We’re kicking off a new series here at Cheeky Bums for those of you just wondering about homeschooling! Maybe you’re wondering if it’s right for you? There are a lot of factors that go into the decision to homeschool, and we want to give you some information to make that decision a little easier! We have an amazing team of guest bloggers that will be popping in now and then to give you their unique perspectives and to answer some of your most curious and pressing questions about that weird sub-culture that homeschools their children…
And for today, Joy, from here at Cheeky Bums Blog is going to cover a very frequently asked question of homeschoolers…
I want to homeschool…but will my kids be socialized if they’re home all the time?
One of the most frequently asked questions of home school parents is “what about socialization”? I remember when this was my own question and how I discovered the true meaning of socialization. Most of us have thought that if every single person doesn’t have the same experiences, they will be socially inept and completely out of touch with our culture and unable to function according to social norms.
According to Wikipedia, “Socialization is the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing a child with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his/her own society.” I found it fascinating that sociologists have discovered different means by which this is accomplished. “Primary Socialization occurs with immediate family and friends.” Further, they have discovered that “Secondary Socialization occurs outside the home and is usually associated with teens and adults” as they leave home, establish or change careers and interact with other people. As if that wasn’t eye opening enough, sociologists also believe that “The family is the most important agent of socialization because it is the center of a child’s life. Children learn continuously from the environment adults create.”
As a parent, I am absolutely convinced that it is my priority, prerogative and passion to safeguard the innocence of my child.
I am their Primary Socialization.
I know them best. I don’t trust anyone else with that privilege and responsibility. I am responsible for the Socialization of my child and integrating them into the culture in the ways I deem appropriate. It is for me to decide what is appropriate. That is the choice homeschooling offers.
Honestly, in what “real world” situation have you ever been in where all the people were exactly the same age? Since high school my friends and coworkers have tended to be at least 10 years older or younger than me and I certainly don’t find that strange or offensive. I enjoy all ages of people and I hope my kids will do the same.
How many of us live in a wilderness with no outside influence? We live out in the country but we are in contact with both kids and adults of all ages several days of the week at the library, grocery store, church, in private homes, through homeschool co-ops and even public parks. In all of these situations, the adult (parent) is teaching children how to interact with others. What you model, your kids will learn.
Because of the way in which I have chosen to socialize my children, they interact well with adults and children alike. Are reminders needed? Of course! Socialization is a lifelong process. The difference is that I am involved.
The “herd” mentality of socialization has failed. The family is the strongest force of socialization. I have been socializing & homeschooling my children since birth. My eldest is 16 and a junior in high school, she has friends of all ages. My son is 13 and in 8th grade. He loves to interact with all ages and is my most outgoing. My youngest is 9 and in 4th grade. She generally loves girls, but her best friends are a boy her own age and her grandmother. My husband and I recognize that we are extremely blessed that BOTH of our parents homeschooled our youngest siblings for a year or two and so are very supportive of our homeschool endeavors.
So no matter what, your child is going to be socialized. The question is, who do you want to socialize your children?