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