mandag 3. februar 2014

Why homeschool? part 5

He-he, now I guess I kept you waiting long enough :))) The BIG S! :)))

Freedom of socialization

The notion which makes the majority of people around to frown and to make the picture of our kids chained to a table in a dungeon in their minds: the homeschool kids are deprived of socialization. Well, let us see.

What is socialization in the eyes of everyone? Sitting a whole day in a company of people with whom you have nothing in common but a year of birth. Is this socialization? And you are stuck with these people for 10 years!

You could say: but school recess! That is when the socialization is done. But have you seen kids at a regular European school recently? Seriously, have you? The kids older than 8 are all into their digital gadgets. They are playing, chatting, taking selfies and twitting. They socialize online. Now tell me, why is the location that important then? They can well twit from home, right? 

And the situation at home is a bit different. Yes, our children have friends whom they contact online, but a lot of their socialization is actually face-to-face. They are socializing with kids who might be of very diverse age groups, but have the same passion to music, to sports. Three friends my son has, come from his fencing club, and they are all older, one is in high school. You should see how they support each other at a fencing tournament! How they stand for each other and encourage even if one looses. This is the friendship one can cherish for life. 

His best friend is a musician. And when they are together, guess what, sometimes they play music pieces, nobody makes them, they just love that. This kid is actually one and a half years younger. 

Maria's best friend is also a boy, a neighbor who spends a lot of time at our home playing games and discussing things with her.

Children in the orchestra are often taking the time to do things together, in addition to playing on rehearsals, which also makes bonds between them. Of course, meeting other homeschoolers is an arena for socialization as well. We have regular meetings, both organized (as museum or other cultural tours, crafts, sports activities and such) and on private basis, when we visit each other and spend time together, both parents and kids.

It was funny to see a mother picking up her son from Daniel’s birthday party in a bowling center. She commented on how surprised she was to see such a diverse group of friends our son had. The kids were between 8 and 18, both boys and girls, while her son’s parties consist usually of only boys from his class. 

Together with our Grandmother.
Another important socialization issue is family bonds. These bonds get weaker through years due to all the different lives the families are leading. This privilege to be at home which I have is a great blessing to all of us. We know each other well; we interact, play, talk and address the important issues when they come up. The children learn to interact with each other in a kind and respectful way.  They don’t need to fight for parents’ love, since they don’t need to divide between themselves the precious one hour of parental attention before bedtime, but can address us and receive help, advice or just a listening ear whenever they need that. We enjoy time together and I hope the kids also will remember this family warmth which they receive, and keep being there for each other through life.

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