Wednesday, January 20, 2010

But What About Socialization????

That question comes in near the top of any FAQ list of homeschoolers.  I have a lot of fun with answering that one sometimes.  My favorite scenario:

I was scrapbooking with a group of teachers, primarily.  They found out I homeschool, and asked a couple of questions.  You know, how are you going to teach chemistry? (my oldest was only 9, maybe, at the time... my answer:  I have no idea, but I'm pretty sure I have a few years yet to figure out which of the many resources out there will work for that), what about the prom? is it legal?  and then... the question.  But what about socialization?

I looked at them, with my most serious expression, you know, like they had just stumped me, and I said something like:

You know, socialization is a big problem.  Homeschooling is a big commitment, and it means that my kids are almost always around.  If they were in school, I could get together with friends for coffee much more easily, or meet someone for lunch, or head out shopping with a pal.  It would be easier to call up a friend and chat on the phone.  But I've been coming to these crops most months, so that is giving me at least one social outlet...

Long pause as I looked in mock surprise at the confusion on their faces, then I continued...

Oh!  You mean their social lives?  Yeah, well, that isn't a problem.  They don't have to go to school to playact how to interact with people in the real world... they actually get to interact with real people every time we go out.  We don't have to do social studies lessons to learn what a mail carrier does... my kids get packages from the mail lady and go to the post office for real.  They've joined scouts and get to interact with people there, mostly in their own age groups, so they are even getting an idea as to what age-segregation is like.

They don't have a socialization problem.  I do.

But it is a sacrifice I am willing to make...

The TOS Crew Facebook Fan Page is sponsoring a question of the week every Tuesday.  Socialization is planned for 1/26 and can be found here.  I plan to participate as often as possible.  Maybe this will even get me to join Facebook.
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20 comments:

Johanna said...

I LOVE that response!

Mrs. White said...

I love it! Excellent!

Blessings
Mrs. White

Deb said...

Brilliant! I have been asked this TWICE this week. I mostly fumble around like an idiot. What I don't get is how every.single.person. comes up with the question - is there some Warning! If You Encounter A Homeschooler, This Is What To Do! memo that goes out to public-schoolers that has that question at the top?

"Today class, we are going to cover what to do in a fire, a flood, if you meet a homeschooler, and other natural diasters...."

Heidi said...

That is great! I wish I could have seen their faces.

Debra said...

Thanks! My husband was a bit shocked when I told him about it... he always accuses me of thinking the perfect responses, but not saying them. Somehow, this was exactly the response I needed that time though. And Heidi, their response was fun. I think I made a couple of them think a bit anyway.

Deb -- yeah, somehow I always seem to get questions like this all at once. You know, like it is a mass talking-point email sent out to everyone. "Okay, people, this week, accost any homeschooler you know and ask them about socialization. Next week, we'll pick on someone else." At least I assume they pick on someone else.

I don't know, maybe I'm just caring less about what other people think now. I made a snarky response to a grocery store clerk a couple trips ago... something like, "Oh, yeah, you're right. Where else could they possibly learn to stand in line..."

Nikki said...

I absolutely LOVE this and I'm going to tuck it away as a fiery response the next time I get asked this question...LOL!!!
Love it!

TOSHeidi said...

Love it! What a perfect answer! Nobody else can top that one. I'm not even going to try. But, I am going to post my answer to the question, too, just because I'm desperate for blog content! LOL

Kristen H said...

Marvelous Debra! Absolutely brilliant :)

Lori said...

I agree, best answer I've heard. LOVE IT!!!!! :-D

Heather said...

Hey! I thought I commented on this:)Just wanted to say this post TOTALLY made my day. Very funny--and true. I was thinking about when we were little (5 kids in my family when i was little, also) I remember my Mom giving up stuff to hang out with us. And now, she has a very busy social life and will easily cancel someone else to be with one of us:) All too soon, we'll be having coffee with our kids!

Michelle said...

Echoing all the other responses you have gotten ~ this IS great! *Ü*

Debra said...

Thanks everyone! I smile each time I see a comment in this thread!! I worried that I was being too glib in my response to the question. But all my serious posts didn't work...

You make me glad I was nudged to write this one.

The Crazy Mom said...

Oh, I was going to make that point too! LOL But now with co-op and getting to my friends house once a week, I actually get to socialize now too! :)

The Home School Princess said...

Absolutely brilliant!! I am still laughing at your response. What a great reply to such a repeatedly annoying question. I'm tucking that one in for safe-keeping!!

Tracy said...

Excellent response! Very well done!

Annie Kate said...

Good for you!

Here when people find out our kids are homeschooled they often smile at me and tell the kids, "Boy, you're lucky," or something like that. We are so blessed!

Annie Kate

Angie said...

What a great answer! and SO TRUE!! :->
Fellow TOS Crew Member,
Angie

Michele said...

Oh I LOVE this answer! I will be using it in the future!

Tonia said...

Perfect answer! I might have to borrow this one if anyone ever asks me about socialization.

Kimberly Leui Kovach said...

Excellent. Yes, our social life "suffers" some, but theirs doesn't. Cheers to you!