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Mommamia

High school socialization?

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I know the socialization subject has been talked through, but a comment from a friend prompted me to second think things. She asked if I was planning on homeschooling through high school. I replied that I didn't know, but sometimes worry that I'm not " up for it" ( probably whole other topic there). Anyway, she said " yeah, and what about socialization?" To which I replied they get ample social time. She said " but high schoolers need different socialization".

 

Any thoughts?

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My daughter's a freshman this year and I would say (unhelpfully, probably), that it depends on the kid, your area, and what the friend means by socialization. When I've asked folks before, they are usually talking about things like going to the prom, football games, being a cheerleader, etc. We have a large homeschooling community here and there are options for dances several times a year, a couple of proms and a homeschool football team that plays some of the private schools (and has cheerleaders). There are options for things like Science Olympiad, other sports, classes, co-ops, etc---not as many as for younger kids, but they're available.

 

In our case, my daughter is involved in Girl Scouts (meets twice a month, goes on hikes, campouts, etc), takes aikido (2-3 days a week), works backstage at a local community theater (for the adult productions---put in about 85 hours on the fall production), participates in two weekly co-ops (one traditional one for middle/high only, one for multiple ages that's just regular classes, both of which also have field trips and social activities). She stays connected with her friends on Facebook, Tumblr, through writing fan fiction, texting, etc much like any other teen. I've asked if she wants to go to any of the dances, but so far, she's not interested in that or sports. With luck, she'll be going to a 2 week creative writing residential summer camp this summer.

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Well, of course, high schoolers need different socialization than elementary students. And different high school students will have different needs from other high schoolers. If your kids wants to be part of a band, find a band for her to be a part of or sports teams or drama or choir....I have had no problem finding everything that y kids want to do. So it depends on your area, your child, your budget, your time. And remember if your kid wants to go to prom, she can go to prom. 

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As a mother of three teenage girls, I have found that more socialization than I can handle has found us! Lol. For us, it hasn't been a problem. The girls go to dances, parties, see movies with friends, have sleepovers, and just hang out. They have friends through church, co-op, cousins, volunteering, and now community college. If you are active in the community, the rest seems to follow.

 

FWIW, my girls are happy to have missed out on most of the drama surrounding teens in school.

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My highschoolers had/have plenty of socialization.

 

DD took dual enrollment classes, was a very active member of the English Honors Society on campus, sang in choir, rode horses at a barn - all opportunities to be with other young people. She has several very close friends whom she met on campus. She got together with friends pretty much daily.

 

DS is taking two different martial arts, has some friends from our weekly homeschool playgroup (which we are no longer attending - he maintains the friendships outside of the group), and is working two afternoons a week in a job with many young colleagues.

Just this weekend, DS had a friend over for a sleepover, had Judo training, spent all afternoon and evening yesterday at another friend's house for his birthday party, and is currently chatting and playing online with a group of friends, some of which he knows in real life, and some of which are online friends. For half a year in spring, he had a group of up to ten teenage friends (girls and boys) over at our house two nights a week for martial arts practice.

 

If you don't chain them up in the basement, but let them participate in activities, socialization is not a problem.

 

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High school was the first time socialization has not been an issue. They are so much more independent. They have found their own interests, their own friends, their own groups. When they were younger, they went through periods of being lonely. While I always made sure they had group opportunities, they didn't always click with others and really get the social connections they needed. By high school, those relationships are formed. When it comes to socialization, they know what they want, when they want it, and how to get it.

 

All kids are different. All environments are different. Here, high school (and driver's license's especially) made socialization stop being an issue completely.

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What does that mean, "Teens need a different type of socialization?" I'm picturing teens barking at the mailman because they didn't get the right type of social training. Does she mean that your teens will be weirdos and misfits and won't know how to get along in society if they are stuck at home with you? You answered her question as if she meant opportunities to socialize, which is something else altogether. Questioning our kids socialization is frankly insulting and we should take it that way. It is never meant kindly.

 

Signed,

Mom of 5 teens who have never barked at the mailman

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My teen (and almost teen) socialize at the Y, youth group, volunteer jobs, paid jobs, church and online.  Their socialization has naturally changed as they've changed in maturity, interests and ability.  

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:confused1:  Not at all understanding what this person means by " but high schoolers need different socialization".  :confused1: 

 

I believe most parents (not just homeschoolers) have parenting goals to raise children who are kind and considerate with others, are good thinkers, develop a variety of interests, and who are involved in family life, church, local community, and the world. JMO, but a parent does this by modeling those qualities and activities, and by providing lots of opportunities for the children. And it's something that is done all throughout all the years of parenting, adjusting as the child matures and the child's needs change.

