Friday, January 21, 2011


This subject causes homeschooling families to roll their eyes. How many times have you heard, as a homeschooler, "What about socialization?" It seems to be a legitimate concern of public schoolers and pediatricians.

I wonder how much socialization happens in the public school anyway? Some, of course, but it's all based around classes and break times. If you truly want to get to know someone or 'socialize' with them you still need to set up play dates or sleepovers or get togethers even if they are "socializing" all day at school.

I attend a monthly "Tumble Time" with my youngest 3. It's for children ages birth to 6 years and older siblings can come as well if they want to. I was sitting there watching the children at Tumble Time the other day and I noticed that all of the kids gravitated towards their own siblings. Even children who had friends at the playgroup would chat w/ their friends for a moment, but really played with their own siblings the most. I realized that as far as socialization goes, it seems that you get a lot of it in your own home if you have more than 1 child. My kids are each other's best friends and worst enemies depending on the day. They learn to play together and the proper way to behave with someone else with each other. They learn the proper way to have a disagreement with each other. Of course it's good to have them learn to be comfortable with people not in the family & it's easy to do that if you search out opportunities with homeschool coops and church or scouts or sports... the list could go on. But, essentially, their most important socialization happens within their own home. They learn how to chat w/ adults and relate to people with different thoughts and ideas in the safe setting of their own home. It think it's awesome!! And, to be honest, the homeschooled teens I know tend to be much more comfortable talking with adults than public schooled teens I know. They also tend to not have as much of a negative attitude towards younger children. In our homeschool group the older teens/kids help out the younger children a lot. It's nice to see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The One About the "Me, Me, Me Syndome"

Everywhere you turn these days there is someone telling you to think about yourself. From loosing weight to adventure trips some advertisement will say "Do this for YOU" or tell you to "stop thinking about other people and do 'x' for yourself."

Don't get me, wrong... I think it's essential to take time for yourself. I think it's essential to want to loose weight or learn or new hobby or branch out into a new adventure for yourself. But I think there's so much emphasis on doing what YOU want to do that we begin to focus internally a bit too much.

My issue with this is that you will find no where in the Bible where God says 'look at yourself first.' He always focuses on "Love God. Love Others. and THEN... Love yourself." Not love yourself first. So on my drive home from visiting a friend this evening I really got to thinking about this subject. I realized that the times in my life where I've first focused on God and secondly on others, *I* began to feel more fulfilled without even having to focus on myself.

I correct myself.. there is one instance where God does tell us to focus on ourselves... He tells us not to point out the sins of others until we are sinless. ;)