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Why do people feel the need to ask about socialization?


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The socialization question is just getting ridiculous! I think I've been asked about it by every single person who has ever asked about homeschooling. This week we went to a dance competition where my child spent the entire day with her teammates and their families. Afterwards, we all went out to eat and while my dd was at a table with 5 other girls, I ate and chatted with some parents. I was asked if my child got any socialization! I said, "Um, yeah, at dance." Not only does she have several hours of class on more than one night a week, but we just spent an entire weekend at a motel with all the other dance families! The kids saw each other all day and then spent the evenings in the pool or watching movies together. The worst thing is that this is not the first, or even the second, dance parent to ask me about socialization. Maybe they just think it's an obligatory question? I've also been asked about it while on a Cub Scout camping trip. While my son has been happily playing with their child all weekend, they ask me with a straight face, "What do you do for socialization?"

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Because when children are young, I think it is what they wonder about. I think people are very uneducated about the reality of homeschooling. That is part of why I like to be what a local mom calls a 'good homeschool ambassador'

 

First of all, I think many don't know the actual meaning of socialization and confuse it with socializing. That is a very different thing. So, when asked The S Question I always follow up with my own question of 'what do you mean when you say socialization?' Most of the time they mean socializing. That makes me laugh because I am asked that question while their kids are socializing with mine. Much of the time I think people wonder how my kids make friends. Once I assure them my kids have plenty of friends they calm down.

 

Sometimes they don't even know what they mean at all. it is amazing what you can find out when you ask someone to clarify their terms (In a polite manner). I do think some people are just saying stuff they heard but they don't know what they are saying. If that is the case, I generally don't take the question or the questioner very seriously and I just make some vague reference to 'dance and theater and stuff like that' I am not going to out of my way to answer a question you don't even understand.

 

If the person actually means socialization then I take the question a little more seriously. I ask them what they are worried about. I generally point out that my kids are not isolated, that they spend a great deal of time in settings interacting with their peers. I point out that they are not grunting in the mud pushing berries up their nose (Simpsons reference) and they generally agree.

 

The second most common question for me is about high school and specialization. That is a whole 'nother conversation though...

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Because for people who do not know how homeschooling works, it IS a valid question, since much of the socializing of school children happens at school. (I found all my friends at school, hung out with my school friends in the afternoon and on break. My kids socialized at school and went to clubs at school after school, too.)

I know it was a question *I* had before I started homeschooling - after all, how was I supposed to know about the activities that are available for home schoolers, and about how a homeschool day can be structured, and how those activities can be built in? I was definitely worried that my kids might be lonely. And the opportunities to find like minded kids are, indeed, limited.

The question makes perfect sense to me.

My homeschooled children are well socialized, but it does take much more of an effort and time commitment on my part now.

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So far we have only been ask by people who are really interested to know either because they are considering homeschooling or they just want to understand. Hubby was unhappy with the ill discipline in our neighborhood school so that was acceptable somehow as a reason to homeschool around here. Our kids go to saturday school and summer camps so that was considered as adequate socialising by the people who asked. Our kids are generally well behaved in social environments so that helps.

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One of my daughters enrolled her two year old in a daycare she could barely afford rather than have him spend the day at home with me (his grandmother) and my homeschooled kids, because the boy's speech therapist insisted that he needed to be around other kids his own age for socialization I've been told by people who have degrees in psychology (yeah, I know) who are very sincere that kids simply cannot develop properly without spending the majority of their days in the company of other children the same age.

 

I think it is quite amazing that we managed to survive as a species for thousands of years before the advent of compulsory schooling and universal daycare, if the daily company of twenty or so age-mates is so critical to normal human development....

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Keep in mind that I've been homeschooling for 10 years, so believe me, I get it. But the reason people ask about socialization is because it *can* be an issue when you're homeschooling. Depending on your circumstances, it can be necessary to actively seek out certain types of social experiences for homeschooled kids and those experiences may or may not be hard to come by.

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I've also been asked about it while on a Cub Scout camping trip. While my son has been happily playing with their child all weekend, they ask me with a straight face, "What do you do for socialization?"

 

 

 

The one person who has been really rude to me about homeschooling was someone who asked on a Cub Scout hike when my son had time to play with other boys. This was while he was off with her son and a bunch of other boys running around and having a great time. I just kind of stared at her and said “Um...at Scouts.â€

 

I think that for all of us homeschooling has become the norm. Something I am sometimes reminded of is that it is an out of the box decision. It’s becoming a more common out of the box decision but it still goes against the norm. There are people who just really have a hard time imagining what it is like. I think they probably imagine our day as more of a “school at home†kind of day and so they can imagine the academics but they can’t really figure out where the time with other kids comes in. I think a lot of people also just have a harder time themselves with being an outsider. That’s where all the “but what about prom†comments come from.

 

I think it also has been ingrained in people that kids need to be with peers. It’s in a lot of psychology books that there is a phase where peer relationships become more important than family. It’s not taught as something to be questioned but something that is normal and is necessary. I think that idea has then permeated into the culture in general and comes out in the question about socialization.

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Keep in mind that I've been homeschooling for 10 years, so believe me, I get it. But the reason people ask about socialization is because it *can* be an issue when you're homeschooling. Depending on your circumstances, it can be necessary to actively seek out certain types of social experiences for homeschooled kids and those experiences may or may not be hard to come by.

 

 

I also think this is true, that socialization can be an issue and is sometimes more of an issue than homeschoolers want to admit. I think sometimes we get so tired of answering this question that we are defensive and deny that it can be an issue.

 

I do think peer relationships are important. I realize my post above might sound like I don’t agree with that. But I think as a culture people sometimes see those relationships as the ones of prime importance and the only way to have them to be in school. I do think as a homeschooler I have to make sure that my kids have opportunities to be with other kids. But it always seems to me that I get asked this question in settings like Scouts or Little League or Swim Team or somewhere that is one of those social opportunities.

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Maybe I should be more offended than I am when people ask this question.

 

I'm not. As many PP have pointed out, this is THE question.

 

Homeschooling is more mainstream than ever, so people are tripping over us as homeschoolers more than ever. However the public doesn't even know the right questions to ask.

 

I wouldn't expect a non-homeschooler to ask:

"Are you an unschooler, classical method, CM, or something else?"

"Have you read the WTM?"

"Which math curriculum do you use?"

"Are you planning to dual enroll (in public school or community college) when your child is in high school?"

"Do you feel the state regulations are reasonable?"

"Who do you use as a visiting teacher?"

"Did your kids take the ITBS?"

 

These questions are off the radar for non-homeschoolers because they just. don't. know.

 

Yes, some people are malicious in their questioning of socialization, but I believe that most are just trying to figure out how this homeschooling thing works. They are curious.

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Sometimes it really is just a matter of people having a hard time imagining homeschool, a community of homeschoolers and/or what is possible. Some don't think about what to do about facilitating a social life for their children because they frankly really don't have that much control over their children's life. Homework, school functions and so forth dominate a great deal of time and once any is reserved for a special interest or family, there just isn't much left. Their kids largely associate with others proximate to them (in school, neighborhood) and parents don't have to think about it. Thus, when they try to imagine life without the proximate supply of friendables, they are challenged.

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Frankly, I've had more people ask about intellectual issues than social ones. Then again, I've also had people suggest I go to community college to take classes, unaware that I have already completed the terminal degree in my field.

 

I think socialization is a reasonable concern, given that schools (which are filled with kids) are the norm and many kids no longer play outside.

 

I must look like I don't care, because most people don't bother giving me a lot of advice in any arena. I think people are scared of me.

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I usually just start lying about anything once someone says something stupid to me. My kids laugh especially when I tell rude strangers a fake name for myself.

 

I see plenty of people who spend time with others all day but they still act like wolves raised in caves. I think it's about quality not quantity.

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People ask because they themselves are obviously not socialized. Ok, I'm sort of kidding.... But I think they don't quite understand what "socialized" means or are using the term incorrectly. I think what a lot of people want to know is if kids will be able to make friends outside of school. If they seriously don't mean that and want to know how a kid will learn to wait in a line and raise their hand, then they haven't thought the question through. There are plenty of opportunities outside of school for people to be made aware of the concept of waiting their turn, etc.

