Every single person I have mentioned homeschooling to thinks it's terrible that my child won't be able to socialize. I think they are clueless about what alot of kids are like. We swim at the Y in the summer. The first day some boys his age were playing and screamed at him he couldn't play with them. He hadn't even gone near them much less asked to play. The next day some kids were playing a game asking each other what they liked. One was,"Do you like beer?' Yesterday a girl about 6 told a boy she wanted to have his baby. So who are all these kids that my son would beneift from socializing with?
Amen, sister. I think the criticism comes from the same place as those who attack religion. I think it comes from a (maybe even subconscious) sense of guilt that they wouldn't want to take on the responsibility of having any kind of devotion to something. When you give your life over to something greater than yourself, you can't have a consequences be damned kind of attitude and do whatever you feel like on a whim. Just a guess. I know from my own memories of public school, I am no richer for the students and teachers with whom I had to tolerate.
My standing pat answer to the "socialization" query is, "We socialize pit bulls, not children." My four year old ASD child is blossoming at home. He has no difficulty navigating the social web when he is with other children, and now that his speech has improved so greatly, we will be getting him out with the local homeschooling group more often. I really don't see how he could have possibly made these gains in a preschool when I have had the luxury of focusing my attention solely on him, while specifically tailoring my schedule, his therapy, and the curriculum to HIS needs and personality. I could never afford the school that would do that for him, if it even exists. I know that school isn't in this town, and it sure as heck isn't a public institution.
One thing that impressed me about the HS kids in the group is I can actually tolerate their presence. I'm not a kid person. I have been a reading tutor and a spelling coach. As all of you, I was a kid. ;0) I have never enjoyed being around a lot of OPKs, but the HS kids are so polite, genuinely curious, and so far, I've seen now of that nasty antagonism, the learning shutdown, or the violence I've always abhorred in B&M kids, public and private. There are pagan, conservative Christian, and agnostic parents, and their kids are all delightful. My child will have the benefit of encountering other beliefs systems safely and in an atmosphere of education. Believe me, the schools here are no holly jolly melting pot or cultural resource center; everyone sticks to their own and HATES everyone else. That is not what I want my child to learn about interacting with the world full of people different from himself.
It is the parenting, and when parents let the schools raise their kids, where do the kids learn things?
Here is a not funny funny for ya...
Before we began homeschooling, DS (red headed white guy with glasses)learned to use the "n" word with proper tone and inflection.
I know he didn't learn it at home. There were three lil black kids that would meet at the bus each morning and greet each other with,"yo my ni**a, wassup!?" So we were at a cousin's birthday party and he met this little black kid and they got along great.
After we got back from eating he walked up to this new kid and says...yup! You guessed it...lil red headed white boy runs up and say,"yo my no**a, wassup? Poor kid didn't know how to respond.
DS and I had a long talk. He didn't have a clue about why it was not only OK, but a sign of friendship for the bus kids but everyone FREAKED when he said it. (Which after we figured out the context of how he learned it he wasn't in trouble)
Anyway, I make a point to keep my kids around those with similar beliefs. We do church, Boy Scouts and Antlers (youth program through the Elks lodge) and I am involved in each program. Yes, we still get questionable kids, but I'm then in a position where I can talk to the kids about what is acceptable and what isn't as it comes up.
Exactly. I don't want to send my kids off to "socialize" with other children while some stranger is "supervising" them. Just this week my 4 year old niece was in her preschool class and another little girl her same age said they were going to play a game called "Sex" where they have to take off all their clothes and rub up against each other. When my niece told my SIL what game they had been playing, of course, SIL called the preschool right away. Apparently after my SIL talked to them about it (and pulled my niece out of preschool there) 5 or 6 more kids came forward and said they too had been playing that game with the little girl. Uggggggggggh. This is a preschool class with 2 or 3 adults who are supposed to be in there at all times. Yet somehow, on several occasions, little children were able to strip down naked, get under some blankets and rub against each other. I guess it isn't that I don't want my kids socializing with other kids like this, it is that I do not trust the school system to supervise the socialization so that it happens in an appropriate way.