But there's one question about homeschooling I NEVER see a satisfactory answer to. It's the most dreaded word in the world of homeschooling.
Now, most homeschoolers will go on and on about how a public school classroom is probably not a very good place to gain proper social skills. A classroom of kids who are all the same age isn't terribly diverse and is usually ruled by the most popular kids. (Of course you can go through public school and come out totally fine socially, and you can also go through it and be completely destroyed by it.)
I'm not trying to say that what I want is for my kids to have a social experience like what is offered at the public school. It's fine I guess, but not what I think is IDEAL.
Now, homeschoolers will always say, "Oh your kids can be in sports, community classes, library time, homeschool co-ops, scouts, activity days, field trips, etc. You can be over socialized when homeschooling!"
Yes, yes. I understand that. Here's the problem. I can't get out of the house! And you know what, most of the other homeschoolers I know don't either.
We like to SAY that there are so many social opportunities out there in our communities and it's easy to be a part of those things. But from what I see, the reality is that we aren't taking part in it.
It is ridiculously hard to get out of the house and participate in those things if you have to take ALL your kids with you- especially if you have a large family with a big spread in ages. How do you help your tween get to a music lesson, your middle ones to a soccer practice, and the youngest ones to a play date? YOU CAN'T!!
Unless you sacrifice other things, like spending much time together as a family, eating healthy, home cooked meals, getting your main school work done, etc.
We currently do our school work in the morning, have lunch, put little boys down for naps, and then we're here until about 4 when naps are over.
So, that leaves maybe 1-2 hours to do anything before I have to be home fixing dinner. Because everyone in the world seems to think it's a good idea to start evening activities, concerts, etc. at 6:00!
Doesn't anyone else eat dinner at 6 or 6:30? Why would I want to be at an activity at 6? My husband doesn't even get home until then!
Anyway, ranty ranty ranty.
I just don't see how there's time go to and DO things. By the time you get everyone looking decent with shoes on and diaper bag in the car it's taken 20 minutes. Then you have to drive across town to "X" thing, wait around with all the other kids who are bored and whiny, and then drive back home an hour later. Then it takes another 20 minutes to get everyone inside, their things put away and settled in. Really, it takes more like 1 1/2 to 2 hours to do a 1 hour thing outside of the home. And then there's no time left to make a healthy, homemade meal and have everyone sit down together and eat it before someone has to run out the door to something. (Scouts, RS activity, etc.)
Thus, we almost never go anywhere or do anything.
Honestly, homeschoolers of the world. Do you REALLY get out? Do your kids actually get to meet different people or varying ages? We like to say, "Oh, our kids know how to socialize with people of all ages!" What is really meant is that the kids socialize with all their siblings of various ages. That's all very nice, but it doesn't teach you how to talk to people who think completely differently than you do.
Honestly, HOW do you help kids (and yourself!) learn to talk to people of all nationalities, religions, family backgrounds, etc.? I don't think you really can actually. I don't think it's something you have much access to until you are grown up and say, go on a mission, enter the workforce, attend a college and live with assorted roommates, etc.
Anyone have ideas for how you can really socialize with different people (not just your own family) when you homeschool and have lots of small children? Or even if you do public school. Your child's public school classroom most likely isn't very diverse unless you live in a big city or something. Is there really anything you can do to prepare a child for the vast array of people in this big world?
How do you even get out of the house and participate in local activities when you have little ones napping, dinner to put on, kids to put to bed, etc.?
The final question is, does it even matter? Does your ability to socialize depend more upon your personality than how many social events you participate in?
I am terribly shy and anxious around people. Can't help it. Always been that way. No, public school didn't fix it. I don't like having people over for dinner, or kids over for playdates. I don't like parties, sports, etc. The only thing I REALLY like to do with other people is play music and I like it best when we are playing and not talking! ( :
I don't think there's anything that can "fix" me and my social problems. I think I'm super awkward around new people, especially if we think very differently about things like religion, moral issues, etc. Is there really anything that can be done?
So, if anyone, homeschooling, public schooling, or whatever has any ideas, I'm all ears!