 

I'm cool about questions regarding homeschooling, but this is one of the dumber ones and I have a hard time answering it without telling the person that they should just go and think some more about what they are asking.

 

I think we should all ask- "Well gee, what do you think we should be doing for socialization? Let me get my kids and our notepads because we've been doing a project about socialization this week. Do you mind if we interview you?"

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If the question is asked when my kids are by themselves and not socializing with other people, then maybe it's valid. If they are actively playing (socializing) with other children in front of the person who asked the question, then it's obvious that that person didn't think about whether the question was valid before he/she asked it and maybe was just making conversation to gain more insight into homeschooling or to just make conversation period, which I am fine with. Sometimes I feel like I have to be defensive when asked that question though, which does get annoying sometimes. I just have to remind myself not to care what others think I guess.

 

While the question may be valid with some families, it's not for the majority (or really any) that I know. If you're seeing homeschoolers out and about, it's likely because their parents don't lock them away in their house and keep them from socializing.

 

Either way, if a parent doesn't want their children to socialize with most other children, that's their decision. While my kids are around other kids besides their siblings all the time, sometimes I'd like to keep them home more so they don't pick up the bad attitudes and behavior that they see other kids display. Not that they couldn't come up with it on their own :glare: (thinking of my 12 year old son here).

 

Edited to add:

I agree with an above poster that if we ask, "What do you mean by that?", it would be easier to know just what they want to know.

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One of my daughters enrolled her two year old in a daycare she could barely afford rather than have him spend the day at home with me (his grandmother) and my homeschooled kids, because the boy's speech therapist insisted that he needed to be around other kids his own age for socialization.

 

 

My 2 year old niece did that. Stopped talking at 10 months old and started talking again when she went to half day playschool at 18 months. No one knows why she refuse to talk which was why she was enrolled in playschool.

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I think most of us end up sorting ourselves into our little subcultures, at least to a certain extent. Homeschoolers tend to know lots of homeschoolers and those who don't home school often don't know many homeschoolers. Then, as with any social group, you only hear about the fringe cases. Example: my mil worked in a NICU for years. When I was planning a homebirth she said, "So many of those babies end up in the NICU." Well, no. But she happened to see ALL of the attempted home births who ended up in the NICU.

 

Anyway, so I think those without a lot of familiarity with home schooling can call up the one weirdo family in their home town that never went out except to slither off to their nutty anti-social church. Or the "homeschoolers" who hole up in a cabin in Idaho (to name but one thinly-populated region--no offense against any Idahoans here!) with lots of guns and canned goods and end up on the evening news.

 

How anyone can suggest that public school is an optimal place for socialization given the horrors of late (gun violence, etc) is beyond me but I think it's mostly benign ignorance.

 

It's also kind of a safe question, too, I think. I got it just yesterday and I realized afterward that the woman wanted, I think, to make pleasant conversation because she was curious. But she knows me a little and sees my kids all the time and, I think, didn't want to approach academics or anything that smacked of "you're surely not smart enough to do this". I think the "socialization" seems like safer territory.

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This question used to bug me too until I realized that homeschooling parents often are concerned about it as well as their dc get older. The number one reason homeschooling parents I know send their dc to school at some point is because they either:

 

1. Couldn't keep up with their social kid's need for so many group activities (especially if the parent has little ones and is trying to meet the very different needs the early years require).

 

2. Their dc wanted to go to the same school as all of their neighborhood/sports team friends and begged to be allowed, for social reasons.

 

ETA: My point is that we all know public schools are not perfect, but they do offer a consistent, reliable social outlet for our children. Often, this is the only aspect kids like about going to school. So, it's a valid point. Homeschooling offers a lot of benefits, but it is not easy for many families to offer their child the same level of social interaction on a consistent, daily basis.

 

Now, I don't believe kids need daily, consistent interaction with their peers, especially when it's limited to those born the same year. But, it's the only reason my ds has ever asked to go to school and I had to listen to what he wanted. Ultimately, we decided to continue homeschooling because we felt we couldn't sacrifice his education for social reasons, but his class activity schedule is much more full than I would prefer to meet his needs. And, if I had a toddler or a baby in tow, I'm not sure I'd be able to do this much for him.

