I will never understand the whole socialization concern issue with homeschooling. My mother once again expressed her socialization concerns to me yesterday after reading an article where a teenage homeschooled girl did not know how to make friends or be around other kids her age. The unsocialized homeschoolers in this world are the result of neglectful parenting, not homeschooling. These are the kids who would have probably been bullied and teased and humiliated (or bullies, teasers, and humiliators) if they had gone to school. I would NEVER shelter my kids from experiencing all of this beautiful world. I may put a few filters on, but J is pretty streetwise and holds her own very well in a large group. Actually, she is usually the one everyone wants to sit next to or tell secrets to. I don't see why a kid has to be forced to sit in a room with the same 25 kids for 30 hours a week. How is that good socialization? It's almost like an arranged marriage. Here you go, these will be your new friends - they're all your age! Sorry, but you're stuck with this group whether you like it or not. Who cares if this one is stealing your pens or that one puts gum in your hair.
So, I told my mother that I just read about this 15 year-old boy in public school who couldn't read. See how baaaad public schools are? They can't even teach reading! A kid from J's dance group is so nasty to the other kids and doesn't seem to have friends there. She goes to schoooool. How can they not teach this kid how to share and treat others nicely?? 3 public high school boys robbed and beat an elderly man in Brooklyn the other day. And you guessed it - these are not homeschooled kids! 4 parents I know are sending their kids to Sylvan (or an equivalent). What's going on here? Aren't the schools doing their job?? And one of the parents has both kids in Catholic school - so she's paying at least $7500 per year for school PLUS the $150 or so per week to have 2 kids in Sylvan! Isn't it funny how those who don't homeschool will take a negative article they read and decide that THIS is how all homeschooled kids must be, but no one seems to do that when articles show public schools just arent' working for many kids. The problem is that homeschooling has never been written about unless it was about one of the "bad" families - usually overly religious families who won't tolerate their kids even being around anyone who doesn't believe what they believe. I want J to know about all religions and beliefs. I thought it would be cool to celebrate different religious holidays (everything from Buddhism to Wicca). I feel that J should see what's out there so that as an adult she'll be able to select path to fulfilment that suits her best. I think we're a very regular normal family, open to new ideas, in with the latest trends, and not pushing anything down anyone's throat. I wear makeup and look cute, and do not own a denim jumper or braid my hair. Let's all lose the homeschool stereotypes, please.
J and I had another talk about homeschooling and I told her to tell me if there's anything she didn't like about about being homeschooled. I said I want to know so we can fix things and she definitely wouldn't be hurting my feelings or anything like that. I said her education is so important and we can change whatever she felt wasn't working -even if that meant going back to school. I got the most odd look. She said, "Ma, homeschooling is better than anything. I love all the things we do. And I have the coolest friends now!". Yeah, that's true. She is having a sleepover tonight with S, and another one with G next week. J is so personable, that she usually forms an immediate bond with other kids the minute she meets them. There was a birthday party for a couple of the dancers the other day with pizza and cupcakes. We're going to a competition in New Jersey in a couple of weeks where everyone from the studio will be staying over at a hotel for 2 nights with a pool. J doesn't seem to be lacking on the friends front. Nor is she deficient where respect for adults in concerned. J has become conident and self-assured and can hold her own when speaking with adults. So, until my mother does some intense reading up on homeschooling and unschooling, I will not be debating about such things with her.
Link of the day: