The Problem IS 'Socialization'

13/03/2007 § 4 Comments

I am very pleased with the progress Love has been making since we started our homeschooling adventure. There’s a lot more cooperation and a lot less attitude about us homeschooling in general. She is actually happy more frequently and looks forward to schooling… most days. It was such a fight at first! I could barely keep her on task and almost got a GPS for her so I would know where she ran off  to hide when I got distracted doing something else!

Through all of this I have had a lot of ‘rude awakenings’. I didn’t realize all the damage I was creating in my daughters life by just doing the ‘normal’ thing and having her in public school. I did want to homeschool, but as a single mom I didn’t think I had a whole lot of choice. Her being at public school allowed me to work so I could provide for us. Besides, that’s what we’re supposed to do, put them in school, right?

I can remember the first day of kindergarten. My little Princess all dressed up so sweet with her new dress and new shoes and her curls all in the right place…crying and pleading with me to not make her go. We took a picture that day and that’s exactly what she looks like. It breaks my heart to think about it. I felt awful, but public school was the next rite of passage in life, that’s just what came next, right? 

Well, hind-sight is surely 20/20 because I now realize she wasn’t more socially ‘ready’ just because she was more social than others. And she was definitely not mature enough to handle what was thrown at her socially. And now, our schools have recently changed the grade breakup into K-5 elementary, 6-8 middle school and they now have 9-12 for high school. She would be at the high school with kids way beyond her and I know that she would try to not try to try to emulate that. Did you catch that? Translated it means she would have such turmoil trying to fit in and then trying to not fit in because of her faith/convictions. She would be consumed enough with the ‘socialization roller coaster’ that she would have a hard time succeeding.  

I’m not sure if it’s the same for boys, but for girls school IS a social event. Kayla wouldn’t come home and tell me about the wonderful time she had learning about bugs or verbs or art class. She would come home crying and proceed to tell me all about how so-and-so said such-and-such, and how they were mean, and won’t be my friend… The ‘socialization’ was one of our biggest PROBLEMS! It affected her schoolwork because she was so worried about the ‘mean girls’ and if so-and-so liked her that day. She wasn’t worried about failing math as much as who said they would be her friend or not and fitting in. She even had girls tell her she’d fit in better by coloring her hair! Her beautiful blonde hair! People, I took her out the second half of 6th grade! These girls were serious and my little girl was believing these strangers. We’re talking 10 and 11 year olds! 

Even to this day she will tell me the only thing she says she misses about public school are the ‘friends’ she had there. I’ve talked to her about how they probably really weren’t her friends to begin with. I’ve mentioned they have changed over the years and she probably wouldn’t want to be friends with them. I do to talk to her about the difference between real friends and acquaintances and that the people she knew in public school would be under the ‘acquaintance’ category.

She occasionally does see some of the kids she knew in school around town. Mostly, they don’t really offer a lot, if anything really. They have gone on in life without her and some just kind of nod or wave, if that. It’s really sad for her, but I think she’s starting to understand more and let go. My poor baby. Sometimes I feel like I’m weaning her from the world’s system.

I write this to say I don’t want other moms to be constantly bombarded with this thought: ‘I wonder if it would have been different if I would have just kept them home?’

I thank you Lord, that she IS home now. Blossoming into a beautiful young lady who loves You and wants to glorify and honor You and her parents.

 

traci  🙂

P.S.The Lord’s grace, strength and protection were always there for us through this time. I am so grateful He provided a way for us to eventually homeschool and that I eventually found the courage to do it! 

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§ 4 Responses to The Problem IS 'Socialization'

  • Fiffi says:

    Hi Traci
    Yes both my boys miss the socialisation they got at school. Like your daughter, mine were in a private school for quite a few years before I took them out. I think if kids have never been in that school environment, they have nothing to compare homeschooling with and therefore don't hanker after it! But if I ask my boys if they would like to go back to school, their answer is NO!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Happyhome says:

    What an awesome testimony against the whole homeschool socialization argument! I seriously don't get why people think the socialization that goes on among peer groups is a positive influence on our children. Maybe they have THEIR heads in the sand and not the other way around.

    Kuddos to you for having the courage to hs your daughter. You won't regret it!

    Blessings,

    Angela

  • Anonymous says:

    This is a very thought provoking post. I sometimes think there is a confusion over the term "socializing."

    I personally believe that there is a need for children to learn how to communicate with others from varying ages, economic statuses, races, etc. I am not so sure that putting up with bullying (sometimes from teachers and administrators), dating pressures, and group identity are healthy for a child, however.

    There is a need to learn how to deal with conflict, be it communication styles, differences of opinion, interests and talents, but these can be learned outside of a classroom – sometimes more effectively.

    Again, a very interesting post.
    – Your DH

  • Canadagirl says:

    I agree with you on the unhealthy socialization situation. Sadly I have to say there are hs kids who see other kids from the neighborhood or church and they sometimes get a romantic perspective of what they might be missing. I had to for the early years to keep telling my 1ds14 what it really is like. I sometimes don't know if he really accepted what I said but he has stopped trying to get me to put him in ps. I do think he realizes that homeschool has more freedom. In the sense that he has been able to work on our house as part of his schooling. I would have to pay a lot of money or try to get into a special program to do what he has done. I have also been told by so many people that my dc can carry on a intelligable conversation that they quite injoyed. And these are people who are not that gung ho for hs . I will finish this calling of hs my boys in 12 years. I am so glad that I saw the vision for it. PTL.
    Thanks for visiting my SSiC.
    God Bless my SSiC
    In Him<><
    -Mary

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