling is better or more
right than wrong than the other. I am, however, going to drag out my soapbox and go to town on
addressing a topic that puts my undies in an instant bunch every time I hear someone say:
S O C I A L I Z A T I O N
I have only ever heard the worry and concern directed towards homeschooled children, and I
truly wonder why that is. Maybe I haven't lived long enough or been around the block enough times?
Or perhaps it is because I was the homeschooled girl - trying to NOT act shocked,
appalled, offended when the general public makes the most popular comment:
"You're normal!" as if they were so worried and suddenly relieved.
What do you even say to that?
"Hey! You're normal... too? YEA!"
High fives all around.
There seems to be abnormal anxiety (the skeptic in me is shining), perhaps one that is
purposefully orchestrated from opposing parties, that homeschooled children are somehow
denied or incapable of developing normal social behaviors because they are
privately educated in their homes. Am I wrong?
I'm sorry, but I know plenty of "regular" school kids who have socialization problems.
Who was the socially awkward kid in your class? Right, that's what I'm saying.
Ultimately I think the awkwardness that everyone is so interested in talking about is probably an
issue of nature and nurture rather than an issue of classroom status. Personally (key word here),
I think it's all how parents raise their kids. Whether they are in "regular" school or "home" school -
don't we all run the risk of being a little socially awkward from time to time or for life in some cases?!
Here's the thing:
Homeschooled kids interact all day, every day with at least one parent, sisters, brothers, and
neighbors - all of various ages - tutors, extra-curricular activity instructors, librarians, employees of
the grocery store, post office, coffee shop, etc. - maybe possibly being exposed to more, but definitely
the same amount in "normal" cases, public opportunities to socialize because they are home and
get to spend the day doing school and regular life at the same time.
I'm not saying that "regular" school kids DO NOT get this same attention or opportunity,
but the main difference is that they are in a classroom filled with kids ALL THE SAME AGE.
It's a fact, not really something to argue about.
Socialization comes differently. That's my point. And again, I'm not putting one way of schooling
over another. Each family, child, situation is very different and I'm not claiming to be Jesus with
all the answers. I suppose it is an art, a fine practice held together with love and discernment to
as opposed to the wildly negative idea of
our children in this post-modern world.
I personally believe it is IMPOSSIBLE to be objective when it comes to this topic -
so I think we should all just clap our subjective hands together and pray for our fellow brothers
and sisters who are raising up the next generation! I mean this with the most sincerity though -
we need to pray for each other and our families.
I guess I'm just wanting to put to bed some fears for my general public peers. Rest assured, and quit
buying into the anti-homeschooling propaganda that uses the argument of "socialization" as one of its
favorite, and I'll give them "riveting", arguments.
Homeschooled or not, I've met my fair share of socially awkward people.
In fact, I'm probably one of them. With that, I'll put away my soapbox,
and pray I didn't stir up too much trouble with this interesting topic!