Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The Socialization Factor

We've been homeschooling since December. Although I knew the socialization issue was a common concern, I'm surprised at how many people have said to me 'aren't you concerned about her social life?' As a matter of fact on Monday I was visiting with someone that is a teacher that confidently told me that the real sad thing about homeschooling is that they have zero social skills. I guess she hasn't met a lot of homeschoolers.

I assumed she wasn't referring to my daughter. To me it's just a funny comment...especially when it comes from people that know our daughter. She's VERY social and I am clearly biased, but I think her skills are better than most children her age.

Her little brother is still in the school she was in previously. He attends afternoon kindergarten and so when I take him to school she can come along and see her friends. At first it was really important to her that we get there early enough for her to have plenty of socializing time. I noticed lately that she doesn't always want to come with us now and sometimes when she does she stays in the van and reads or just waits for me while I walk her brother to the door to line up.

I asked her about it the other day. Her response was interesting. I said to her, "I noticed you don't seem as interested in playing with your friends every day anymore. How come?"

She looked up from her book and wrinkled up her forhead and said, "'re right. I don't know why!"

I guess she did some thinking about it because later she came to me and said that she doesn't care so much now because she realized that she really wasn't missing anything. She talks to her friends on the phone often and also arranges play dates when she wants to. And there are really only a couple girls that she ever was interested in doing that with much anyway.

The comment that I silently celebrated was when she said that she used to really care about what her friends think and say and do and like. She said she worried about that a lot but that she doesn't worry about it so much anymore. She's still likes and cares about her friends ...but, and she put it, she's much more comfortable with herself.

If nothing else is gained from our stint at homeschooling, that will be enough for me!! I'm thrilled to have a child who seems to have recognized peer pressure for what it is.

1 comment:

Shirley Wilson said...

Way to go Dawn and Jill I admire the both of you for your endeavors with home schooling. Jill will have plenty of time of socialize at church with friends that are good friends, and not have to be pressured by peers.