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Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Heart of the Matter Meme : The Way We Socialize

Time again for the Friday Meme at Heart of the Matter. This week's topic of conversation is "The Way We Socialize".

Yuck. The "S"-word. Homeschoolers hate to be asked that dreaded question...not because we are afraid to answer it, but because it is a horse beaten quite to death. (Before you ask the question, do a google search on "socialize homeschool" and see what comes up. )

The most important thing a homeschooler wants you to know is that our idea of "SOCIALIZATION" is probably different from yours while our goals are probably the same: kids who can get along with others and who are socially-adept (ie. can have a conversation).

If our goals are the same, how can we have different ideas about the concept? Well, for one, I don't think the best way to help a child become socially-adept is to confine him to a group of same-age peers for 6 or more hours a day where he actually is instructed not to interact with those peers for the majority of that time.

So, how do we socialize?

We go on frequent field trips - to parks, plays, farms, museums where we learn that different environments means different behavior.

They play with a group of neighborhood kids that range in age from 3 to 13 - in my backyard, happily, almost daily. They learn: give and take, dealing with conflict, watching out for and helping those younger than themselves, being responsible leaders and how to have fun without having to be entertained.

They join me on all sorts of errands: stores, grocery, post office, doctor's office, auto repair shop, DMV, and lots more. They learn about interacting with strangers and how to take care of household business.

My kids, and most homeschoolers, are learning to be socially-adept by: being with a wide range of ages of children and by observing my interactions with other adults in the community (and interacting with those adults themselves) on a regulary basis.

and that is the way we socialize. :)


Andrea said...

I enjoyed this post. One of the best aspects of homeschooling, imo, is that our children are able to interact with such a wide variety of people who are of diverse ages.

Thanks for sharing!


Angela said...

It never ceases to amaze me when a group of homeschoolers come together and the teens interact with the toddlers for example... it truly is a unique dynamic that you don't find in ps.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree! Thanks for sharing!

Shari Ellen said...

Isn't it nice when the neighbor kids come over to play? We see the neighbor kids almost every day.

Heidi @ Southpaugh Homeschool said...

Enjoyed your post, thanks!! : )