Sunday, June 27, 2010

Myth #1 - the 's' word

The most frequently asked, and the first one in my very own line of attack when I started meeting with real homechooling families, was the 's' word – socialization! These homeschooling moms are wacky, I thought. Their kids are going to grow up to isolated and introverted. Little did I realize how much research has been done on this exact front. Turns out, there are two ways someone is socialized – vertically, ie with their age group, and horizontally ie with people of different ages, older and younger. I find it amusing that at school we have largely accepted that it is right for our children to associate with 34 other children of the same age. But on the homeschooling front, because one has the time to link children with adult experts in the field of their passions, the kids socialize with all kinds of people. Fortunately for me I live in Cape Town's deep south, and in my valley there are many support groups, homeschooling co-ops, and many of the schools are open to homeschooled children being on their sports teams etc.

Another primary aspect that attracted me to look more into it was that with each homeschooling family I met, I was quite literally surprised at how pleasant their children were – I mean it - teenagers sat down and chatted with me - who has met teenagers that actually want to talk to adults??? They were respectful, gentle, and genuinely wanted to interact with me, an adult – I certainly wasn't like that as a teenager! And usually I would take my three in tow, and these children would engage with them, look after them, and allow me to have an in depth conversation with their mother – quite mind boggling really.

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