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experiences with homeschooling and socialization
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geniekess
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: experiences with homeschooling and socialization Reply with quote

Warning:This is a long post!
I had to add to these discussions on this topic because it concerns me deeply. We homeschooled for 4 years. Our children hadn't been to PS until 2 years ago. They began being taught at home and didn't have a chance to go until recently. I don't regret teaching them at home. I do regret not having them socialized enough. We went to church every Sunday faithfully. They never really had normal friendships. WE also attended a co-op group with our church homeschool group so they hung around the same kids for 3 years. We got toether with the co-op group once a week which was nearly a whole school day. They had classes they attended. We went every week faithfully. Plus we met with our in-laws, cousins and family members on both sides of the family which have children close to there age to meet together and play and socialize. I noticed during those years my daughter didn't do to bad considering the situation. She was a leader amongst her cousins who where a couple years younger and they followed her around and such. She was a natural social butterfly with them. When it came to co-op and socializing in a school room setting even with other homeschoolers she didn't flourish. I noticed while teaching some of the classes that the children acted the way they did in PS when I was a child. They had click's. This little group over here and there. They rarely invited my daughter to join them in playing and here they had known her for 3 years. These where the same kids who where in her Sunday school class. She had to work through being rejected by others in a different setting. After that year we homeschooled one more year and then they went into PS school.
Before homeschooling my daughter was a different person. Her attitude was more humble. Now being in PS she is more forceful and outspoken about what she wants and disrespectful. She used to care very much about what I had to say. i am always noticing that when she is talking with her friends and I am in the room she will point out things wrong with me to show up to her friends. I can see how PS socialization effects a person. By seeing this I have realized something about people. I think it depends on the person. Personally as being her mother I think that PS and homeshool where good for her for somethings and bad for other things.
PS- gave her more boldness to speak out and stand up to her friends and learn about how others can hurt her even if they seem to be better friends than her homeschool friends she used to have. She has learned to accept others better no matter what they believe or how they behave.
Her schoolteacher last year recognized her with a kindness award. She was voted the most kind child in her class. The first year she was in PS her teacher mentioned how kind she was even then and a good role model for others in her class and even had special privileges. All for the praise of her teachers. I also praised her and let her know that God blessed her.

PS- in a negative fashion I see has put in front of her negative temptations that are to strong for her to resist on her own. Especially since she doesn't walk in the spirit. She doesn't understand how to trust God yet she doesn't practice it. She basically believes in herself and her own efforts. Her friends believe this ad encourage these things. The school encourages this. One of my goals was to instill faith in my children before they entered school.
You are all probably wondering why I put the in PS in the first place.
It was a combination of pressure from my husband to put them in so I could go to full time work outside the home.

My son on the other hand was the hardest to socialize. at first he could only socialize with our family at home. He was extremely shy. He wouldn't look at my mother or Nana or any other person than me in the eye who was an adult when he talked to you. During co-op he began to come out of his shell he made a couple of friends but didn't say much to them. He was 5 years old then. One year later we put him in 1st grade in PS. His teacher was very concerned for him. He was sh but after 2 months he began making more friends until he had about 3 friends. His teacher said he still wasn't looking at her when she talked to him. by 2nd grade big change! he looks everyone in the eye when he talks to them and he responds! He needed that environment constantly to become who he is now. He has no problem riding his bike down the street now to a friends house to see if he can play and this kid isn't in any of his classes at school. My son has a faith in the Lord. He is 8 years old now this past May. Faithfully praying for my son and his socialization every year and praying for God to provide friends has been tremendous. Godly friends at that. Some friends weren't which he discerned over time and let me know. This little boy has great wisdom. Not because I homeschooled him not because I put him in PS. It was the prayers that God led me to pray for him and the concerns I gave to God about him. God works ALL things for the GOOD for those who LOVE him. My son loves him. God blesses him and his prayers he has prayed for his friends. I remember when he prayed for a kid that was bully him in 2nd grade last year. That kid stopped after that.

