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Busting the Socialization Myth, Part 1

34 If you've homeschooled for any length of time (or ever even MET a homeschooler), then you're aware of the great concern over socializing our children. There are lots of great arguments out there against this crazy notion, so I won't try to top them. I'm here to prove that it's all a myth anyway.

In the last 30 days, my children (all homeschooled, all their lives) have had more time with friends than this mama has the energy for. But it's not really just about having friends, is it? Socialization is interacting with other people. And these homeschool kids have it down.

Example: My daughter Chloe turned 14 this month, and had a 10-hour party with 13 teenage girls. This scenario might send most parents running to the fridge for an overdose of comfort food, or prompt utterings of "I'm gonna rent a few movies and stay out of their way," in the wake of a Hurrican called Drama.

Not this bunch. They are all friends. With each other. No drama.

I didn't run this party. I provided snacks, cake, and decorations, and they did the rest. They coordinated their own activities for HOURS.

At the end of the night, they turned on music under a tree in the backyard and practiced the dances they learned at Cotillion.

Oh, did I mention Cotillion? It's the monthly gathering of teens who sit down to a formal dinner, dressed in their Sunday best, and eat with manners. The guys escort the girls to their seat, get their drinks, and bring them dessert. An etiquette lesson accompanies this. 

And then when dinner is over, they learn real dance steps. 

I never tire of looking at 50-60 teens dressed in skirts and slacks laughing, talking, and learning formal dances.

And then there's our local co-op. We meet weekly for a few hours of classes taught by many  moms (and a few dads). And even a few teens. 

This semester we have four teens teaching classes to younger children. My 6-year-old is taking one of these classes, and it's his favorite one. These kids must submit a class description and a 10-week outline to get their class on the schedule. They decide the cost of the supplies needed and set a class fee. They prepare weekly lessons. They instruct children in art, animals science, stories and crafts, and Minecraft. 

These kids interact with other kids. And adults. People of all ages, really. They are friendly and fun. And as far as I can tell, they're all pretty normal. : )

The fact that the world at large is much more concerned about social skills than education is a little silly. 

Learnin’, schmlearning- those kids need to be among herds of other kids their exact age in order to learn how to be normal. 

Last night I took a carload of girls to a Newsboys concert. I teared up just a little watching all of these girls sing worship songs in an auditorium with a couple thousand other people. They openly declared that they are Jesus Freaks, that God's Not Dead, and nobody worried what other people thought about them. My daughter. Her friends. 

That makes a mama happy.

We like socializing our kids. But we really like overseeing this socialization. That's why we participate  in small groups of like-minded families, where we get to supervise their social interactions. The rest of their time is spent actually being raised by Mom and Dad in the best possible training situation for real life...the family.

Which is the subject of Part 2. Stay tuned.


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