Written by Jami Lyn
We all know the initial response when people found out we homeschool: “What about socialisation?!” It’s something that drives us all batty because we know that for the most part, our children have more opportunities to socialise than kids who are in schools all day.
We also recognise that a child’s social skills are not dependent on the type of education they receive, rather based on the myriad of individual preferences and environmental circumstances.
“A child’s social skills are not dependant the type of education they receive”
There are plenty of children in schools who are antisocial, who do not have friends and do not participate in the activities presented during the day. Yet schools are thought of as the gold standard and the only place a child will be socialised.
There is a problem with this thinking, and as home educators, we recognise that schools are not the gold standard, and in some cases, the root cause of social problems our children have encountered.
The other problem with this is that people forget about all the other opportunities that children have to socialise outside the walls of the school.
And what about adulthood?
What happens when children grow up and become adults?
There is no focus on ensuring their socialisation after school! It is thought that children will grow up to be well-rounded citizens and manage their adult lives with the socialisation they received during their school years.
Way too much time is spent focusing on and drilling into parents the importance of childhood socialisation, with no follow-up or follow through into their early adulthood. We know that as we grow up, we become less socialised, because of our busy schedules; and then as parents, we spend more time ensuring our children are socialised often at our expense.
But I’m calling it unfair!
I want to be socialised too!
“People spend way too much time focusing on the importance of childhood socialisation, with no follow-up or follow through into adulthood”
I want to talk about how mums often miss out! The only social interactions we have are with the parents of our children’s friends. This is not always a bad thing, but I want to have opportunities to find my own friends, thank you very much!
I guess that is where the problem really lies. How can I find the opportunity to create friends of my own choosing when there’s no one home for the kids?
It’s a catch 22, and I realise this, which is why it’s important to remember to talk to your kids and teach them that your socialisation matters too!
This may mean that they have to play with kids that might not be their favourites, because you get along with that mum; it might be that you join non-homeschool programs and activities to meet others, and even if none of those things can happen for you right now, it is extremely important that we start talking about it!
Our socialisation matters too!
The next time someone asks you about your child’s socialisation, come from a place of service to kindly educate them that socialisation is not just important in childhood and not all children in traditional schools are social; because socialisation is not dependent on the type of education a child receives.
“Talk to your kids and teach them that your socialisation matters too!”
If you’re one of the amazing Mama’s out there who is going through a time where you don’t want to be social, or maybe you’re just not a social person; this is ok too! This is not something to be ashamed of. This is one of the premises behind this article: not everyone is a social being. So please don’t feel obligated to become social, unless it is something you truly want. Embrace you!
This is one of the articles in Issue 1 of the Eunoia Magazine.
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What are some comebacks have you used when homeschool socialisation comes up in a conversation?
I’d love to know! Comment below.
Know a Mama who needs to read this- share to Facebook. There is also a Facebook discussion thread set up on the Eunoia Homeschool Magazine Facebook page, so we can share our experiences.