People! Pray for your kids social needs no matter where they are! PS or HS. Where ever they are that you have decided to put them, pray. Get the word of God in your heart and speak it to the kids and encourage them daily. If our not a christian say positive things to them. Don't get caught up in the daily tasks of life and push them away even when your busy. Put down the remote! Listen to them. One day our kids will stop coming to us and then they will be going through something tramatic and they won't come to us. Then we will ask them what is wrong and they will say "Why are you all the sudden interested?"
I think we need to get some of these fears we have out of our heads about HS and PS. Where does fear come from? What does God's word say about it? "There is no fear in love." If we are fearing that our children are going to be ruined by HS or PS it isn't from God. It is from the evil one. Our faith in God and what he wants to do in our lives is where we need to stand. On the rock! Not shifting sand!
My prayer is that people will start changing how they see education. Education really is how we relate to the world around us. Learning from mistakes. Learning first what God says so we can have a blueprint to build a life of faith and move on from the past into the future God has for each of us and instilling this vision in our kids.
Maybe we need a renewed vision. A vision of what education is. Is it merely facts memorized by rote then soon forgotten. My children's real education has been learning about life and how God intertwines in it. That has been the most beneficial. Even if it means sacrificing the perfect academic experience so they can learn how God can work in their life daily. If it comes to that, then so be it. Even if it means they may not end up being all that I want them to become. (doctor, have straight A's, get an award, be a missionary) what ever... so be it. I am still learning now to except them and there changes into who they are becoming because of PS. Very hard at times. Because the things that where lying dormant in there souls that where negative are coming out now that they are in PS. Lying, disloyalty, dis respectfulness, etc...

My hope is that I can help others to get through this education trap and almost a worship of it and see things in a different light. Not that education isn't important but the way we view it.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: experiences with homeschooling and socialization Reply with quote

geniekess wrote:
They never really had normal friendships.

Question How so? What is a "normal" friendship?

geniekess wrote:

Maybe we need a renewed vision. A vision of what education is. Is it merely facts memorized by rote then soon forgotten. My children's real education has been learning about life and how God intertwines in it. That has been the most beneficial. Even if it means sacrificing the perfect academic experience so they can learn how God can work in their life daily. If it comes to that, then so be it. Even if it means they may not end up being all that I want them to become. (doctor, have straight A's, get an award, be a missionary) what ever... so be it.

Do you feel homeschoolers in general need a "renewed vision" or is it that your own expectations of what a real education should be has changed? Because you pretty much have just described what a most of the Christian homeschoolers I know believe homeschooling to be.

geniekess wrote:
I am still learning now to except them and there changes into who they are becoming because of PS. Very hard at times. Because the things that where lying dormant in there souls that where negative are coming out now that they are in PS. Lying, disloyalty, dis respectfulness, etc...

The question I have is were these things really lying dormant in their souls or was it taught to them by their PS peers?

geniekess wrote:

My hope is that I can help others to get through this education trap and almost a worship of it and see things in a different light. Not that education isn't important but the way we view it.

I homeschool because it is a part of how we worship God, not the object of our worship.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some nice people in jail too, but does that mean you should voluntarily spend your time there? As I've said before, public school socialization only teaches children how to interact with other (public school) children, and can actually be a negative when it comes to learning how to interact with adults. Since you spend 60 years of your life interacting with adults, and relatively few interacting with children, public school seems rather counterproductive from a socialization standpoint. Extracurriculars - even public school extracurriculars - are much better for socialization, since there's a better adult-child ratio, and the children tend to be more mature. My youngest siblings do Civil Air Patrol, swim team, and a variety of church activities / volunteering.

You do have a point about co-op classes, but those are for enrichment only and only take a fraction of the time that public school does. It's easier to tolerate cliques if there are fewer of them and you don't have to be around them for 35 hours per week. It's too bad you can't sign up for just a few public school courses and do the rest of the subjects on your own, that might almost be worth trying. Public school sports, band, etc. are usually ok.

(on a personal note, nobody wanted to be on my team in logic class, but I didn't let it bother me too much, since it was their loss)

The sentiment of "Don't worry about your choices, just pray and be happy" is good, but the application may not be very useful. Everyone has to make choices, and the choices are either going to be right or wrong, and there's no benefit in feeling good about making the wrong choices. No, public school won't necessarily ruin your child, but walking in front of a car won't necessarily kill you either, and most people still look both ways before crossing the street. The decision whether or not to public school has to be based on a bit more than "It might turn out ok..." In your case, you're public schooling primarily for economic reasons, not because you believe public school is a superior educational choice. You can't really extrapolate from that and say that HS and PS are equally good, just that HS is not necessarily always the best choice.

