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Michael Cooley
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Back when we homeschooled...it wasn't cool like it is now. My mother went berserk. Lots of people thought we were nuts. "How will they get socialization skills" was the most common negative input.

So...the oldest is now 30 and is a D P.T. (Doctor of Physical Therapy). He was student body President of a major University in our state. The youngest who is now 27(handsome and single ladies) is a successful Mechanical Engineer who has played in several bands and has many many friends. Socialization was not apparently a problem. In fact...a case can be made for the improved condition of socialization that occurs in home schooling. They were more accustomed to interactions with adults and thus learned adult behavior earlier. They were involved in home school groups that gathered regularly to enable interaction with generally behaved children their age, and they participated in recreation league sports. They missed the drug culture socialization, gang violence socialization, and group-think, state controlled education-socialization. Oh well. My boys took backpacking trips for weeks at a time as a part of their curriculum. Decent trade-off don't you think? And my mother? She's a believer now....said she wished my nephew would have had the opportunity.

So...if you are looking at Homeschooling as a way to teach in a way for improving the world through your children...you are on the right path.

 
David Livingston
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I think a lot depends on the teacher

David
 
Michael Cooley
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David Livingston wrote:I think a lot depends on the teacher

David


No argument there...its not quite for everyone...and we took it a year at a time...still...I think most parents could pull it off with the online resources and books like Matt Powers new Permaculture Education book available.
 
D. Logan
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Michael Cooley wrote:Back when we homeschooled...it wasn't cool like it is now. My mother went berserk. Lots of people thought we were nuts. "How will they get socialization skills" was the most common negative input.

So...the oldest is now 30 and is a D P.T. (Doctor of Physical Therapy). He was student body President of a major University in our state. The youngest who is now 27(handsome and single ladies) is a successful Mechanical Engineer who has played in several bands and has many many friends. Socialization was not apparently a problem. In fact...a case can be made for the improved condition of socialization that occurs in home schooling. They were more accustomed to interactions with adults and thus learned adult behavior earlier. They were involved in home school groups that gathered regularly to enable interaction with generally behaved children their age, and they participated in recreation league sports. They missed the drug culture socialization, gang violence socialization, and group-think, state controlled education-socialization. Oh well. My boys took backpacking trips for weeks at a time as a part of their curriculum. Decent trade-off don't you think? And my mother? She's a believer now....said she wished my nephew would have had the opportunity.

So...if you are looking at Homeschooling as a way to teach in a way for improving the world through your children...you are on the right path.



Oh good lord do I hate this question. When did we come to a point where people think the only form of socialization that matters for children is letting them be thinly supervised with other children? Every time someone asks me about it, I point out flatly that I would much rather my children get regular interaction with other kids under my watch so I can help redirect poor behavior immediately than to let them mingle in groups of 30 to 100 with no correction except for the worst behaviors. Who would you rather your kids learned social norms from? A bunch of kids whose parents may or may not have instilled acceptable values and behaviors in them or a group of kids you know under the watchful eye of several adults?
 
Mike Cantrell
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I feel like this deserves some balance.

First, context:
I went to public school k-12, hated it.
I went to a private college, loved it.
We're homeschooling ours, with a meets-one-day-a-week co-op.

Now, balance:
Maybe you've never been around large numbers of badly-socialized homeschoolers. It's disconcerting. When people worry about that, they're not just inventing a problem. It exists. At my college, we had a significant homeschooler cadre. Some of them, you'd never know. Others, it was obvious. As an example, should you try not to fart around other people? Yes, you should try not to. If you can't help it, you should try to be quiet about it. And opinions differ here, but I think, if a loud over escapes you, you should pretend like nothing happened. The essence of etiquette is making people around you comfortthat there was, and I think it's worse to proclaim, "Excuse me!" than to ignore it.

My college also hosted a couple of different tournaments for homeschoolers. Again, some, no weirdness. Others, holy moly. It was clear that there was no difference in their mind between home and public. Need to occupy a piano room to practice your debate? Go ahead, it's yours! Definitely not going to be any piano students scheduled to use it today!

It was messy. So we were pretty concerned about it when we decided to homeschooling ours, having seen it go wrong. The older I get, the more I think the weird kids just came from weird parents. Reassuring, right? Unless you're a weirdo yourself and don't know it. (Or more likely, you think you're a charming weirdo and you're actually an obnoxious weirdo.)

So we haven't been completely confident about our choice, because socialization is not a totally fabricated problem. Exaggerated, maybe, but not fabricated.

Nothing for it but to do our best, I guess.
 
Michael Cooley
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Mike Cantrell wrote:I feel like this deserves some balance.

First, context:
I went to public school k-12, hated it.
I went to a private college, loved it.
We're homeschooling ours, with a meets-one-day-a-week co-op.

