The conversations usually go something like this:
"Oh, wow. You homeschool? Really? Isn't that hard?"
"No, it's really great! I love it!""Well, I could never do that!"
"Sure you could...there are LOTS of resources available to help you.""But don't you worry about socialization?"
I think its time for homeschoolers to approach this question differently. In my recent post, Defending Homeschooling, I challenged myself and others to think about really listening to the answers we give to the questions we are so often asked.
So do I worry about socialization? Honestly? No...not for one single second! And why not?
First, because I know my kids ARE being effectively socialized...they really don't need school for that. They are living in and amongst family, friends, and neighbors. They are learning from mature, responsible adults how to be mature, responsible members of society. But there's another more important reason I don't worry about the socialization my kids are "missing" by not attending public school. It's simple. In terms of socialization, my children have not missed anything of value. Rather, what they have missed socially actually has negative value. In other words, I'm glad they missed it!
After pondering this for a few minutes, I had a thought. And I got out my dictionary.
an·ti·so·cial (ân'tç-sô'shəl, ân'tî-) Pronunciation KeyDoesn't that sound a bit familiar? It seems to me that the conduct and behavior most often displayed in today's American public schools would be more accurately defined as "anti-social" than "social". Doesn't it seem just a little strange that WE are the ones being questioned about our childrens' socialization? I've come to the conclusion that the wrong people are being asked the wrong question.
- Shunning the society of others; not sociable.
- Hostile to or disruptive of the established social order; marked by or engaging in behavior that violates accepted mores
- Antagonistic toward or disrespectful of others; rude.
So the next time someone asks a homeschooler,
"Aren't you worried about socialization?,"I propose a different reply:
"No. Aren't you worried about anti-socialization?"