What About Socialization?
This is probably the “most” asked question when talking with someone who is considering homeschooling for the very first time. I know it was one of the first questions “I” asked when thoughts of homeschooling entered my life 12 years ago. I only knew what “I” had experienced through my own public and private school situations. Anything different seemed unfamiliar and scary.
All these years later and I now lovingly laugh when asked about socialization. You see, what I found was that it wasn’t a “lack” of socialization opportunities that we experienced as homeschoolers, but just the opposite. I had to actually learn how to occasionally say “no” to things that didn’t work towards a specific goal. Field trips alone can take us away from our home several times a month, not to mention, park days, homeschool co-op’s, nature classes, drama, choir, you name it. Homeschooling has given us far more socialization opportunities than my children would have ever experienced in a traditional school setting.
As I looked back to my own personal school experiences, what I remember about socialization is that for me, I was socialized in things that I should have never been exposed to. My life wasn't better because of the socialization I received in my public and private school experiences. As a matter of fact I shudder when I think what my young ears heard and young eyes saw. You see, we are always being socialized, but the environment dictates whether that is going to be a good experience or bad.
So, what about socialization? Well, the homeschooling lifestyle allows positive and purposeful socialization. Having an 18 year old gives me perspective that I could never have had back when we first began. I now see that homeschooling gives my children a leg up socially. My boys are comfortable with younger children, older children, peers, adults and elderly alike. They THRIVE working with people of all different ages.
Please note that there can be a downside to the level of socialization that takes place in a homeschool situaiton......, it often interrupts our school days. Field trip opportunities seem to happen right when we should be doing math. (smile) However, I have found that my children learn so much through our field trip experiences that I do not want to say "no". This is why I personally believe there is no better curriculum for my children than Time4learning. Because of it’s flexibility and independent nature, my children can have the best of both worlds. My boys can say "YES" to incredible socialization opportunities that come along because Time4Learning adapts to our day rather than making us adapt to it's schedule.
Time4learning allows my family to fully embrace a lifestyle of education. Afterall, learning doesn’t just take place between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
How about you? What are your thoughts on socialization? What does socialization look like in your life?