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.

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