Personally, I think that schools per se are just fine - it's more a question of what's being taught, how much adult supervision there is, and whether kids are learning good behavior or bad behavior as a result. Left to themselves, kids generally devolve to the lowest common denominator, and if there aren't enough adults, or if the adults aren't willing to do anything, the "socialization" turns out quite bad.

I guess the best thing to do if you can't make a decision is observe a class or two and see how well the kids behave and how good a job the teacher is doing. If the kids aren't paying attention or the teacher lets them get away with being disrespectful, then public school is definitely a bad idea. If everyone is well-behaved and there's plenty of participation, then maybe public school is ok - assuming that what is being tought in the school also agrees with your point of view.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
The sentiment of "Don't worry about your choices, just pray and be happy" is good, but the application may not be very useful. Everyone has to make choices, and the choices are either going to be right or wrong, and there's no benefit in feeling good about making the wrong choices. No, public school won't necessarily ruin your child, but walking in front of a car won't necessarily kill you either, and most people still look both ways before crossing the street. The decision whether or not to public school has to be based on a bit more than "It might turn out ok..." In your case, you're public schooling primarily for economic reasons, not because you believe public school is a superior educational choice. You can't really extrapolate from that and say that HS and PS are equally good, just that HS is not necessarily always the best choice.

This seems to me to be a bit harsh, Theodore. As I see it, geniekess had to place her children in public school against her wishes and now she is trying to make the best of it, and at that point it is perfectly normal to try to see the good as well as the bad, to rationalized, if you will. I, for one, am interested in exploring her observations more than making an argument against them.

Choices are not necessarily right or wrong, just necessary. It is the results that are either desired or not desired on whole that make people believe the choice was right or wrong. Coming from a Christian viewpoint and believing God has a purpose in everything, I understand from where geniekess is coming. However, her description of seeing education as something that is almost worshipped suggests to me that it may have been that way in her own life and that may have been something God would be interested in correcting within her family. I don't know if that is true, I am only making suggestions based on things she has written. It may seem like a wrong choice from one perspective and yet is the right one from another. To me it was simply a choice, what they make of the results... that is much more significant than the choice itself.

I will argue in favor of homeschooling most anytime, but geniekess is already convinced. I will say that her advising post seems to be more therapeutic for her than consoling to me, but that is what makes it more interesting to me. Why did she feel the need to make this post? Was it really to benefit others or to work out some regrets she has...?
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lisalinnay
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: experiences with homeschooling and socialization Reply with quote

geniekess wrote:
... Learning first what God says so we can have a blueprint to build a life of faith and move on from the past into the future God has for each of us and instilling this vision in our kids.
Maybe we need a renewed vision. A vision of what education is. Is it merely facts memorized by rote then soon forgotten. My children's real education has been learning about life and how God intertwines in it. That has been the most beneficial. Even if it means sacrificing the perfect academic experience so they can learn how God can work in their life daily...


I absolutely agree with you. The first and foremost important things anyone can learn is God's truth. God's way. It is perfect. If we set flawed society (and public school) aside and listen to God speaking to us, we see his lessons and his examples in everything around us. Using His Word and listening to his voice, teaching our children His way, his perfect plan - that's the most important part of education, and everything else that's truly important will fall in line under that. This is how we find our true selves and nuture our true talents and gifts so that we can raise our children to be God's humble servants. What's more important than that? Certainly not how one child interacts with another, and certainly not memorizing facts. As Theodore said, we spent most of our lives as adults, and it's our responsibility to raise fruitful adults who can make right choices and think for themselves based on the truth, not socialized children who "get along" and repeat what their PS teachers tell them.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I'm just confused. Do you think homeschooling is better, public school is better, or that both are fine as long as you go into things with the right attitude? I would say that a good attitude helps, but it's not always strong enough to combat 35+ hours per week of peer pressure and indoctrination. If your public school friends expect you to make fun of your mom, do you tell them off or go along with it? If everyone is being taught about evolution and how the Civil War was caused by the South wanting to preserve slavery and how our Founding Fathers believed in removing religion from the schools and so on, do you believe them? Etc. You end up spending all your time repairing damage, since the school spends like 3x or 4x as much time with your kids.

