Sunday, July 3, 2011

Social ignorance

There was an article in this morning’s paper about our local homeschool store. You can read it here:

And while the article was uplifting and informative the comments left me shaking my head. Most of the comments were negative and ignorant and the majority of them pinged on the non-social aspect of homeschooling.

Who socialized Abraham Lincoln? George Washington? Thomas Jefferson? And if you think there are only a handful of famous homeschoolers please check this list:

Think of it this way; before schools were “public” most of the people in the U.S. were homeschooled. Their parents taught them, and as you know the United States was not formed by a bunch of idiots – so someone was doing a good job teaching them. If you lived on a prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder) who did you socialize with? Now I’m not ready to put on a bonnet, churn my own butter and have 10 kids but I do think you can have your cake and eat it too. I can be a 21st century mom and still homeschool my kids, they will turn out to be well rounded and *gasp* “socialized”!

A couple of years ago I couldn’t figure out what was going on with one of my 3 year old preschoolers. He couldn’t sit still, he kept make “gun” noises and for the life of him he couldn’t keep his hands from moving – constantly. He was very smart but he was always in his own world, anti-social and was a major source of frustration. Finally I talked with his mother and found out the problem. Video Games; lots and lots of violent, not for 3 year old video games. He couldn’t even go to the bathroom at home without a video game! His mother said it kept him and his brother “busy”, which means out of her hair. This child was the very definition of anti-social; he had no desire to play with other kids and if he did find one to play with, he had no idea how to play with them (he liked spinning round and round on the playground all by himself).

We all know kids that spend hours playing video games. They can’t attend a family function without their DS, can’t go out to eat without an iPod or cell phone (god forbid you miss an important text from your BFF). They can’t hold a conversation with their peers much less with an adult.

I think these are “anti-social” kids and most of them attend public school. I know that not all kids are this way and most parents enforce time limits on video games. I’m just trying to make a point; there are exceptions to every rule.

You find anti-social kids in public school and you can find socialized kids in the homeschooled world. My kids are good kids. I can take them out to eat and don’t have to apologize to the restaurant when we leave for their behavior. They both have iPods but aren’t allowed to take them out of the house. I have been complemented numerous times for their conversation abilities, I expect if an adult speaks to them they respond. I allow my kids to be kids but I also set boundaries, something kids need and sadly these days don’t have.

Do I worry that my kids will not see other kids and learn how to interact with their peers? Absolutely not. It’s going to part of what I need to do as a homeschooling parent. The good news is I can pick and choose who they can (and can’t) socialize with. Marty learned a lot of things this past year in private school that I didn’t approve of and now I don’t have to worry about him being with those same kids next year.

I guess my point to this entire post is; there is a lot of good about homeschooling and there is probably some bad. No one is perfect and no situation is a good fit for everyone. If you want to criticize homeschoolers, fine but make sure you know what you are talking about before you just throw an ignorant comment out there.

On a lighter note, next Saturday we leave for Florida. The kids and I are very excited! Hopefully we will have loads of pictures to show you when we get back.

Have a safe a fabulous 4th of July!!!!


  1. Kathy,

    Great post! I totally agree with you. Besides, if bullying, swearing, being disrespectful, fighting, sexting, drugs and drinking are part of 'socializing' skills learned in public/private schools today who needs them. Besides you will know what your child is being taught and not have to concern yourself with them being force feed someone's political agenda.

    Have a happy 4th and a safe and relaxing vacation.

    Your Friend,

  2. Very well said. I agree with you completely. My son is long grown, but if I were raising kids these days I would homeschool in a heartbeat. All things considered, I think that homeschooling is far superior to what school kids are being exposed to today in public and even private schools. And the bonus is that they can go at their own speed, which usually means that they are much further ahead than they would be in a classroom.
    On a side note, my husband and I chose to have only one child. You can't imagine how many people told me, "You can't have an 'only' child. He will grow up to be selfish and unable to share with other kids."
    Well, let me tell you that my son was, and is, one of the most social people in the world. He was quite happy to share his toys with anybody who wanted to play, and he has always had scads of friends. He was one of the most popular kids in the neighborhood. Being an only child had absolutely no negative effect on his personality. He grew up to be very generous and he's now raising a family with a tender heart and a strong sense of ethics.
    It has always amazed me how people think that they know what is best for somebody else, whether it be how many children you choose to have or how you choose to educate them or whatever. If it doesn't fit the pre-conceived "mold" then people will place all sorts of assumptions on you and tell you that you're doing the wrong thing. I don't get it. I think that homeschooling is one of the most fantastic things that you can do for your kids.
    I applaud you for putting in the time and effort to homeschool your kids. I'm positive that they're going to excel and go further in their education at home than they would be able to do in a classroom.
    Good for you! It's going to be a great experience for them!

  3. Kathy,
    YOU GO GIRL!God bless you for your sacrifice of doing what you believe is best for your children and not just what is easy/convenient! I just graduated my two youngest kids from 12 years of homeschooling in May. Next to my husband, my kids are my favorite people to hang out with. They are smart, funny, witty, respectful of others, did I mention good-looking?...ok, now I'm just bragging. But you will never REGRET your decision to homeschool. I keeps the family unit, just that, a UNIT!


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