Tips for First-Time Homeschoolers
If there is one question we get asked over and over again as homeschoolers, it has to be, “How Do I Socialize My Homeschooled Kids?”.
It is a valid concern because nobody wants children that grow up to be social misfits. Again though, this has to be a topic where your definition of socialization has to be defined.
Start here to zero in on a well-rounded definition of socialization.
- Is it interaction with other children their age?
- Is it going places or field trips?
- Is it being with people?
- Is it knowing how to interact with people of different beliefs and cultures?
- Is it knowing how to interact with children who are not their age?
- Is it knowing how to carry on a conversation with an adult?
- Is it knowing how to tolerate the company of younger children that throw temper tantrums?
- Is it knowing how to be respectful to any who are not respectful in their speech or conduct toward homeschoolers?
Guess what? Homeschooling is ALL of those things!
Contrary to what some folks feel is homeschooling, the homeschooling environment has all those things I just mentioned.
I feel the bigger question and more important question to ask is this:
WHO IS GOING TO TEACH YOUR CHILD ALL THOSE THINGS?
In life, as my mom always told me somebody is going to inflict their will on your child. Isn’t that what a peer does?
Why then should that peer be somebody who does not care or cares little for your child? Why can’t the parent be the one who models the behavior or sets the pattern? A parent can be a peer.
However, we know kids love being with other kids and we want to nourish friendships.
In the homeschool world, each city or area is different in what they offer as far as activities.
Activities include homeschool football teams, basketball, volleyball, national spelling bees, Bible bees, geography bees, plays, reenactments, co-ops to learn just about any subject or topic under the sun from sewing, baking, cooking, being a responsible babysitter, to legos and robots.
Adopt your definition of socialization and whatever definition you adopt, be sure the emphasis is on family learning.
Sure, we all could probably go for days and not leave the because we love our homes and set it up for relaxed learning.
However, I have seen homeschoolers focus only on the needs of one or two of their children instead of learning together as a family.
Why is this fine point worthy of mention?
Because it goes straight to the heart of socialization, which is that its the right, responsibility and privilege of the family to foster social skills. The whole homeschool journey should not just revolve around one or two kids because life is not like that.
Parents model social skills by reacting to various scenarios throughout the day and thus model behavior that children will want to follow.
Beginning with the family is a great place to start socializing homeschooled kids!
What about you? Have you over joined too many support groups and need to spend more time together as a family?
Hugs and love ya,