Thursday, March 25, 2010



To place under government or group ownership or control.

To make fit for companionship with others; make sociable.

To convert or adapt to the needs of society.

To take part in social activities.

Whenever someone wants to argue against homeschooling, they bring up the issue of "socialization". Do they really believe that a tradional school is the only place that children can become "socialized"? And which definition of "socialize" are they referring to? 1) Do my children need to be placed under group ownership or control? That would be a NO. 2) Do they need traditional school to be made "fit" for companionship with others? No, again. 3) I don't believe it is the purpose of school to force children to adapt to the needs of society. 4) Do my kids take part in social activities? Yes, they do. They are in karate, gymnastics, and dance classes. We regularly meet with friends at parks or other venues.

On Wednesdays, the kids and I meet at a park with a wonderful group of families that happen to home school. These kids get along so wonderfully. Sometimes there are little problems to work out, but, for the most part, the kids (who range in age from 2-11) are very respectful of each other. The older ones look out for the younger ones, and the younger ones look up to the older ones. The kids share their toys and their snacks. Next week we'll have an Easter egg hunt. We celebrate birthdays.

A few weeks ago, a boy from a local school was bullying a young child from our group. Ryan stood up to the boy and demanded that he return the younger child's toy. When he refused, Ryan took the toy and gave it back to it's rightful owner. Despite the incident, Ryan ended up playing with the boy who had taken the toy, trusting that the boy could play fair. Yesterday, this child appeared at the park again. Ryan was more than willing to play with the boy, that is, until the kid kicked him. Ryan did not strike back, but he sure told that boy what he thought of his behavior. He also told him he didn't want to play with him anymore. The boy seemed upset that Ryan and Luke wouldn't play with him, but he never apologized, not even when I told him it wasn't OK to kick other children.

Where was this boy's parent or caregiver at this time? I don't know, but whoever it was either didn't care or wasn't watching closely enough to realize what was going on. I feel sorry for the boy, because he seems to be looking for attention.

Who displayed the more socially acceptable behavior? The home school kid or the one from the brick and mortar school? There is so much more to behaving in a manner that is socially acceptable than what one learns in school. As a wise friend pointed out, our kids don't have to be at school to learn about socialization. There are experiences everywhere that they interact with other children and adults.

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