 

In case you're looking for ideas about activities, below is a list of ideas that I just cut-and-pasted from a past post. Best of luck with figuring out what is meant by "high school socialization needs" ;). Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Music Extracurricular

- private lesson providers (instrument or voice) and participation in recitals

- homeschool co-ops offering music/drama/performance-based classes and end-of-year performances

- some private, public or charter schools allow participation in their band/orchestra

- join a community youth band/orchestra/choir

- look into community classes or organizations for folk music, folk dancing, etc.

- community youth theater groups (example: Christian Youth Theater)

- class offerings of your local Parks & Rec department

- participation in a church choir, worship team, bell ringing group, etc.

- many large churches have special Christmas musical performances opportunities for youth

 

Fine Arts/Writing:

- attend student matinee showings of theater productions, concerts, etc.

- field trips to art museum, glass-blowing studio, pottery studio...

- art from a private lesson provider

- homeschool co-op offering fine arts classes

- Parks & Rec classes: arts and crafts, jewelry-making, print-making, etc.

- student writes articles for publishing in a local newspaper

- student writes own blog

- participate in NaNoWriMo

 

Sports/Athletic/Outdoor

- club sports (AYSO, Bobbysoxers, Little League, Pop Warner, etc…)

- swim team

NYS sports teams

- YMCA sports teams

- public, private or charter middle / high schools allow participation on their sports teams

- Parks & Rec classes

- after school bowling league

- weekly homeschool group PE day

- private classes/studios: martial arts, dance, fencing, horseback riding, gymnastics, cheerleading...

Orienteering

Geocaching or Letterboxing

- family or local group for weekend hiking / running / biking / tennis / etc.

- weekend "pick up" games at the park or gym of basketball, ultimate frisbee, etc.

 

National Groups, with local branches

4-H (not just animals! -- archery, public speaking; rockets…)

- Scouting

Math Olympiad group

National Forensics League (speech/debate)

STOA (Christian speech & debate)
National Christian Forensics and Communication Association

Christian Communicators of America 

DECA (high school business-career oriented)
FIRST Robotics (high school robotic team competition)
National Science Bowl (middle school/high school knowledge competition)

Youth & Government (model legislation program)

TEEN Pact (government and the political process; Christian)

Junior State of America (civics and politics)
National Model United Nations or Model United Nations (mock U.N. session)
Teen CourtYouth CourtMock Trial (mock judicial)

Future Farmers of America

 

Community Opportunities

- community historical recreation group

Community Gardens

- volunteer student tutor to young strudents at local library

- volunteer work with an animal shelter, food bank, or other group of interest

- after school clubs at local middle/high school: chess, robotics, book club, etc.

- homeschool geography bee, spelling bee, etc.

- summer programs for teens, offered through your local University or Community College

- join an air soft and/or paintball group and go out on the weekends

- organize monthly ballroom dances for teens at a local church or hall 

- host a bi-weekly club at your house for DC and friends: book discussion, jewelry-making, cooking...

- teen works a part time job, or starts own cottage business

 

High School Military Cadet Groups

Civil Air Patrol  (ages 12-18)
U.S. Naval Sea Cadets (ages 11-17)
Junior ROTC (grades 9-12)
U.S. Army Junior ROTC

 

Past Threads with lots of ideas:

Low income people and extracurriculars

Finding extra-curricular

What extracurricular activities for the high school years?

What kinds of extra activities for high schoolers?

DS is so, so lonely

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I have found that our area offers a lot more for a High School age homeschooler than it ever did for elementary.  I agree that High Schoolers need different socialization than an elementary age child.  More time to be independent, for one thing.  But if they (and sometimes you, too) are proactive about it, it is probably easier to handle providing opportunities for that socialization as a homeschooled High Schooler than a ps High Schoolers since they theoretically have more free time, yet can still maintain rigorous High School academics.  But I agree with upthread, this depends on the child, the parent, the schools, your area, etc.

 

If this person has never homeschooled, I would take every single thing they say with a grain of salt.  They don't know the flip side of the coin.  All they know is the one view.  They have no real background knowledge to work from, only stereotypes, misinformation and lack of experience in this area (I was one of those once upon a time).  If they have homeschooled their own kids, preferrably through High School, at least for a bit, then certainly they might have some good observations you could take into consideration for your particular circumstances.

