Thursday, May 14, 2015

socialization?

I don't usually address the socialization question because it seems so obvious to me, but there are many people out there who ask it. You know. What about socialization when it comes to homeschoolers? How will they learn to get by in the real world?

They probably are imagining children being set down at the kitchen table with busywork and no outside contact beyond their patient mother as teacher. Clearly, that's not how our lives look, nor is it true of any of the other homeschoolers that we know. Even the families who take more of a school-at-home approach than an unschooling approach still get their kids out in the community on field trips or park-days or homeschool co-op activities, where they interact with kids and adults of all different ages. In addition, they often participate in sports, music classes, church or other community gatherings, and volunteer work. We live in the real world.

Which begs the question, what's so great about school socialization anyway? People sometimes have genuine concerns that without school children will not learn the social skills that they need. My children have learned how to wait in line, not interrupt a group (usually), cooperate with and listen to people of all ages, and at times, work out disagreements and disputes. These are not just school skills, they are life skills. There are a myriad of ways to learn them, and hardly any way to completely avoid addressing them.

With that in mind, here is my usual collection of photos and snippets from the last couple of weeks...

  last day of Sunday school for the season
I can't say that I'm someone who naturally seeks God inside the walls of a church, but a couple of years ago my oldest daughter expressed the desire to do so. We found a little historical country church with a woman pastor, a message of love and acceptance, and a kind community of folks taking actions towards social justice issues.
And the kids got to play ghost in the graveyard in an actual graveyard. We used to play that in my neighborhood when I was a kid.

Our girl scout troop spent an afternoon choosing and planting flowers (and a few veggies and herbs).

  And then worked together to clean up a local park, removing garbage and fallen sticks and branches.

 We visited a friend's little goats, watched them nurse from their mama, and got to snuggle them.


Inspired by the show, Good Eats, Camille made a breakfast of gluten-free raspberry pancakes with fresh whipped cream, honey-poached apples and a honey yogurt sauce. Sylvia listened to audio books and browsed the book, Fairy Houses -- Everywhere!.

Ayla and her good friend had a fairy princess dress-up 'selfie' session.


I've been continuing to work on my braided rag rug (from thrifted sheets) that Camille and I learned how to make at our local library. Even unfinished, it just begged to be played on.

 We recently bought an (on sale) 15 foot trampoline, perfect for bouncing and snuggling on!

 When Camille's friend slept over, they made Sylvia and Ayla flower crowns, which prompted some exuberant fairy dancing.

a favorite duck can enliven a sleepover morning

And of course, the trampoline is even more fun with friends over.


painting together during a sleepover, taking a break from their older sisters

Everything from playing Minecraft on the tablet to picnicking in the yard can be enjoyed alone or with friends.


Camille's band concert, with her on alto sax

Plus, there's still plenty of time for solitary, creative pursuits.

Some days and weeks are more social than others (and the younger kids are generally more agreeable with Mama wielding a camera near them and their friends), but even with our somewhat-introverted, unschooling, country-livin' family, our socialization is pleasantly varied and our biggest challenge can sometimes be finding enough downtime in our days to savor the quiet moments.

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