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Well, sure HSed kids play and talk with other kids at dance, scouts, etc. But if those parents' kids aren't getting together to play with your kids outside of those activities, and their kids are having Bob, Biff, and Pete over to their house all the time, then yeah, they are thinking of activities simply as activities, not as their kids' primary outlets for socialization. I believe they are asking about socialization as a synonym for friendship. It shouldn't be a surprise that most kids make their friends at school. I know I did, and I had some pretty awesome friends, so it was something I worried about too.

 

My kids do some socializing at swim team and music lessons, but they don't see those kids outside of those days and, to me, that is not at all the same way I benefitted from having friends as a kid. Friends and I went back and forth to play at each other's houses, running through sprinklers, eating Popsicles, telling secrets, playing kickball, swinging from the monkey bars... We were not hopping out of a minivan once a week, doing an activity led by coach or teacher during which time we had little opportunity to chat, then waving bye and getting back in the minivan to go home alone. I think a lot of people are asking about that: when can our kids just be kids with other kids, outside of organized activities, and who are they hanging with, because from what I can see, most parks and yards are close to empty these days because kids are spending so much time in organized activities.

 

I also agree with what else are they going to ask us. LOL Anyway, the question doesn't offend me. I had the same question myself. And, for the record, I am a Hold On to Your Kids/The Well-Adjusted Child reading/preaching kind of gal. I just still happen to see plenty of value in growing up with some good friends.

 

ETA: Linking the books I referenced.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Hold-On-Your-Kids-Parents/dp/0375760288/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363015665&sr=8-1&keywords=hold+on+to+your+kids

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Well-Adjusted-Child-Benefits-Homeschooling/dp/1600651070/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363015281&sr=8-1&keywords=homeschool+socialization

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As the parent of a child who attends a public elementary school, it is my experience that even school-parents have some anxiety about whether or not their children will make friends and whether they have rich opportunities for play both with-in school and outside. This is not unnatural. And being in school is not a guarantee in the affirmative.

 

I don't think it is strange that people whose children are exposed to lots of potential playmates through school wonder how homeschoolers facilitate meeting playmates. They may not know that homeschoolers do coops, or park days, or involve their children in extracurriculars because many homeschoolers have the same concerns about their children having playmates that they do, and that they take positive steps to do something about it.

 

To my mind is is a pretty normal concern.

 

Bill

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Because they have no clue how dangerous peer contact and socialization is for children. Look at the state of our country and of children/teens today- is all of this peer contact benefitting anyone?

 

I totally get running through the sprinklers and eating popsicles with someone. That, ideally, would be 1 or 2 close friends (even better, siblings).

 

It's a ridiculous worry. I think it stems from our grandparents/great grandparents and the excuse they used to send their kids off to school all day. It can be scary and burdensome to admit that children need adults more than they need other kids.

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If a kid truly has a social issue school is the last place on earth that is going to fix that.

 

I'm very introverted. I don't run with the crowd. I prefer one good friend to lots of acquaintances. I have no trouble telling people to take a flying leap if I don't like them. By some accounts I might be a Socialization 101 flunky. I've been to one school or another for 22 years. TWENTY TWO YEARS It did not change me.

 

 

See, now this is confusing socialization with socializing. Socializing is the act of meeting for social purposes. It means hanging out with friends. And, yes, as an introvert you have different needs for social interaction and will socialize less than an extrovert.

 

Socialization is a lifelong process and involves learning social norms, customs and language skills. So, while you may be an introvert, I hope you know how to stand in line at the grocery store. You understand the process known as taking turns. You can engage in a typical conversation with people and know how to structure a sentence. When you get a new job you will be socialized so that you understand the culture of the office. Perhaps there is a dress code, maybe the person who finished the coffee makes a fresh pot for everyone.

 

The concern about socialization isn't about hanging out with friends. It is concern that children will not understand how to carry on a conversation with their peers, it is making sure they understand things like raising your hand to speak, taking turns, how to take a standardized test, how to behave in a respectful manner to a teacher or boss, eat with silverware, shake hands. It is about acting 'normal' in our larger culture when out and about, or at least knowing how to fake it when necessary.

