I am going to start this by saying this is completely my honest opinion. I know that many people will disagree with me on this and that is okay. As a cyber school mom, I hear more often than not, “But what about socialization?” My daughter who has only completed Kindergarten so far has even come home telling me about certain close relatives telling her she’s not going to make any friends being schooled at home.
This. Boils. My. Blood.
Since when has school become about socializing?
I always thought school was where kids go to get a quality education. Is socialization important? Yes, but it is not a DETERMINING factor for where and how my kids are going to school.
A normal school day usually goes something like this:
You hang with your friends until the bell rings. You go to class where you have to remain quiet and attentive while your teacher teaches. You spend a specific amount of time learning each subject only taking periodic breaks. The breaks you get are short compared to the amount of time you sit at a desk. So when is there MUCH of a chance to socialize to begin with? Then the socializing that goes on during recesses consists of cliques and bullying because there’s far less adult supervision than children. So why should I base my children’s ENTIRE education on that small thing called “socialization.”
Friendship doesn’t always last after schooling.
Some will stay in touch, but most will leave your life as fast as they came into it. Personally, I went to public school my entire life and the majority of the friends I have kept in touch with came from extra curriculars like sports and Girl Scouts, NOT SCHOOL. Yes, I am going off of one experience here, but it just goes to show that not ALL people stay in touch after school.
Homeschooling allows kids to interact better with adults.
My husband was home schooled his entire life. I was public all the way. So in comparing how we are as grown ups, I am WAY more reserved and shy when it comes to interacting with others. My husband can and will talk to anyone and everyone he meets. He could reach out and talk to a complete stranger in the store while I shrink away and hide my face in fear of being judged for anything my brain comes up with.
I truly believe in my heart all those fears stem from experiences in public schools. Firstly, you’re always taught by ONE teacher at a time. That one teacher has to keep over a dozen children in line and attentive. So in order to do that they have to “dominate.” This puts fear of adults into children because let’s face it we all know those few teachers we had as kids who just couldn’t handle the pressure and ended up coming off scary and mean.
Bad experiences can be traumatizing.
One experience I remember as a kid was when I was in first grade. A teacher I didn’t personally have was on “lunch duty.” I got up to dump my plate which still had a few pieces of food on it that I either wasn’t fond of or just was too full to eat. She proceeded to YELL at me in front of everyone and force me to sit down until everything on my plate was gone or I wouldn’t be going to recess.
As a shy and timid child to begin with, I was mortified. I didn’t know this woman and I didn’t understand why I was being forced to sit and eat when that had NEVER happened to me before. It stuck with me all these years. I may not seem big to an adult, but children are so much smaller and not used to being talked to like that by other adults.
School environments are changing.
Sadly, these things happen more and more these days. More and more we are seeing kids with behavioral issues. Recesses are being cut back. America has the longest school days and the shortest amounts of “break times.” Attention disorders are being diagnosed left and right. Kids are being drugged by big pharma for wanting to be kids. Kids are not SUPPOSED to sit still for the same amount of hours as a full time job. They need to explore, get messy, make mistakes, and learn.
Summing it all up…
I will proudly stand behind my husband and my choice to cyber school our kids. I HATE that I have to continuously defend our decision just because it isn’t the “norm.” But I WILL defend it always, because I see how my children thrive with their studies the way it is. Bottom line is. Don’t let other people’s judgement cloud your decisions. Even if they’re close to you. You ultimately know in your heart what is right for you. Socialization will come in many forms throughout your child’s life. They will ALWAYS have opportunities to make friends. They may not see them EVERYDAY like they would in public school, but that makes it that much more special. Socialization is NOT the key to schooling.