by Nita Preston
There ARE Socialization Issues with Homeschoolers
Many, many, many times I considered the 'Socialization' aspect of homeschooling my kids. I have to be honest, I wasn't on the homeschool bandwagon for very long. Before, I was one of those parents who thought homeschooling was unrealistically keeping kids in a bubble.
Now my opinion has changed, but having kids in both public, private and now homeschooling them has taught me that YES, there are SOCIALIZATION issues for the homeschooled child.
TRADITIONAL SCHOOL SOCIALIZATION
In a traditional school setting whether it's public or private there are clear and concise 'Social Rules' for students engaging with other peers their own age.
Social Realities of Traditional schools that homeschoolers don't get:
- Social Cues like 'what not to say', 'how not to say it', 'what is the cool term of the week' and how to 'talk like the teens' in that specific school or group.
- Appearance Cues like being able to tell what a kid's 'school social class is' by the way that kid dresses, carries themselves, or wears.
- Class, Pecking Order Cues like the jocks, the nerds, the grudge groups and more. Kids have ways of classifying each other and ranking status in the school just by how you talk, who you hang out with, how you carry yourselves and more.
WAYS TO SOCIALIZE
Mix your homeschooled kids activities with kids who aren't homeschooled. Kids don't mind sharing the ins and outs of their peer group to newbies. Therefore, confining our kid's 'socialization' activities with other homeschooled kids keeps them in a small pond without giving them the resources to find out what's in the beyond.
- Join local Recreational sports leagues, activities for teens, teams and more.
- Have your kid hang out with a friend or cousin who isn't homeschooled
- Camps, sleep aways that aren't restricted to your kid's group of typical peers or friends
and also, DON'T STRESS ABOUT IT
IN THE END - WE ARE ALL THE SAME
At the end of the day, we all turn out the same. Why? We grow up. College is much different than high school. And your kid will learn.
If they don't learn, who's to say they ever would've fit into what the 'cool' group was in school. I never did, my younger kids never did. Now my oldest son was a 'Jock' on the top of the peeking order in high school - but guess what, none of that mattered when he went to college. He and many other kids have to find themselves again.
DO YOU SEE ANY WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE SOCIALIZATION?