Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Homeschool Socialization Part 2

Judging by the snotty-ass way the kids act when they walk past our house on their way home from school when Joel goes out to try to say hi and make friends, I’m thinking homeschooling is a good way to go. Often when I’m out in the world people tell me how well-behaved my kids are (except for when Callie’s having an Exorcist tantrum, of course, but then I just act like I don’t know her). In school you are taught to look down on anyone younger or smaller and to be a tattle-tale about any little annoyance. If you aren’t tough, you get bullied. So you are either weak or strong or popular. I speak from 13 years of experience. And yes, you cowards who want to leave Anonymous comments but now can't, my kids ARE perfect and act fabulous all the time and are NEVER snotty (ha!).

These posts aren’t called “homeschooling is for everyone” … because I totally disagree with that (I know women who want to kill their kids just doing homework with them). But let’s respect each other’s choices. I don’t think I’m better than you … I just chose a lifestyle that works for me and for my husband and kids, and I’m blessed enough to be able to follow that path financially and without going insane.

Back to the socialization thing … we go to friends’ houses, we have friends over (for days, not just an hour for a playdate usually), we have a Meals on Wheels route, we used to do babysitting at churches, we go to homeschool events, we go on field trips, we get to see my mom weekly and my dad pretty often, they go to the grocery store and the bank and the post office with me, we go to the pool all summer, to parks, we meet people everywhere we go. Some women in my Catholic homeschool group won’t let their kids play with kids who go to public school. I say even Catholic school kids have issues and so can homeschool kids, so we don’t segregate our kids. They have friends from all walks of life who go to all kinds of schools and churches (or not). They learn to deal with all kinds of people, young and old.

I don’t write much about homeschooling because I’m not sure who’s interested in reading about it (that couldn’t be because this blog has no FOCUS and is all over the place, right?), so if you have any questions (how many hours a day do I homeschool, what curriculum do I use, how much do I spend/save doing homeschooling, what are benefits I see, why did I start doing it), let me know in the Comments section! And Paul, I expect you to weigh in on this one, PLEASE, seeing as how you used to be a schoolteacher!

12 comments:

  1. My kids are in public school. That said I'm a firm believer that kids should learn to socialize by being with , well mannered, well-behaved adults. I don't want a tennis amateur teaching my kid tennis, I want a pro. It is not "normal" to sit in tidy rows, hands folded enraptured by the words of an adult. Kids might learn some negotiation skills hanging out with other kids but mostly they need practice in adult situations. I make sure my public schooled kids spend plenty of time with adults, eating, conversing, practicing social skills.

    I used to manage approx. 300 children who delivered newspapers for me and they all would come in for training and by far every homeschooled child was much more practiced at asking/answering/explaining etc.

    So why do I not homeschool? I'd be horrible at it. So I try to balance it out by making sure they spend lots of time in adult company, learning by exposure, how we negotiate social situations.

    Good post!

    Breeze

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  2. I think God gives us each gifts and talents to use. Mine is to help injured people get better through rehabilitation therapy. I love my kids to pieces but being with them 24/7 to be their primary education instructor would probably cause me to need some serious drugs for coping, not enough patience here. I'm good with the homework, being a scout leader, helping with their sports and I love spending time with them in the summer. I think homeschooling has many wonderful benefits, one of which you don't have to deal with 6th grade girl nastiness! I am in awe of those who God has blessed with the gift to be able to homeschool, but I know I would be spitting in God's face if I didn't use the gifts and talents He blessed me with, so my kids with have to endure public education.

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  3. Those snotty-ass kids are exactly what I'm afraid of with public school. Kids can be so cruel.

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  4. I always love your posts, so many great points with just enough humor to drive it home! As a fellow homeschooler I too am all about respecting whatever educational choice a parent makes. Homeschooling doesn't make me better than another mother, but it certainly doesn't make me any worse, or even strange. (Not saying that I am NOT strange...just that homeschooling is not the cause).

    The entire socialization myth really annoys me and I do get irritated that we have to make "lists" to others to prove our kids get what they need. 5 minutes in a room with other human beings should be enough to prove that they have good if not great social skills.

    Anyway, I also homeschool and love learning what other families do and use so I will certainly read about it if you blog on that issue. Of course I read what you blog now too, so you won't be gaining or losing my interest either way. Just keep blogging about something, for I would miss your posts if they disappeared altogether!

