Monday, August 29, 2011

Unsocialized Homeschoolers

School has begun at our house. Well, sort of.

Katie has finished her 7th grade Switched on Schoolhouse program, and Amanda and I have begun working on some remedial things. Sort of.

I have this philosophical issue with school starting before Labor Day, and the official end of summer. We have done some school work since all the girls' public school friends are back in school, and thus, not around during the day. And the pool doesn't open until 4:00 PM now, so we can't go laze around the water either.

But, we will do a bit of math and language arts with Amanda. I will set up Katie's 8th grade curriculum, but will give her a couple of weeks off. And, we are starting a serious reading program.

What has me boggled is how we got into so many activities! Today Katie starts soccer practice with the local Christian school in the hopes of making their team. If she makes it, she will be at practice Monday, Wednesday & Friday with games on Saturday.

Wednesdays will be particularly challenging, since I have to be a choir practice by 6:00 and Katie's practice lasts until 5:00. I'll have to run her home for a quick shower and then back to church - did I mention practice is actually at the church?

Wednesday night programs at church start back in earnest this week. Amanda loves going to Awanas, so we definitely have a commitment for Wednesday nights.

After Labor Day, and our trip to the beach for a week, we add other activities. Amanda will be going to art class on Mondays, we have a homeschool co-op all day on Fridays, and guitar and drum lessons twice a month. (I still have to figure out how I can get Katie to soccer practice at 3:30 when Amanda's art class doesn't end until 3:30)

All of this got me to pondering how in the world anyone in their right mind could think a homeschooled child is lacking in socialization! My kids are busy, and involved with other homeschooled kids. They attend church with a mix of kids in different schooling options. They play with kids in the neighborhood who go to public or charter schools.

We don't live in a cave. We are not in a commune somewhere or homesteading away from the entire world. Seriously, how do you not have any socialization?

Maybe people mean the kind of socialization that is prevalent in schools today. Class time when they cannot talk. Quiet time at lunch. Recess which involves a planned physical activity which can be counted towards PE time instead of free play and peer interaction.

Or maybe it means exposure to what is deemed appropriate socialization in society today. Dating early, unsupervised afternoons, detached parenting, pressure to achieve and be #1 or not try at all, "family" tv viewing that is anything but family oriented.

Possibly it is the idea that our kids are socialized to be "open minded" and "tolerant" by being exposed to alternate lifestyle options or curriculum demeaning the true basis of the founding of our nation. Or being tolerant of every other view except the Christian view. (Example being the PA announcement I heard right before we started homeschooling, "Attention teachers - please remember that none of your bulletin board items can say "Easter", they must say Spring.")

Stepping on some toes here no doubt. And, I realize that many people whose kids are in public school are strongly reinforcing a Christian worldview and taking a hand in countering the politically correct agenda.

Whatever the case may be, we have chosen to homeschool our children. We have chosen to tailor our teaching and curriculum to their particular styles of learning, and their interests and talents. We have chosen to teach them with a Christian Worldview which means seeing the world through the lens of the Bible and Jesus.

And it means interacting with all types of people. All ages. All races. All religions, orientations and whatever else people choose to define themselves as. It means loving them and being Christ to all of them. THAT my friends, is socialization.

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