I cringe when someone asks the dreaded and misleading question, “But how do you socialize your child when homeschooling?”
What well meaning family members and friends are really asking is how is your child going to make friends, which is socializing or interacting with people. However, the word they use is socialization, which refers to the general process in which children learn the language of the culture they have been born into as well as the roles in that society. That is, learning how to live, practice, and get along within that culture.
Those who ask with great concern “what about socialization” are implying that school would provide both culture and friendship for children. There is an expectation that the 25+ peer children a child would spend all day with will somehow mirror the “real world”. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. When a child has been exposed to the assembly line school system where false hierarchies are used to separate them into groups that are ranked, they are robbed of dignity, individuality and natural curiosity. Children in school have learned how to navigate being part of a group with artificial rules based on false value systems having nothing to do with the “real world”. Indeed, school culture can be mean-spirited, competitive, exclusive, status-seeking and snobbish. This does not sound like a good environment for either the socialiZING or socialiZATION of children.
It is the goal in our homeschooling partnership and environment, that our children experience cooperation, tolerance, empathy and fairness. The real world, where these qualities and good citizenship are valued.
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Article By Nuria Almeida
Picture By Salim Virji