Am I Doing Enough? / Socialization? Fears and Concerns Series (Part 3)

*The fear of failing or of not doing enough is a very common fear or concern, mostly for the moms who incorrectly assume the children’s failures will be a result of their own.

Every person who starts home educating for the first time is already concerned about not doing enough. Often, while the children have not yet even started formal education, parents can already be expressing concerns about post-secondary options! This is okay. It is good to have a plan.

However, I find this concern funny because if parents have seen what I have seen, they would know that even if they were sleeping half the time, the children would still be well educated, in fact, usually way ahead of their peers. Your fear is not really about doing enough, it is about not doing enough school. There is a big difference between these two approaches.

Trust me. The less “schooling” you do, the more personalized your children’s education is. This eventually translates into a genuine post-secondary readiness, one that fits them well; one that does not require attending post-secondary institutions so they can discover themselves.

If you’ve just started, take one day at a time, then one year at a time. Once you’re past the primary stage, you will enter an easier period because you will get comfortable with the process.

As the children transition from the primary to the secondary stage they become more independent learners. I usually use independent learning as an indicator of how advanced students are at the secondary stage of formal education.

*You’ve likely heard the concern about the socialization of home educated children. I have even heard that children need to learn how to get along with children! This would be a joke if it wasn’t so sad! We are created as social beings. Children naturally get along with children. The only training needed for socialization is exercising proper manners.

Besides, what do you think is more important? Learning to get along with children of the same age or getting real life experience at getting along with people of all ages? Where will children spend their lives? As children or adults? Think about this.

When was the last time you were in a room filled with people of the same age doing the same thing at the same time? School! You can simply dismiss this fear or concern as disconnected from reality!

Now, should you be confronted with this concern, there may be many possible ways to address it, but the best way to deflect this silly question is to ask the inquirer what their concerns might be regarding the socializing issue.

If they have an answer, ask them to clarify. You will find that those who are most concerned about this issue are those less likely to be able to share a good reason for the concern.

Allowing and encouraging children to be comfortable with who they are is one of the biggest advantages of home educating outside of the status quo expectations of society.

There is no better way to prepare them for the “socialization” requirements of the adult world. They will be less likely to have to keep up with the “Joneses” and be affected by peer pressure. However, one must bear in mind that peer pressure is a very powerful influence that requires serious preparation to resist.

Who says… We Need To Learn To Socialize?

Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2014-11-03.

God created man for fellowship. Therefore we are social beings. There is no need to develop what God has designed.

Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.

Bible Reference: The Bible!

At last, I was on vacation! I simply wanted to escape my hectic life for a week and determined to have nothing to do with anything, other than to simply have a good time with my wife and friends. I wanted to be free from work, but then my friend introduced me to his friend as a home education expert. Once again, I was presented with the age old home education concern about socialization! I was so tired of always having to address that issue that I just wanted to run away, but then the Lord provided a most interesting opportunity. Right in front of us a little Mexican girl, who could not speak English, just sat down to fellowship with a little Canadian girl, who could not speak Spanish. I cannot be sure that they had never met before but one thing was for sure. Even though they could not socialize by language they socialized by action. No instruction, no school, no classroom, and no peer group required. I did not have to say a thing to my friend’s friend, I just pointed to this natural occurrence!

We are social beings. We naturally desire to spend time with people and will do so any time we have an opportunity with no training required. It comes as natural as breathing. Obviously, there are some folks who are more sociable than others, but then again, some folks are also more musical than others. So what? The issue of socialization is usually brought up by those who have not given it much thought. I have even heard parents say that they are sending the children to school so they can learn to play with children. Really? Have you ever seen a child who could not play with children? I suspect that parents concerned about their children’s socialization may be more interested in sending them to school so they can work on their “socialization” while the children are away!

Before we send children to school to be properly socialized, we must ask ourselves an important question. What do we normally experience in the real world? Being in a crowd of people of the same age or being in a mix of people of differing ages? The concern about socialization is disassociated from reality. We never find ourselves with a group of people of exactly the same age doing the same thing at the same time, outside of school. By making school’s greatest disconnection with reality its redeeming strength, parents can be encouraged to unquestioningly send their children to school without considering just how socially dysfunctional it actually is. This is just good salesmanship while capitalizing on parent’s fears about socialization is simply good marketing.

Considering that the entire Bible is about relationships, it is not hard to imagine that to fellowship or to socialize is what matters most to the God of our creation. We don’t need any help from man or his institutions to learn what God has built into us.

Who says we need to learn how to socialize? Those who would normalize a “family” made up of many moms and many dads in charge of large groups of children of the same age, being directed to do the same thing at the same time, five days per week! Truthfully, a dad and a mom who were created to fellowship with others will train their children to properly “socialize” by just doing what comes naturally.