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I know the socialization subject has been talked through, but a comment from a friend prompted me to second think things. She asked if I was planning on homeschooling through high school. I replied that I didn't know, but sometimes worry that I'm not " up for it" ( probably whole other topic there). Anyway, she said " yeah, and what about socialization?" To which I replied they get ample social time. She said " but high schoolers need different socialization".

 

Any thoughts?

 

I have no assumptions about what kind of different socialization your friend thinks a high schooler needs. Perhaps she meant the sports, band and clubs available in high school and maybe she meant learning to get along with all types and enduring the *harsh reality* of high school. (I don't think the latter but I've had folks say that they think kids need to learn to deal with it to be adequately socialized.)

 

Anyway, here's what we found.  When our oldest was in 8th grade and we examined the question whether to homeschool or public school for high school, one of the deciding factors was that we were pleased with our children; we were happy with their character, their curiosity and the way they related to us, their siblings, their friends, older neighbors, people of all ages and types. Notevenwithstanding academics, we were very content with their *socialization* -- i.e. their personalities and ability to relate to others. For that reason and a few others, we chose to continue homeschooling through high school. 

 

And as far as sports, club and band, there are so many opportunities for homeschooled high schoolers where we live that we have to continually say no to very good things.  

 

Lisa

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I have no assumptions about what kind of different socialization your friend thinks a high schooler needs. Perhaps she meant the sports, band and clubs available in high school and maybe she meant learning to get along with all types and enduring the *harsh reality* of high school. (I don't think the latter but I've had folks say that they think kids need to learn to deal with it to be adequately socialized.)

 

Lisa

Yep, I've come across this attitude and it's usually one of these. Either, "they need to go to prom/ attend football games/ be in band, ect" which shows a lack of understanding that homeschoolers can also do all those things OR "they need to be exposed to recreational drug use, teen sex, bullying and lock-in drills" which IMO is just ???

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Just the other night I was with a group of friends.  All of our children attend public high schools.  

 

One girl was approached by a group of boys offering to sell her drugs.  Of course, most of us saw that as Bad.

 

But one dad said, "well, she's going to have to learn to deal with it some time!"

 

?!?!?!?!?!?  

 

Some people have really warped views of necessary socialization.

 

 

 

 

 

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I've graduated two teens, and I currently am homeschooling two more.

 

And I wish we didn't have quite so many opportunities for socializing! (LOL)

 

Assure your friend - and yourself - that socialization in the high school years is definitely not a problem.

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Thanks all! Yeah, I am not sure how she meant it specifically, though she did imply that homeschoolers would not be receiving that "socialization". I chose not to engage in further conversation with her about it ( wasn't in the mood) but it did strike a sore spot with me. My dc are on the timid side so even though we participate in a lot of activities they seem to always stay on the outside. They seem very happy and content. I'm the one that worries a bit.

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I have never had a random person come up and try to sell me drugs. But I don't think I would find the lack of practice a problem. I also went to high school and like a lot of people I was never a cheerleader, didn't play in a sports team or a band and didn't attend the prom.

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I think high school as an institution actually encourages some teenagers to follow the mainstream model of increasing independence by rebelling against their parents, teachers or other authority figures. This 'rebellious stage' is so common that many parents actually view it as an unavoidable phase of child development, however it is not unusual in home educating circles for the process of moving toward independence to be relatively smooth and easy. 

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I would actually like to home school high school even if I never get to home school before then. At least at primary a lot of the wasted time is fun stuff. At high school it is just moving about and waiting. Besides at the rate stuff is being added to the NZ school day there won't be time to do maths and English unless they have a 10 hour day.

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We have had the most success with joining area-wide organizations that are focused on each teen's interests. My oldest was part of a regional theater workshop for years--he was the only homeschooler. And he went to prom with a friend from the group. He made friends from an annual film festival he has been in each year. He also has made friends at the community college. My DS15 is making friends all over the metro region with other artistic teens in a program at a museum downtown. Both boys have made friends all over the country at summer programs, and keep in touch with those friends through social media. My daughter plays in a regional orchestra and chamber group, and rides horses at a local barn. She has friends from all over, and is the only homeschooler. We have homeschool friends we see at coop and other classes, but they live too far from us for social events to be practical.

 

If my kids were in high school, it would be harder for them to participate in these regional activities. I think the culture at schools produces a mass-think that discourages going outside the box of the school. It is too easy to just follow whatever everyone else is doing. As homeschoolers we have to work harder to find social outlets, but that makes our DC's commitment that much more intentional.

Maria

 

 

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