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Friday, 21 August 2009

It's already started

Little Girl is only two. If we were going to put her in the state schooling system she would be starting Nursery in a year's time. Education is not compulsory for her until the term after she is five which would be September 2012. Yet we are already encountering opposition to homeschooling.

One person asked how she is going to have friends. Because school is the only place to find friends apparently.

One person said that Christians are supposed to be salt and light and if all Christians homeschooled then the only Christians in schools would be teachers. I didn't realise that sending your child into the state schooling system was what God meant when he said that.

And my mum says that the main reason they sent me to school wasn't to get an education but was for socialisation and for me to learn how to get on with different kinds of people. Hmm let me see.... Getting on with people: The people I have to get on with now are not the same kinds of people I had to endure through school. People my own age are adults - they have grown up. The people I had to "get on with" at school definitely hadn't grown up. Socialisation: I have no friends from school. I do have friends who I went to school with but they are not friends from school - they are friends from the church youth group I went to. What did school teach me? It taught me to shut down, disengage, trust no one and isolate myself (well so did my family but that's another story) - it took me years to undo what I learnt at school.

I'd be interested to know if anyone knows of any research done into the socialisation of home-educated children vs. school educated children.


Heather said...

Susan, I know it's a pain to put up with people's comments, but you're doing what's best for your family, and that's all that matters. Don't let them get you down.

In our area, there are lots of homeschooling families, and they've put together a kind of cooperative, so the kids all get together and play sports and stuff. I don't really think socialization is a problem.

Humble wife said...

start here:

you will find links and data...just search.

hslda=homeschool legal defense association

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

Susan -

The homeschoolers I know are fabulous at interacting multi-generationally, not just being able to relate to and interact with their peers.

When people are asking you about socialization, what are they really asking about? Are they asking if your children are learning to be contributing members of society (pay taxes, donate, volunteer, vote, etc.) or are they asking if your children will know how to be just like their peers (know what music is 'in', know what clothing is 'in', etc).

I don't understand how having dozens (or hundreds) of children of the same age range together for multiple hours a day is the only (or the best) way to teach your child to interact with society.

Most of patient. Sometimes it's hard not to get defensive or snippy, but we aren't going to convince everyone that our choices are the best for us. With some people, you will need to agree to disagree.

Finally, it will all come out in the end. The men and women our children become will show fruit of prayerfully raising them.

I apologize in advance if this comment is hard to follow or not well-written. These 'I-can't-sleep-with-a-huge-pregnant-belly-and-heartburn-nights' are wearing me out. I'm not at my finest first thing in the morning. *wink*

Buffy said...

I think some people confuse homeschooling with shutting your children up and never letting them meet anyone outside the family. Obviously the latter is very wrong but it's not really the same thing :)

Clare said...

Have you seen this literature review of the home ed studies and findings?

It's worth a look. Here's a snip re the socialisation question:

"Rothermel has also completed research comparing 4-5 year old home educated children with school educated children's attainment. She concludes that children from lower socio-economic backgrounds scored higher than those from more affluent backgrounds. Home educated children demonstrated high levels of ability and social skills. In particular children benefited from the individual attention their families were able to offer. Home educated children performed above the national mean performance in both reading and mathematics."

Rothermel P "Comparisons of home and school educated children on PIPS baseline assessments." Journal of Early Childhood Research vol2(3) pp273-299 issn: 1476-718x

Saved Sinner said...

Thank you to all of you who have commented. It is very helpful especially the links.

Anonymous said...

I am not a home schooler but I would encourage you to persevere!! I agree with Queen to my 3 bosy comment "I don't understand how having dozens (or hundreds) of children of the same age range together for multiple hours a day is the only (or the best) way to teach your child to interact with society."

You and your husband know what is right for your family!! Best of luck to you all -

Sarahlcc said...

Bwahahahahaha! Great article.

I think the best article I have read addressing this question was on the blog

The article is under her faq section. There are couple others there I haven't read yet, but will.

Having been home educated myself, and I am now a contributing member of society, I can just laugh.

An ability to follow the herd is not an indicator of whether or not a person will be a successful, functioning adult, nor whether they will be able to stand firm in Christ.

So far I haven't had any questions about this particular topic come up in regards to my own children.

And a comment about the "salt and light" question about children, the Bible also says "cast not your pearls before swine" and I suppose that, taken out of context and used inappropriately as the other was, it could also be applied.

Saved Sinner said...

Thanks Patrice and Sarahlcc for your comments.

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