I quite often get asked about socialization, since my kids are homeschooled. The worry of the folks is that my kids will be weird and will “Stand Out.” Please watch this video at the link below and think about what it would mean for this woman to stand out. It is hilarious and hard to believe. It is what really happens to adults here in this video. If it can happen to adults in a real-world situation, it can happen to your kids in real-life situations, too.
Where do my kids get socialization from, if not from public school? The truth be told, they are mostly taught by me and by one another (siblings). This is not a bad thing. This means that my child will be taught manners, politeness and empathy by me. They will be taught about making friends, bullies and standing up for themselves, by me. When they play with kids they socialize with, all of the homeschool moms are there. They all influence the kids. When they socialize with adults in the real world, as they often do, they are taught social behavior by those adults. Even then, most of those times, I am still there.
Many people think this is crazy and that it means I am too controlling and I am not letting my kids grow up and be mature. The truth from my perspective is, I do not think that before they are mature adults, that they are old enough to be away from me as long as kids who are in public school are away from their parents. I am still training them because they still need it. I do not think that letting go of time with kids is supposed to happen too often before certain ages. I do believe that as kids get older, they can keep the socialization they learned from me when not with me, more and better. For this reason, I allow them to be away from me more and more as they get older.
One thing that appalled me about the Weber County Early Intervention Pre-School I took my son to years ago and stayed to observe, was the following. There was a girl with muscular dystrophy and maybe also cerebral palsy, in the classroom. She cried and cried. I wanted to get up and go comfort her. I did not but I asked the teacher why nobody cared that this girl was crying. The reason, she said, was that she cries like this every time she came there. She told me, “Just ignore her.” A few minutes later, her extremely militant, very cruel physical therapist came in. This therapy was probably something the parents were happy that their daughter could have for free at this government-paid-for preschool program because of her “individualized student plan” needs. I do not think the parents knew what was going on. This physical therapist, who, quite obvious to me, had never experienced the things that this little girl was faced with, called her lazy and stupid, yelling at her, then forcing her to move. The little girl said it hurt and the therapist just kept telling her to move and stop being lazy. All of this, my son and I were supposed to “just ignore.” Everyone else was just ignoring, after all. I decided not to send my son to this place. It was a place of no empathy.
Now watch the video on this blog post (Reason #330 to Homeschool) so that you know what I am rambling about!