Homeschool Encouragement

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds is an archive of resources to help you on your homeschooling journey. I am no longer actively blogging on this site, so comments have been turned off, but you can still find me on social media or click the "about" tab to find out how to contact me.
-Susan
4/11/15

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why the “Socialization Question” Doesn’t Worry Me

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When this guy was 2-1/2, he decided all on his own to start pottying.

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Our little guy was showing some independence.  He knew what he wanted to do.

Then he started preschool.  It was only a few hours a week, gave him a chance to play with other kiddos his own age (because we really thought that was important at the time), and gave Mama a break.

Within a couple of weeks, he stopped using the potty.

Turned out that the boys at the preschool had decided to go on “potty strike.”

And our son refused to use the potty for almost a year.  He finally totally potty trained the next summer when he was out of preschool.

How’s that for socialization?

From dictionary.com:

so·cial·i·za·tion –noun-

  1. a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
  2. the act or process of making socialistic: the socialization of industry.

It seems a bit silly to expect a child to learn their social mores from other equally ignorant, socially awkward peers, doesn’t it?  Did God (or the natural scheme that He created) intend for us to go bumbling about rediscovering the skills of getting along in society purely by experiment (and misadventure)?  It took human beings centuries to learn to get along (sort of, we’re actually still working on that), and these lessons were passed on from generation to generation. 

Can you imagine if every generation had to reinvent the wheel?  Or the automobile?  Or the computer?  We’d still be living in the stone age.  And yet we seem to think that kiddos with no real experience can reinvent social etiquette all on their own.

Some of them are never going to learn anything this way, except that the big guy usually wins.  And that it pays to be a bully.

And before you say, “But they have teachers,” in a class of 30 (or even 15, or even 8) with 1 teacher (possibly an assistant), do you think the child will be more influenced by the adult in the room, or the mass of peers?

As for the 2nd definition, I don’t think that’s what most of us have in mind, is it?

Let me stop here a minute and say that I don’t think sending your children to school is inherently a bad idea.  It’s probably the best thing for some families.  And the worst thing for some other families.  And some families fall somewhere between.  One choice doesn’t fit all.

The point I’m making here is not whether school good or bad, but that socialization through peers at school…is probably not ideal.  It’s something to work around, to counteract, not something to actively seek

And so, when someone asks me if I worry about socialization, because I homeschool my kiddos, I say, “Not a bit.”