Now, balance:
Maybe you've never been around large numbers of badly-socialized homeschoolers. It's disconcerting. When people worry about that, they're not just inventing a problem. It exists. At my college, we had a significant homeschooler cadre. Some of them, you'd never know. Others, it was obvious. As an example, should you try not to fart around other people? Yes, you should try not to. If you can't help it, you should try to be quiet about it. And opinions differ here, but I think, if a loud over escapes you, you should pretend like nothing happened. The essence of etiquette is making people around you comfortthat there was, and I think it's worse to proclaim, "Excuse me!" than to ignore it.

My college also hosted a couple of different tournaments for homeschoolers. Again, some, no weirdness. Others, holy moly. It was clear that there was no difference in their mind between home and public. Need to occupy a piano room to practice your debate? Go ahead, it's yours! Definitely not going to be any piano students scheduled to use it today!

It was messy. So we were pretty concerned about it when we decided to homeschooling ours, having seen it go wrong. The older I get, the more I think the weird kids just came from weird parents. Reassuring, right? Unless you're a weirdo yourself and don't know it. (Or more likely, you think you're a charming weirdo and you're actually an obnoxious weirdo.)

So we haven't been completely confident about our choice, because socialization is not a totally fabricated problem. Exaggerated, maybe, but not fabricated.

Nothing for it but to do our best, I guess.


You're right...there are some weirdo Homeschoolers....but...there are some weirdo public schoolers too. Most of the weirdo homeschoolers I've seen are too shy or timid, rather than to aggressive and hurtful. The weirdness may be prevalent...but in my experience...its preferred to the weirdness one would see in the state school...

You're absolutely correct...context is important. I'd much rather be "disconcerted" over student weirdness than "down right frightened"!


By the way...was our fearless leader Paul Homeschooled perchance?

 
Matt Powers
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There's a greater lack in socialization in public ed than in homeschools. That's why they use armed police officers, metal detectors, cameras & constant surveillance. They don't know how to interact other than in a hierarchical, dominance-based way. Maybe that's why top colleges are seeking out homeschoolers.
 
Michael Cooley
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Matt Powers wrote:There's a greater lack in socialization in public ed than in homeschools. That's why they use armed police officers, metal detectors, cameras & constant surveillance. They don't know how to interact other than in a hierarchical, dominance-based way. Maybe that's why top colleges are seeking out homeschoolers.


Brother Matt,

Thanks for chiming in.You are correct of course. The main difference seems to be the difference in discipline and values. My youngest son went into college instead of what would have been his senior year of high school. He could not understand why students in a work group would not actually do the assignments, choosing instead to just get by.

I really hope your Permaculture Life School takes off and spreads. I hope the curriculum will spread far and wide. No telling what the positive impact may be.

 
Nicole Alderman
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I think socialization in a school or homeschool setting really depends on (1) The teachers and the parents, and their knowledge and ability to teach social skills (2) The child's personal aptitude for learning social skills, and (3) The children around them modeling those skills.

For example, I'm someone who likely has a mild form of Asperger's--social skills and change do not come second nature to me. My parents are also rather introverted. I went to public school all the way from kindergarten through college (I have a Elementary Teacher's Certification). Many social skills are still confusing to me. Talking about what to say or not to say, for example, when accidentally farting is still a little confusing to me...and I'm thirty. Now, if my parents had homeschooled me, I'm sure my social skills would be even worse. But, if someone homeschooled me who was very socially knowledgeable and able to teach that knowledge forthrightly, I'm sure I would have much better skills. As for learning social skills from peers, that only really works if you actually interact with them. I spent most of my schooling as a loner and still have a hard time remembering to take time to hang out with people, or how to interact "normally" with them. I learned the most social skills by simply being with people who actually really wanted to hang out with me and made a point to "force" me to hang out with them, and they also did a great job of talking forthrightly about what social interactions.

So, as someone who is naturally social inept, with parents who are introverted, I am glad they chose to send me to public school. I'm sure I'd be far less "socialized" if they had homeschooled me. But, if my parents were very skilled socially and were able to get me involved with other homeschoolers frequently, I'm sure I'd have better social skills. I think they made the right choice for their and my situation. I think everyone's situation is different and we all have to avaluation our our strengths and skills as well as the skills and strengths and skills of our children.
 
Matt Powers
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Sadly this illustrates the complete lack of community we have in our neighborhoods that we don't have children brought up around other children & we rely upon the state to do that. If individual families were interdependent as they are when tied to the land, socialization would be part of life rather than some artifice of the state. It would be natural.
 
