By Leah McDermott
So often I get asked some form of this question: “I love the IDEA of homeschooling, but my biggest fear is socialisation. How will my child learn to connect with others his/her age?”
It’s an age-old joke. Homeschooled kids are weird. Awkward. Don’t know how to fit into society.
So naturally it’s something that crosses every new homeschooling parent’s mind – what about social growth? How do I make sure my child knows how to talk to other kids? What about participating in events? How do I find local things for them to do…. So I CAN SOCIALISE THEM.
OK. First…Let me say that stereotypes are just that. Stereotypes. Are there weird and socially awkward homeschoolers? Sure. Is every single child that goes to school a perfect social butterfly? Uh, no. So let’s just go ahead and drop that stereotype right in the garbage where they all belong, OK?
Next…Let’s determine what “socialisation” actually means.
Think about your current adult life, which is, after all, what our children will eventually be living. How much of your daily time is spent in a room with only members of your exact age group around you that you are happily working with?
I’m going to guess none…
In real life, socialising is having discussions with your elderly neighbor, working with co-workers of all ages, genders, and races, checking out with grocery clerks, talking to your spouse (also likely not the same age as you), and of course, spending time with your kids.
“Socialising” your child doesn’t mean that they need to be forced to spend time with their peers or they will be weird and awkward.
That’s not it at all.
Socialising simply means that you give your child opportunities to engage and connect with others around them – regardless of age or any other factor.
How can you do this?
See next page…