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Thanks for all the great conversation about THE question. Most of the people who ask have been kind, sincere, or truly interested. The thing that bugged me the most was the fact that my children were playing with their children in unstructured ways at the exact moment they asked the question. At dance competitions or Cub Scout camps, there is plenty of down time where the kids will run off and play or talk together. One child is very introverted and he's quite happy to have a handful of good friends that he sees at Scouts but also plays with after school (one is homeschooled) or on weekends. The other is outgoing and easily makes friends.She has a neighborhood friend that shows up almost every day for playtime. I guess I'll just try to keep telling myself that many people don't understand homeschooling at all and are just trying to make conversation.

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Thanks for all the great conversation about THE question. Most of the people who ask have been kind, sincere, or truly interested. The thing that bugged me the most was the fact that my children were playing with their children in unstructured ways at the exact moment they asked the question. At dance competitions or Cub Scout camps, there is plenty of down time where the kids will run off and play or talk together. One child is very introverted and he's quite happy to have a handful of good friends that he sees at Scouts but also plays with after school (one is homeschooled) or on weekends. The other is outgoing and easily makes friends.She has a neighborhood friend that shows up almost every day for playtime. I guess I'll just try to keep telling myself that many people don't understand homeschooling at all and are just trying to make conversation.

 

Also understand that these parents probably have concerns of their own about their children having positive interactions (and play opportunities) with other children, and that is probably a part of why they are there.

 

Bill

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My son is constantly taken aback by kids his own age (5). He's the one walking up, introducing himself, complimenting a boy on his toy or telling a girl her dress is pretty. 9 times out of 10, the response is a frown followed by burying his/her face into the parent's thigh while the parent begs them to respond.

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Well, my kids are their own best friends, for sure. But, no, my boys do not meet my very extroverted DD's need for the girly play she craves sometimes, try as they might (and to their credit, they really do try). I agree that children benefit from spending most of their time with/supervised by caring, responsible adults rather than children, but I also think that living in fear and throwing the baby out with the bath water is regrettable. I see parents here express righteous indignation all the time at the inferior social skills, behavior, etc. of the other kids they come across. Where we lived before our move, it's true that there were few neighborhood kids I wanted mine playing with, but there are good kids out there. Where we are now, my kids have found wonderful playmates. Honestly, I think PSers commenting on HSers seeming normal is an equivalent insult to HSers commenting on PS students being well-behaved or self-assured. And I hear them with equal frequency too.

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That's fair. I'm not bashing PS kids in general. And I'll bash some HS'd kids no problem. It's just that I don't notice a huge difference. Kids are all over the place with their behavior whether they are homschooled or not.

 

Oh, I knew you weren't bashing. :) I know it can get old to hear the same comments over and over when we have already hashed them over in our minds and know the grass isn't greener. I think some of us just prefer Bermuda and some prefer St. Augustine.

 

And just to start a big fight, the HS grass is St. Augustine, naturally. :tongue_smilie:

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Same here!

 

My kids have come to me and asked, "I really want to make a friend, nobody wants to talk to me." So I'll suggest, hey go up to that boy over there, he has a Sonic shirt. Strike up a conversation about Sonic. That should be easy because you like Sonic the Hedgehog. So then my kid goes up to the other kid and the kid doesn't respond and walks away leaving my kid to wonder what in heck he did wrong.

 

Sigh. My kid would gladly talk Sonic with yours. You and I could sit nearby and read, making occasional comments. (I'm pretty introverted too.)

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Yeah, that sounds familiar. Rebecca has ~12 hours of gymnastics every week, yet some of her teammates heard she was homeschooled and asked, 'How do you get socialized?" Uh, duh?

 

What I think is quite telling is that socialization is the primary concern of so many who are against homeschooling. As if they're sure that the education can be easily matched, but what about all those socialization opportunities? :confused1:

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Well, my kids are their own best friends, for sure. But, no, my boys do not meet my very extroverted DD's need for the girly play she craves sometimes, try as they might (and to their credit, they really do try). I agree that children benefit from spending most of their time with/supervised by caring, responsible adults rather than children, but I also think that living in fear and throwing the baby out with the bath water is regrettable.