Dan Boone
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I was home schooled (although we didn't call it that); I took correspondence courses. People were always telling me that I was "missing out on socialization" by not going to school; I found it infuriating, because it insinuated that I was some sort of social cripple. My flip answer (I was a wordy and mouthy kid with a low opinion of my age peers) was usually some version of "if by socialization you mean learning to smoke pot and be a bully and read years below my grade level, then yup, I'm missing out on it" which really didn't help my unsocialized case when I deployed it against the principal of the local school. But I maintain he shouldn't have insulted my socialization as part of his campaign to recruit me so he could pick up another $5k in state funds for his budget under the student headcount formula.

About the only time I missed the "socialization" that my local school might have provided was the time that pretty much the entire high school (about half a dozen kids) got caught fornicating in various pairs in the cozy hay-filled dog kennels attached to the old mule barn the United States Army left behind when they skipped out of our little town in 1911. I doubt my parents regretted me missing out on that bit of socialization, though, even if I felt the lack rather keenly.

I realize all of the above could be read as grist for the "home schoolers are unsocialized" mill. But I got into every college I applied for and was the only kid from our little town (ever, that I know of) to obtain an advanced degree. Some of the kids in the dog kennels became state troopers, though, so who am I to judge?
 
Matt Powers
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I want to frame that post.
 
Mark Lipscomb
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My kids are 7 and 11 and have been home schooled via Spanish Immersion for many years now. Years ago we came up a validation test; we would be successful if our kids could attend school in their respective grades in a Spanish speaking country. So this year we had the means to actually make it happen. My kids attended school in Panama for three months. They did very well. My daughter (11) made friends the first day. My Son (7) took a little longer but made friends as well.

So the next time someone asks me about socialization I am going to ask THEM if their elementary age kids have the social skills to attend school in a foreign country in their second language for three months...

 
Dawn Hoff
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My son (11) takes art classes in town. Last week he said: Mom, the others are wasting SO much time in class! They come in and spend 15 minutes deciding what to draw, and they NEVER draw anything out of their own imagination, always something the Seño (teacher) prints out from the web, and that is not all - they spend most of class just talking and not working... I dont get it?

Thinking back to art classes when I was in school i remeber it being my favorite class because we could actually talk, we actually had time to SOCIALIZE.... and yes - the Spanish children have their creativity destroyed because even in pre-school they are taught to only color in their drawings in the "correct" colors (ie. the ones choosen by the teacher). My sons art teacher loves his creativity and supports him in the development of his own style - by teaching him tecniques to improve his drawings, but not correcting his style.

My son has many friends, bith schooled and not schooled. But now that the schooled kids are becomming pre-teens and teens, they tend to grow apart - because my son isnt "socialized"... eg. He has some friends that we have k ow simce he was 5, and when I ask them about their "playdates", he says - well, they dont really play anymore... they just hang out, watch TV and chat on their phones.... and mom, they fight all the time!

We had 4 homeschooled kids live here for 15 days with their parents, they had maybe one or two conflicts that needed our help in those 15 days...

We have had problems with home schooled kids though - my son was bullied by one for a while. But since the mom refused to help solve it, we simply ended up not seeing them, end of story. The boy now miss my son and has started requesting playdates, and we approach with care. In a school setting that would have been very hard without changing school, which is really really hard for the kids. I have friends who have kids who are completely excluded from tbe group at their school, but who are afraid the change school, out of fear it might be worse the new place. Other kids are downright bullied, but cant change for some other reason, and their self-esteem suffer tremendously from it. My friends with kids in school are more and more afraid of telling me about how their kids do in school because they say "it is water on your mill", even if I have never uttered and "I told you so" or anything like it. They know that their experiences prove my point about the problems about socialuzation in school... but are afraid to admit it. Some have considered home schooling though, because the stress that their kids are experiencing is simply too much (this is in the soft Danish public school system), and some have kids who say "I would do anything to be homeschooled", right next to me - I still dont comment on it, but it is a far cry from their stories from pre-school and early elementary school where they kept telling me that that their kids "just loooove their school and all their friends, and when they have summerholiday they cant wait to get back".

Forced asssociation is not socialization (and if it is, it is not healthy...)
 
William Lee
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"They were more accustomed to interactions with adults and thus learned adult behavior earlier." This right here is something I've never considered and find illuminating. To draw this out further what are the ramifications of groupthink juvenile groups in our grossly neglected public systems. Goodness excellent post.
 
Dawn Hoff
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William Lee wrote:"They were more accustomed to interactions with adults and thus learned adult behavior earlier." This right here is something I've never considered and find illuminating. To draw this out further what are the ramifications of groupthink juvenile groups in our grossly neglected public systems. Goodness excellent post.

"Hold On To Your Kids" by Neufelt and Maté is really eye opening wrt attachment and learned behavior (even if it isn't directly a book advocating homeschooling)
 
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