Tuesday, July 10, 2012


So "Socializing the kids will be your biggest problem" is something I hear a lot in response to our decision to homeschool. And, I'm sorry but I just have to roll my eyes and laugh. Why is it that people assume the best and/or only socialization for our kids happens at school? Have you spent any time in your child's public school lately? Socialization time is pretty pathetic if you ask me. AND it is very contrived. In my experience, the kids spend multiple hours a day at a desk getting in trouble for socializing. Then they go to lunch for a 1/2 hour and have to sit with their class. They are not allowed to wander around & socialize with their peers. Finally, they MAYBE get 15-20 minutes of recess a day (definitely not everyday) and again, it's usually with their class. Once in a while other grade level classes or other grades are together, but not often. THAT'S IT!

So if my calculations are correct, I will be stopping my kids from about 45-50 minutes a day (on a good day) of socializing with their classmates - not their friends, not people of their choosing - their classmates. OK you've convinced me. We're going back! (note sarcasm here).

I bring this up because we have just returned from another camping trip. We camp all the time during the Spring, Summer & Fall months. We went to a campground by ourselves, no friends from home, no family members. And in about 35 seconds, my kids were off riding bikes, having glow stick wars, and playing kickball with a bunch of other kids they had never met before. OK, OK! It took more than 35 seconds, but you get the point. We go places like this all the time. It's always new (or at least the people are new) and every time my children make new friends. They played with boys and girls of all ages. No one cared how old you were, no one cared where you were from, no one cared what grade you were in. Basically the only requirement was keeping up with the pack and even then, they'd slow down for the little ones from time to time. No parents were organizing games or activities. Parents weren't involved at all. There were no fights or problems. And this went on for days. And this happens every time we go away - which is a lot!

I had commented to Frank about how impressed I was that all the kids were getting along, being friendly, sharing, using kind words.....and he pointed out that I always say that but it's always about the other kids. So I need to give props to my kids for being friendly, and sharing, and using kind words and always including others! (OK brag session over).

So after watching my kids, yet again, participate in this kind of play, when encountered with "How will you socialize your kids?" I just bite my tongue, smile and say "They'll be fine."

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