21 March 2011

But what about socialization.....

No, not this again!! I'm sure it's not going to be long and we will be seeing this question on bill boards all across our nation's highways simply because of it's popularity. But I'm not going there anymore. I've exhausted myself on the issue and closed the book on it. However, I really don't mind sharing what other's have to say about it. Because no matter who you ask, I think you may get a different answer. I've chosen one from R. C. Sproul to sum it up for many of us who have chosen to homeschool our children.

"Sometimes I ask those who raise this objection, "Now, when you speak of socialization, you're talking about my child's ability to get along with others who are different. Is that it?"

Uh, well, yes!

"And your solution is for my 10-year-old to spend seven hours a day stuck in a room with a bunch of other ten year olds?" "But this isn't really what people mean by socialization. What they want for my daughter is for her to be hip to all the things other 10-year-old girls are concerned about, like fashion labels, television shows, pop singers, and other essentials to the good life. They are concerned that my daughter is not under the sway of Madison Avenue, that she is free. But I have none of that concern. I raise my daughter, her sister, and her brother to be free. Their identity is in Christ, not in pop culture." R. C. Sproul

I have decided that there is some bottomless pit somewhere from which questions like this are pulled. How about you? What are your answers or comments that you have on socialization?


momoflots said...

Amen!! I love R.C. Sproul!! He is such a man of God and speaks so clearly so all can understand!! My kids are socialized - by people of all kinds - senior citizens, the disabled, adults, and children younger than themselves - by any and all people they come across. They have learned to be interested in other peoples lives and to care about all - not just what their peers may be currently wearing or what TV show is the most popular! I agree - I am tired of getting asked about socialization - it's a myth of this society and a pretty newfangled one at that!! Hope your day is a great one!!


Jennifer said...

AARGH!! Let's not start this again. :) I think it needs to become a dying topic. But sadly, that's not going to happen as long as there are naysayers in the world who refuse to think outside the box.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I agree. What do they mean by socializaion? My children can converse with adults. I have seen teens that don't even know how to talk to another teen, let alone another adult. I think being able to have a conversation with someone younger or older is the ideal socialization. Another perk to having a large family as well!

wonderinthewoods said...

What I really want to say publicly on my own blog but don't for fear of offending my public school friends, is that I have noticed that all public school children I've met act like they are not happy to see other kids. They avoid interacting then finally warm up halfway into the playdate. These were previously open and friendly children before they started kindergarten, it got worse in first grade and even worse in second grade. Of course, I cannot mention it to my friends because they will assume my son doesn't know how to fit in with other children. I see the opposite happening. In homeschool groups, kids are more interested in making new friends and being friendly to everyone instead of the PS model of forming cliques and culling the kids who make eye contact instead of avoid it... Is it just me noticing this? It's a current issue rattling in my brain. I wish this "concern" would die too. Then I could talk to my friends without all of us getting defensive.

Anonymous said...

I find that both sides become defensive very quickly. I have been around long enough to observe a lot of both. In fact, I work in a public school, my children have attended public school and we have many home-schooled families as friends. Yes, believe it or not! It works. My children are all serving the Lord in different capacities and are very well adjusted socially etc. Lots of our home-schooled families' children are likewise stable social children, teenagers and adults. Obviously, you can't put all the home-schooled families in one box, and most certainly you can not do that with public-schooled children, either. Take a good look around you...well, we live in Canada, and according to statistics our public school system is better (I'm not being judgmental, just stating facts)...and you will observe the same. We need to be gracious with each other. We often have home-schooled children entering our public school system and yes, indeed, in our school and surrounding area we have noticed that more often than not they really lack some social skills. Now, there are a wide range of social skills, remember. They can't all be itemized in the one phrase "social skills" and therein lies the stickler! Having said that I also need to say that we also have numerous families sending their children to our schools whose social skills are also lacking; we have to work on skills for both camps. The skills needed are simply just not the same ones, generally.

It's interesting, but years ago when I very badly wanted to home-school my own children it was my husband who balked at it. His reason: "I don't want it said of us or our children that we are also of the camp who thinks only we are doing the right thing for our children!". I submitted, and years later I can thankfully say that I'm glad we didn't, much as I would have liked to. You see, there's stereotyping coming from both sides, and what it really comes down to is preparing your child to live for Christ in whatever environment he will find himself. It's tough, really tough but through Christ it's possible! We raised our children entirely without T.V. and to this day still don't have one. They were always at the top of the class and were leaders in their class. We were too strict at times, I'm afraid, but we always sat them down and discussed why they could not participate in certain events, read certain books or dress certain ways. They were in style, but always modest and never boasting designer clothes. We couldn't afford it anyway. In our area there are many home-schooled families whose children end up wayward when they become late teenagers or adults, and it breaks my heart because they become the general picture of home-schooling families here. In my 25 years of being involved in a public school I can honestly say what it amounts to is solid Christian family values and morals taught in the home that will bring glory to God whether the child has been home-schooled or public-schooled. And there's no reason why the 2 can't meld and have fellowship with each other; it's educational for both sides. And as for the commenter who says that children who attend public school have become more inferior when meeting new folks, well, I wouldn't blame that on the school so much as the family setting, but again, there's more involved as to why they appear more hesitant, but that's a whole different angle of the picture...always consider a wide spectrum of factors before making a conclusion. Happy schooling, everyone!

mommyx12 said...

Wow to my anonymous commenter. That was a mouthful to say the least and I appreciate everything you said. You are right, it does boil down to family. To the family, the atmosphere of the home, standards, etc. I also agree that Canada is rated higher than the US. Last I read the US ranked 38th place in the world. Being such a powerful nation as we are supposed to be sure doesn't do well in the education department.

I am very pro homeschooling to say the least. I have seen many children stay the course of their faith coming from PS, unfortunately though, there are far too many who don't. And that is why I chose homeschooling. And even like you said, that doesn't always play out in our children like we would want but for us, the situations we faced when we were younger and in school, the many temptations children today is why we decided to homeschool.

But now I think the that while my reasons have changed over the years I am further committed to homeschooling. Not for the reasons stated above so much but for what is being taught, and not taught in our schools. I cannot in good conscience allow my children to be exposed to some of the acceptable social, cultural mind sets that are being taught, and lived out in the PS here in America. I know wonderful Christian teens who truly believe that homosexuality is acceptable if that is what a person wants. They have been brainwashed so extensively over their years in PS that certain things are acceptable when in fact, biblically, they are not. And the things going on "under the table" that we don't see. How many parents actually go over the school day with their children minute by minute to see exactly what is happening. The bullying, swearing, lying, dirty talk, prank playing, fighting, cheating, light minded behavior that mostly we blame on being typical childhood behavior. These things have an affect on our children over time and help to cultivate their world view. Which, as parents, I hope we want to be a Biblical world view.

So it really isn't all about socialization. But if we were only to discuss this issue, then yes, you have very valid points. In school or not there are children who struggle with social skills, and adults too for that matter. Again, it shows us just how important family is when building a foundation for our children to build on. In PS or in homeschool.

Thank you for your comments and take on my post. It served to be a great conversation piece.

Becca said...

I love the R.C. Sproul quote! Definitely couldn't have said it better.

Camille said...

Love this post! What a perfect quote! Thank you for sharing. :)