Today, my mom stopped by to spend some time with her grandkids. We see the world very differently, and she was less than enthusiastic when I gave her the news that we are going to homeschool our children. "Children need to have socialization!"
Who ever said that homeschooling would prevent them from socializing? The way I see it, there is more time and opportunity for socialization with homeschooling than in public school. The typical school day lasts about seven hours. The only time children have during these seven hours to socialize are during lunch (about 30 minutes), moving from class to class (only a couple of minutes), during recess (two 15-minute sessions, for younger kids),
That means that students are sitting at their desks for just under six hours a day, and longer for older students. When they get home, they get to spend 1-4 hours a day (depending on age) doing homework. All told, children are spending between 7-11 hours each day on school work. How much time does that really leave for socializing?
And what are our kids getting in return for sitting dutifully at their desks for those 7-11 hours a day? Are they receiving an education that inspires them, stimulates critical thinking, and encourages creativity? The answer, in most cases, is a big, resounding, "NO". They primarily are taught to take standardized tests.
It doesn't take much effort to locate email lists, groups, or forums that can put you in touch with other local homeschoolers. Homeschooling parents can coordinate museum trips, concerts, science fairs, visits to the zoo, and basically any other field-trip that kids mights attend through their school. Parents can divide up the various subjects based on each parent's skills and specialized knowledge to teach the children in a group environment. There are so many other outlets- 4H clubs, scouting, little league, etc., that socialization (or lack there of) should not be a reason to avoid homeschooling.
Our children are still very young. Before they are old enough to attend kindergarten, I'm sure my mom will overthink this issue and come up with a dozen other reasons why homeschooling is a bad idea. My husband and I, however, believe we can do a better job of educating our children at home than in a crowded public school with underappreciated teachers where high scores on standardized tests are the only real goal (and rarely acheived).
And now, it's up to me to network, research, and prep for homeschooling our children. While Karl has been a bit of a late talker, he's now saying lots of words, letters, numbers, and it is exciting to watch him learn, especially since we were part of it.
Live better, a little every day.