Ruining Socialization For The Rest Of Us

If you have homeschooled for more than a few minutes, someone has confronted you about the “Socialization” issue.  I will not bother re-hashing the same debate, because you can’t walk ten paces on the internet without running into it.

I would, however, like to point out that the more society relies on school to socialize children, the more scarce social opportunities become even for those of us who don’t.  As an unschooler, I am worried that my children may not have enough positive social experiences.  But that is not because they aren’t in school, its because so many others are.

  • Many of the young children (who would just make excellent playmates for our little ones) are locked up for the majority of the day
  • When the children are released, they are hesitant to make bonds with “outsiders” and are more comfortable playing with those who they already know.
  • Many adults are shocked (and even offended) at the sight of children during school hours.  So, instead of acknowledging our children, greeting them, and interacting with them, they recoil in fear and gasp “what the hell was that?” under their breath.
  • Adults who our children manage to get close to are not used to having wee ones taking an interest in whatever “adult task” they may be performing.  Instead of offering to show them how that tool works, they give a firm “Don’t play with that, its not a toy” and offer to turn on the television.

So, in a sense, all those people who want to know how you will socialize your kids have a legitimate concern (albeit misguided).  In a culture where the majority of the population is institutionalized from a very young age, there are not nearly so many social opportunities available.  Maybe if everyone homeschooled (or unschooled) their children, we could get back to socializing again, just like humanity did before public school arrived on the scene.

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