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  5. I don't have children, so I'm not going to throw my opinion out there regarding public vs. private vs. homeschooling. What I have come to know is that the education of our children MUST focus on being present to what is present. 99.9% of the western philosophy of education is about preparing for the future, ensuring that our little ones grow up to be great planners-for-the-future. Now that is not all bad...it certainly has its place. But, how much time is devoted to the NOW? How much effort is put into suggesting that the ONLY truth in life is the HERE and NOW?...from my experiences with 11 years of teaching, NOT MUCH. Since those 11 years were in the Catholic system, all of our time was spent one of two ways: constantly hanging our crap on an awakened man that lived nearly two thousand year ago, or planning for the future. Both of these worlds (the past and the future) are illusion, yet that's where we expect (and insist) that our children spend the majority of their time. Well, I had enough of that shite! If humans can find a way to encourage young people to be present with what is and know that the past & present are worlds in which to play but not get lost, there would be more awakened folks here. I'm so grateful I finally "get it," and know that I don't have to promote others' expectations anymore. Shouldn't we suggest the same to our children, who are merely the result of life's longing for itself, as are we?

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  6. I personally think montessori is the best form of education. Because of cost and space, it's not an option for most looking for a traditional school or for homeschooling. The bottom line is that no matter where they go to school, parents must be very involved in the education of their children. I've never been in a school that encouraged kids to look down on younger children. That was definitely not the case in my schooling or in my children's, in fact quite the opposite. I also know, because your kids are just like everyone else's, that they are tattle tales too. That has nothing to do with where they go to school. There is good and bad to both methods. I just got home school Mass where my 7 year old did the first reading. And my younger children were the center of much love. I absolutely love our school and the families that go there.

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  7. It should say got home from a school Mass, not to be confused with a home school mass, which was I guess sort of my point. But anyway, even if I homeschooled, our faith would be what everything else revolved around. I take the religious formation of my children very seriously, and upon myself and leave the math, science and history to the school. To me, the school is there to reinforce what I'm already teaching them at home about our faith. And they could get their math and science pretty much anywhere.

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  8. My daughter homeschooled to keep her son from daily beatings from gang members. She was inspired to create socializations for him including reading to small children at a day care, helping the groundskeeper at a golf course in exchange for golf lessons, monitoring an area of land with the BLM, and taking bag pipe instructions from an older neighbor, he got so good he played at funerals. He is a wonderful man and a credit to my daughters passion to give him a safe eduction. You just keep right on, Kerrie. What is wrong with our whole country is people are not able to disagree and still love their fellow man.

    The Raggedy Girl

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  9. I think part of the public school experience depends on where your at. Have had my kids in different schools in different states has been quite the experience. In Arizona Everyone is nice to the extreme. Even the kids. ( I think it has to do with the fact that half the population is retired hippies ;D ) Arkansas had a very mixed crowd There were those who though they were better then others and those who were nice. Here in New York we've run into the Fashion SNOB's Everyone is wearing the exact same think (brand wise) and Heaven help those who aren't following along. All things said and done NY may give them a better education but I'd rather be back in Arizona.


    Ummmmm-.... Sorry that was so long LOL

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  10. Great points! I don't write (or talk) about homeschool so much anymore either. I used to A LOT. I was so in love with this educational/lifestyle choice (still am) that I wanted everyone to hear about it. Now I'm just tired of explaining our choices to everyone and being judged for them. I'm burned out on talking and writing about homeschooling. Now I just do it, and sadly, I tend to give flip answers to those who ask about it. (Unless I sense the person really wants to know what we do and why instead of just looking for holes in my logic.

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  11. I know NOTHING about homeschooling.
    But what I wanted to comment on was the no more annonymous comments.

    Yippee!!! :)

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  12. Hello, Kerrie!

    I began homeschooling under some very bad circumstances, but I enjoy it so much. I will say that my middle boys (the ones I homeschool, now ages 8 and 7) DO miss out on the cute Valentine parties and some of the people skills that can come as being a part of public school.

    I still wouldn't trade it for anything and am incredibly blessed to be able to homeschool. It's just a different kind of socialization, is all.

    God bless ya!

    Bummer I missed those anonymous comments... usually they are doozies, aren't they?

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