No other concept evokes such a visceral reaction in people who discover we homeschool than socialization. It's a complete knee-jerk response to learning that our children don't attend school. I liken it to the way folks, upon seeing a newborn, automatically sputter out "is he a good baby?" or "is she sleeping through the night?" and other nonsense. It's not their fault. Conventional wisdom is a strong force.
So allow me to state for the record: Yes, My Children Are Both Social and Socialized.
What? There's a difference? Read on . . .
of or relating to society or its organization
needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities
relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure
to mix socially with others
to [make someone] behave in a way acceptable to their society
(Socialization is simply the noun derivative of the verb to socialize.)
My children relate to society. They need companionship. They live in a community. They enjoy the company of others. They are social.
My children are also capable of mingling (mixing) with others. They behave (for the most part, ahem) in a way acceptable to the society in which they live. They are socialized.
I know what you're thinking: Enough of the dictionary definition gobbledygook . . . what does it really mean?
|First day of preschool, September 2010|
It means that the Agents like being around other people. It means that they can relate to children their own ages as well as adults. It means that they can strike up a conversation with everyone from the librarian to the childcare workers at the YMCA to the cashier at Target.
It means they love Sunday school and can't wait to see their "church school" teacher each week. They easily jump into impromptu play time with a neighbor or another child they just met, say at an API meeting or the library children's room.
It means that despite the fact that the Agents (well, Agent E anyway) don't spend the equivalent of a full-time work week in class with other students their age, they can connect with peers, respect teachers, and feel at ease around other adults.
It means thanks for asking, but they're going to be just fine.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed day.