 

I get it about the extroverted dd with many brothers. Same thing here. One thing I've noticed though is that no amount of peer contact is ever enough. She gets some and craves more. She gets more and craves even more. It's a neverending cycle, and I think it goes back to the insecure attachments thing (and just naturally being insecure as a growing child going through puberty, etc). She gets play time with girlfriends 2-3 times a week and has swim team twice a week. On top of that she has sleepovers, etc. Obviously, not nearly as much as public schooled kids are getting, but plenty in my mind. So it's not as if we have completely thrown the baby out in that regard...but it's just never enough. I'm at the point now, after many years of observing this, where I truly believe developing relationships with family, even for a discontent, social child, is preferable to trying to seek out constant peer relationships. But YMMV and we all get to do things differently. :)

 

And FWIW I don't blame the children, I blame our culture. Throw a bunch of kids in a classroom together and there are bound to be behavioral issues crop up, I wouldn't expect otherwise!

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My son is constantly taken aback by kids his own age (5). He's the one walking up, introducing himself, complimenting a boy on his toy or telling a girl her dress is pretty. 9 times out of 10, the response is a frown followed by burying his/her face into the parent's thigh while the parent begs them to respond.

 

I have not noticed a huge disparity on the behavior of public schooled kids we see at a park, although by far the older boys are almost always way overly aggressive and rude.

 

But I have noticed that they tend to group together in cliques whereas the homeschooled kids I know will talk to anyone, of any age group. My 8yo son was helping a little 4 or 5 yo girl at the park the other day, my 11 yo was chatting with a little 3yo, that kind of thing.

 

NOT meaning that as in my kids are superior in any way, just a benefit of homeschooling IMO. There doesn't seem to be that "clique" mindset.

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Huh? I assume most people send their kids to school to get an education and do not need an "excuse" for that.

 

Of course, I worded that wrong. :) I was thinking more the PUSH I hear from the older generation about socializing, they seem overly concerned about it (IMO) and I was just musing that maybe that was one more benefit they saw to sending their kids off to school.

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I have not noticed a huge disparity on the behavior of public schooled kids we see at a park, although by far the older boys are almost always way overly aggressive and rude.

 

But I have noticed that they tend to group together in cliques whereas the homeschooled kids I know will talk to anyone, of any age group. My 8yo son was helping a little 4 or 5 yo girl at the park the other day, my 11 yo was chatting with a little 3yo, that kind of thing.

 

NOT meaning that as in my kids are superior in any way, just a benefit of homeschooling IMO. There doesn't seem to be that "clique" mindset.

 

LOL. I believed the same - until the larger group of girls in our homeschool group hit the preteens/early teens. As soon as there is enough critical mass, ALL the same cliquish behavior, name calling, exclusion and bullying I have seen in ps occurs just the same in homeschooled girls.

It is only worse - because the parents are more involved and an altercation between girls immediately translates into an altercation between mothers. Uggh.

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LOL. I believed the same - until the larger group of girls in our homeschool group hit the preteens/early teens. As soon as there is enough critical mass, ALL the same cliquish behavior, name calling, exclusion and bullying I have seen in ps occurs just the same in homeschooled girls.

It is only worse - because the parents are more involved and an altercation between girls immediately translates into an altercation between mothers. Uggh.

 

That's too bad. I haven't seen that in our homeschool groups, and we interact with a large group of homeschooled teen girls, but I'm sure it happens.

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Well, my oldest dd needed the extra peer time she gets with going to ps. I honestly cannot believe how much she's changed, and for the better. She is still very close to her sister ( and her friends are all really nice to sis as well). She is also still close to dh and I. She couldn't connect with any of the kids she was meeting in hs groups or structured activities. She enjoyed them during the activity but had zero desire to hang with them outside of that. Dd has also connected well with many teachers and now has more mentors. I was never worried about the socialization question during elementary school but dd needed it as she got older. It might have different if we lived somewhere with more options for hs groups.

