Just a bit of an editorial (i.e rant) today, on the myth of socialization. Or what I consider to be the myth about the myth of socialization.
We’ve all read the varied “myths about homeschooling” types of articles, and one of the first things that is mentioned is that people think our homeschooled kids lack in social opportunities. Everyone laughs at this silly, silly idea because their kids are always at social activities like sports, classes, co-ops, church and other groups.
Ya, but just because you’ve solved a problem doesn’t mean it wasn’t a problem to begin with. It’s just as false to say “homeschoolers have plenty of social interaction” as it is to say they don’t. For some, it’s not an issue because the solution comes easily. Good for you but that’s not everyone’s story.
My daughter is about to turn 12 and she’s an only child. We live in a rural area with no kids nearby, and keeping her from being a little hermit is a real and genuine challenge. At least with public school, she had easy access to about 20 other kids in her age group. Now, there are none. For us, the “myth” about socializing is not a myth at all.
We’ve extended her time in Girl Guides for another year, even though she is the only girl at the Pathfinder level, and she’s currently taking an evening art class with kids roughly her age. We just tried our first get-together with a local homeschool group and about 70% of the kids are age 6 or younger. She hates sports and our budget doesn’t allow us to sign her up for a bunch of classes or activities. So where is all that effort-less socializing going to come from?
My point isn’t to complain. This is the way our life is and we manage. It just really bugs me to hear people go on and on about how homeschoolers are just fine on the social front as though it couldn’t possibly be a problem. Don’t be dismissive about it just because it’s not *your* problem.
Making sure your kids have great social opportunities may be an easy problem to overcome for some families, but it’s certainly a genuine one for others. It’s no myth.