Thursday, October 22, 2009

Visiting Friends and Socialization

We schedule play dates with other homeschool friends. In these pictures we are visiting Austyn's best friend. They are also a homeschool family. It's so great to be free to visit them during the day.

Many people have this misconception that homeschoolers are socially deprived. I think you can tell from our blog that we are very involved with people every week. In fact one of the reasons we homeschool is because of the social benefits. Our schedule is full. Monday is Park day. We are there a minimum of three hours with other homeschoolers. At least once a month we have a homeschool field trip on Monday. Tuesday is Homeschool swimming for an hour in the afternoon. Wednesday is Story Time at the Library and Homeschool Skating. Thursday we are free for playdates and in the evening we have swimming lessons. Friday is free for Field Trips and in some select months we are go to a Mini-CoOp every Friday afternoon. On the weekends we usually race or visit family.

All homeschooling families I know are the same as us except many are also involved in their community and a select few who can't afford to do as much still find ways to have play dates, study with other families and have a field trip here and there. Stats in the U.S. say that homeschooling families do social activities outside of the home about 5-6 times a week on average. I can see that!

I find that the social interaction through homeschooling is a much higher quality of socialization because the kids interact with many ages and types of people. They also don't seem to have as many bad habits picked up by peers and are guided by a parent who is usually nearby. Because they are not restricted to peers of the same age for most of the day they learn how to behave more from the loving adults around them rather than the peers of the same age that they would be restricted to in a class room. They don't have to resort to sneaking letters. Their homeschool friends have the potential to be very close since they spend so much time with those families. I can say from our experience that the other homeschool kids in our groups almost feel like family because of the way they all treat each other.

Again, as in other posts, I am using the word "freedom". They are free to be. Free to interact with people they come in contact with in the world any time, any day. People can't remember this because it was a long time ago, but schools as we know it began about 200 years ago and before schools everyone was homeschooled. Schools are relatively new in human history. I have read that in those days kids looked up to adults and adults were friends to them. They helped each other and worked together to live. I don't know this from my experience since I wasn't alive then, but I'm sure we must have done just fine socially before schools came along.

The interesting thing is that our homeschool groups are growing fast. It's not too hard to imagine that there will be a homeschool family on each block in our lifetime. We could be in walking distance of other homeschool families. Socializing may get even easier with such close proximity. It's a real possibility!

I remember going to school and the majority of time we were in class and not out mingling with other kids. The teacher use to give me trouble in class for talking to a friend and the words I often heard were, "Stop talking!!! You didn't come here to socialize!!"

Peace!! And good Socializing to all!!  :)

"If there were no other reason for wanting to keep kids out of school, the social life would be reason enough", John Holt

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