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As the parent of a child who attends a public elementary school, it is my experience that even school-parents have some anxiety about whether or not their children will make friends and whether they have rich opportunities for play both with-in school and outside. This is not unnatural. And being in school is not a guarantee in the affirmative.

 

 

Thank you, this is one of the best explanations yet. I think you are right now that I think about it.

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Well, my oldest dd needed the extra peer time she gets with going to ps. I honestly cannot believe how much she's changed, and for the better. She is still very close to her sister ( and her friends are all really nice to sis as well). She is also still close to dh and I. She couldn't connect with any of the kids she was meeting in hs groups or structured activities. She enjoyed them during the activity but had zero desire to hang with them outside of that. Dd has also connected well with many teachers and now has more mentors. I was never worried about the socialization question during elementary school but dd needed it as she got older. It might have different if we lived somewhere with more options for hs groups.

 

 

Thanks for sharing this- I used to feel pretty passionately that homeschooling offered better social opportunities for my dc but that's just not turning out to be the case. We will continue homeschooling, but it's the reality I've had to face. Our issue could be the same- geographical area. My ds plays sports with some great ps kids. We've gotten to know these families over the last few years and they are great. Our homeschool groups here are limited to unschooling and Christian fundamentalists (we do not homeschool for religious reasons and we are not unschoolers). There are a few in the middle but they're harder to come by and so far it hasn't been a great fit (with the exception of 1 family). Ds doesn't connect with kids in either group, though he will play games and take classes with them, and have fun doing it. He just doesn't want to pursue a friendship with most of these kids. He doesn't think he has much in common with them. I'm curious- about how old was your dd when you sent her to school (for mostly social reasons, right?)?

 

So, to the OP, I tend to think this is a valid question. We're experiencing it ourselves, and I truly never thought I'd ever consider lack of social opportunities a homeschooling negative.

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I get it about the extroverted dd with many brothers. Same thing here. One thing I've noticed though is that no amount of peer contact is ever enough. She gets some and craves more. She gets more and craves even more. It's a neverending cycle, and I think it goes back to the insecure attachments thing (and just naturally being insecure as a growing child going through puberty, etc). She gets play time with girlfriends 2-3 times a week and has swim team twice a week. On top of that she has sleepovers, etc. Obviously, not nearly as much as public schooled kids are getting, but plenty in my mind. So it's not as if we have completely thrown the baby out in that regard...but it's just never enough. I'm at the point now, after many years of observing this, where I truly believe developing relationships with family, even for a discontent, social child, is preferable to trying to seek out constant peer relationships. But YMMV and we all get to do things differently. :)

 

And FWIW I don't blame the children, I blame our culture. Throw a bunch of kids in a classroom together and there are bound to be behavioral issues crop up, I wouldn't expect otherwise!

 

Sorry. I know I made it sound like I was responding to you directly since I addressed a point you made, but I was just speaking in generalities, which is why I didn't quote anyone. Kind of my thoughts based on what I have heard here, conversations with IRL HSing and PSing friends and family, books and articles I've read, random opinions I've heard, experience with my own kids, the trajectory of Earth's orbit... LOL

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I think it's also not thinking. I mentioned to DH today that DD (who was having one of those school days that leads homeschool mothers to google the local school bus schedule) was annoyed because PS was on spring break, and she thought she should be, too. He responded "How does she even KNOW it's Spring Break?" Uh...Church, dance class, tumbling, the local park, the neighborhood kids, the sign in front of the school across the street, the fact that dance isn't meeting because of "Spring Break camp"....

 

He knows good and well she's not under a rock, but I guess he somehow managed to miss that, yes, an HSed kid is likely to know the PS schedule!

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I don't know why they ask, but my favorite response (which I have to use selectively) when I'm asked if I'm worried about socialization is "Yes, that's one of the reason's I home school." It throws people really off balance! Of course, if that's not one of your reasons, it wouldn't work.

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:iagree: I'm not closed to B&M schooling, but I'm certainly beginning to feel more and more this way---especially as I'm currently reading Hold Onto Your Kids. I know peer influence can get heavy in homeschooling as well, but I have a much better chance of catching and nipping it in the bud than if my kids are away from me all day.

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