Friday, July 29, 2011

Socialize, socialize, socialize

Mmhmm... it's a key phrase, it's the most asked question when people find out you're homeschooling, and it's something my pediatrician has brought up at the last several appointments since hearing we're homeschooling (because clearly my very friendly, talkative children are lacking in socialization! @@)

So this is aimed at our dear pediatrician.

Dear Sir,
I've heard that you are concerned that my four children, since they are being homeschooled, might not have proper opportunities to socialize with children... other than their siblings (yes he really said that they needed to socialize with kids their own age other than their siblings), but I want to assure you that my children have plenty of opportunity to socialize.  Let me list these opportunities for you to put your mind at ease.

1 - they attend church every Sunday (as long as they aren't sick) and are in classes with similar aged peers.
2 - through the school year they attend our Awana program at church on Wed nights where again they are in class with similar aged peers.

3 - in the summer we attend our church's week-long VBS program where once more they are in class with similar aged peers.
4 - As they age into it and show desire they are registered for t-ball with similar aged peers.
mine is number 11
 5 - We make an honest attempt to spend time at the library weekly throughout the whole year - sometimes for story time and sometimes just to be there.  There is often socializing with peers of similar ages and would you believe it they socialize with the adult librarians too!  It's amazing!
6 - every time we walk into the grocery store all together they have opportunity to socialize as people comment on how good they are being or how cute they are.  Some adults even start conversations with my children and then (gasp) my children once again go socializing outside their age bracket.
7 - my children are blessed to be four of almost 12 cousins all 7 and under and so they are similar aged peers.  Regular playdates and family gatherings definitely qualify as socializing.
this is an older pic and it's missing a couple of cousins who weren't born yet.

from Easter this year.  Missing Tristan who lives in FL and the belly bean my sister hasn't had yet. lol

8 - it CANNOT be ignored here people - while we are home, together, during the day, my children socialize with one another.  I cannot for the life of me imagine WHY being siblings makes this socializing any less valid.  They learn sharing and problem solving together, they learn to play cooperatively.  They share ideas back and forth and they teach one another.  My oldest is happy to read aloud to his younger brothers.  My younger boys are happy to show their baby sister how things work.

It's also necessary to mention that most of a teacher's time at school is spent telling the children to STOP talking (ie socializing) and listen to learn.  So really the whole homeschoolers lack socialization thing is a HUGE unfounded myth.  Yes there are some families that are super sheltering, we are not one of those families.  I LOVE for my children to get together with their friends and their cousins.... so that *I* can socialize!

In conclusion, I hope that this plethora of socialization opportunities, my children have, puts your mind at rest and we are able to move on from this serious misconception of yours.  Because really if you're going to be concerned with my home schooling shouldn't you care more about whether my children are learning the fundamentals of reading and math that they will need to succeed in the future in higher education and career paths than whether or not they have enough time to chit chat with other children the same age as them???

the somewhat annoyed mom of the super socialized monkey boys and princess girl

PS. The princess if given a mirror will even socialize with herself! Now THAT is socialization at it's best!

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