I'm not saying it's impossible to raise good, well-educated public schooled kids, but it can be quite difficult, and requires almost as much effort as homeschooling would have in the first place. I don't know your financial situation or what your local school is like, however, so this is not meant as a personal criticism. I'm speaking generally, not specifically.
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lisalinnay
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am absolutely against public school, and the list of reasons why would be far too long to post. I would never send my kids to public school. I simply won't take the chance on my kids being poisoned by liberal indoctrination and mean and nasty peers. That can be way too damaging.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore, I personally agree with what you have stated. I have always said that public school is not a choice, it is just the thing that people do without making a choice. The fact that public school is the safety net for the parents who don't take active responsibility for their children's education is indicative of the quality of that institutionalized educational environment on all levels.

I also think that if both parents do not place the same level of importance on homeschooling, as was the case in the OP, that it is more likely be doomed to financial and social pressures. Personally, my husband would work all the overtime he could or we both would work different shifts or do a home business or sacrifice in some other way before we would sacrifice homeschooling, but we are both highly committed to it. That makes all the difference.
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StellarStory
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My kids have been in both public schools and home schooled. They have always done well and age appropriately in social situations. I really think people worry far too much about this issue.

The great thing about most kids is that they know no strangers and can nearly always find common ground. That's quite a beautiful thing.
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Sunnymom
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think socialization is something that should be provided by parents, not other children, or a school system. The studies I have read seem to indicate that children are better off if taught social norms by adults, and not by peers.

I seem to remember several teachers telling me that school was for learning, not for socialization! Very Happy
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

StellarStory wrote:
My kids have been in both public schools and home schooled. They have always done well and age appropriately in social situations. I really think people worry far too much about this issue.

The great thing about most kids is that they know no strangers and can nearly always find common ground. That's quite a beautiful thing.

It is a beautiful thing, for as long as it stays a beautiful thing. When you are not around your children for 6-9 (or more) hours a day, how do you know what kind of "common ground" they have found within a public school environment?
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StellarStory
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's really not that difficult to figure out.

I know from various ways such as: talking with them about friends and other social situations at school, parent teacher conferences, being an involved parent at their school, observing them in any public situation, taking a leadership position in organizations they join and finally, observing first hand via having parties, sleepovers and other such situations at our home and other places.
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momo3boys
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to agree with seekingmylord, when she asked why geniekess was making this post. It seemed like she needed to vent. While I don't agree with everything that she said I do very strongly agree with the fact that she asks us to pray for our children no matter where they are.

When i go and check on my children after they have fallen asleep, I pray for them individually, asking God to protect them and prepare them for the future.

As far as socialization goes, we don't have a problem. as I've stated in other posts we are very active but not necessarily with organized things. They have a lot of play dates, and not all with other Christians. I am there though, helping them know how to deal with the situations that arise. They don't like clicks, and they don't go near those people who are in them, they have a choice though, not like in public school where they are everywhere.

As adults, we have the right to choose who we hang out with, we need to give our children that choice to.
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StellarStory
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do know the school systems do not value you or your children unless you become involved and therefore, more useful to them.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

StellarStory wrote:
It's really not that difficult to figure out.

I know from various ways such as: talking with them about friends and other social situations at school, parent teacher conferences, being an involved parent at their school, observing them in any public situation, taking a leadership position in organizations they join and finally, observing first hand via having parties, sleepovers and other such situations at our home and other places.

And yet you stated: "I really think people worry far too much about this issue."

Seems to me that you keep pretty close tabs on your children, particularly when you take "a leadership position in organizations they join." What you have described is really not what a "typical" parent of children in public school do. I am sure that there are other parents that do the same, but the majority do not.

I would like to add--although this always is a delicate subject--after working for years with youth within churches, that most every parent I have met believed he/she knew pretty much what was going on with his/her child at school and with friends up to the point when he/she was shocked by the realization that he/she had been blind-sided.
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