Sunday, August 16, 2009
The 'S' Word
Just read this comic on Alex's blog Serendipity and went to Jason's site to get it. I think this accurately describes how we as homeschoolers deal with the 's' word (socialization). Granted, there are definitely those who homeschool that keep their children away from others for reasons they believe are good. However, they are not the majority. As a former classroom teacher I can say that all the socializing that people want to think is going on in schools--isn't. It's one of the main things children get in trouble for at school--socializing (ie talking in class, passing notes, texting). So why do we continue to believe that this is what makes being in school better than being homeschooled?
Another point: socialization is not the same as socializing. The adults in a community/culture are the ones who socialize the younger. We set the examples, the boundaries, the rules. We demonstrate how things are to be. Children are socialized by their parents and others in their community--not in a room full of children of the same age.
In talking to another homeschooling mom we remarked at how, outside of the traditional classroom setting, there is never another situation where people are grouped by age. Team sports may be grouped this way initially, but as children hone their skills they are then grouped this way. When we get a job we work with people of varying skill levels and ages. After being hired for my first teaching position after college, I wasn't paired with another new teacher (who was close in age) but a seasoned teacher with years of experience, who was old enough to be my mother. She was able to mentor me--to 'socialize' me to my new surroundings.
We learn a lot from being able to interact and learn from people of varying ages. Homeschooling allows for this on a daily basis. I spend a good bit of time outside of my home with my kids. They do have friends close in age but also get to spend time with a good variety of people from several walks of life.
For those who'd like to view the other comic strips here's the link to Jason Holm's Inflatablestudios. Pretty good stuff not to mention great cartoons for homeschooling (click "Webcomic: Schools are for fish")!