Home Education Advice You Didn’t Know You Needed
Day 4: Will My Kids Become Social Freaks?
Possibly! But, only if you are one yourself! Actually, what I’ve observed is that we are all freaks!
What do I mean by this? I mean that we are all a little quirky. My guys might be super nerdy about fishing and Battle Bots. Sometimes they wear their pants too high (gasp!) I get too excited about singing loud music in the car and my hubby about cleaning his hunting gear. We all have our thing! God gave us each a passion.
We are all different and homeschooling often provides a nonconforming environment where kids can just be themselves and not what everyone else wants them to be. When you school at home, you can let your freak flag fly with fervor!
Here are some examples:
- we unabashedly wear our pajamas most days until noon
- we geek out on books first thing in the morning, after prayers
- sometimes we read for two hours
- we bring our Zentangle books to the coffee shop and draw
- we listen to jazz while we study and work
- during the school day, we go out and visit the chickens when we get bored
- we wear crosses, sometimes two at once
And, this brings me to socialization. Dictionary.com defines socialization as…
- the activity of mixing socially with others, and
- the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society.
Many folks think that home schooled kids, because they are not with their age mates all day, lack valuable social skills. Home school pundits assume that children must be around children all day in order to learn to behave acceptably in society.
My experience is different. What I have observed is that kids who are around parents who teach them how to interact with others do so appropriately. Kids who attend public, private and home school, and have parents that make social interaction a priority, are usually socially appropriate. Home educated kids are not with their age mates 7 hours a day so they are often comfortable around adults and younger children because that’s who they see.
Here are some suggestions for integrating social interaction into your home school week:
- Join a home school community. If you live in a smaller town, it can be challenging to find a group, but there are plenty of groups and coops around, even in rural areas. Plenty of families drive an hour + weekly or monthly to participate in social events and field trips held through their home school groups and communities.
- Participate in a hybrid school or coop that meets once or twice a week.
- Have your students take Skype or other live feed classes where students have interactions with the teacher and other students.
- When your kids are in teen years, get them paging down at the state capitol. This is an excellent activity for practicing and fine tuning formal and informal conversation skills.
- Attend field trips with home school groups, families and / or friends.
- Meet Dad for lunch.
- Join a team sport
- Join a club like Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls.
- Attend your church’s youth programs.
- Serve in the community together. Find organizations that allow you to serve as a family and go there. Or, create your own service project: I’ve sent my kids out in the neighborhood with fliers announcing a coat drive. Then, a few days later, they return to pick up coats from donors.
The list above could go on and on.
Here are the takeaways: If you are a well-adjusted adult and you include your kids in a variety of activities, both peer oriented and adult oriented, your kids will most likely be socially adept. Remember, everyone is quirky. Embrace your God-given passions and skills and celebrate them. Perhaps others will catch the excitement, or at least they will appreciate the freedom you have to be yourself!