Homeschool Question: Inquiring Mother Wants to Know..

by Tawonna
(Mclemoreville , TN)

Homeschool Question and Socialization Concerns

Homeschool Question and Socialization Concerns

Former homeschooled mom believes she would have been more social if she had gone to public school. What do you think? Share your thought to help!


I was home educated and I kinda hated it as a child. If I had never gone to public school it would have been different. However, my mother schooled me from 8th to 12th grade. I was smarter than the average high school children, but my social skills are not as I think they would be had I attended high school with lots of children. Could you help to educate me on how I would keep my children apart of society where their communication skills could continue to grow.

Hi Tawonna,
There are lots of opportunities to connect with others when you homeschool. Some ideas are:
  • Homeschool Co-ops
  • Homeschool Enrichment Programs
  • Community Centers
    You will find lots of classes and programs for geared for children and teens of all ages. Some community centers even offer programs during the day specifically for homeschoolers.
  • Local Churches

I posted your question to PEAH's Facebook Page and several moms responded with some great advice.
    Rachel Clark writes:
    "There are so many great groups, but I know it can be a challenge to find them. I know my sister chose local theater (little women, musicals); book clubs at their library; and she taught free/low cost elective classes.

    Our family tends to be quite social. Here are some things that have worked for us.

    Joining a homeschool co-op, going on field trips with other homeschooling families, taking classes through a local homeschool enrichment program, taking classes in your community (ballet, theater, etc.), through a community center, or library.

    Try to look for: Homeschool mom support groups, email lists, field trip groups, curriculum sales, conferences, or library events. These will usually have information on social opportunities. Activity groups are great for younger students. We looked for groups to fit our interests, needs, costs and core values. Not everything we tried, worked. I didn't list those."

To address your belief that you would've been more social if you would've attended public school:
    Jennifer Maassen writes,
    "Most homeshooled adults are quite glad to have been raised and educated this way. I don't know about your family dynamics or about the lifestyle your family followed, so I can only speculate that perhaps this had something to do with your feelings of social awkwardness. I don't know the reason for your feelings, but it is also quite possible that you are naturally shy and would have had trouble communicating with others regardless of your choice of schooling."

I hope this helps you, Tawonna!
Blessings,
Heather


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Mar 20, 2011
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Opportunities to Develop Communication Skills
by: Tammy

Dear Tawonna,

There is a great deal of negative socialization (peer pressure) that goes on in public schools, as well as opportunities for developing communication skills; however, there are a great many opportunities outside of public schools for developing social and communication skills.

In addition to those listed by others, such as homeschool groups and community theater, other opportunities to meet people with similar values include local congregations, 4-H, Scouts, and other community organizations. 4-H can even be found in city settings. For my son, the second year I homeschooled him, I had him participate in Method Demonstration, which is a means to work on public speaking, primarily because his dad was shy and I wanted him to overcome that early. He came in 3rd at state that year in his division and now has delivered several sermons and is called into youth ministry. 4-H also has other areas such as sewing, cooking, consumer decision making, range management, photography, computers, gardening, and a variety of other skills that one can learn and enjoy with a group, whether one lives in the country or the city.

There seems to be a sense of hurt and blame toward your mother for your feeling inadequately equipped in social skills. Think on the blessings of the time you spent with your mother. Think about the sacrifices she made to dedicate time to educating you at home and how important you are to her that she would do this for you, not to you, but for you. No parent is perfect, only God is perfect. Do think about her love for you and the love God shows you through her. God willing, you will have years to practice social skills. Get involved in any of the groups mentioned here or by others that you find meaningful. Watch others, talk to others, and you will grow. Find a mentor that you trust and admire to help you in the skills you feel weakest. Think about Moses, how he felt he could not speak effectively, but God used him mightily. God can use you, too, especially to show His greatness in our weaknesses.

God bless you, Tawonna!
Tammy in Texas

Mar 21, 2011
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Wonderful Words of Wisdom!
by: Heather

Thanks, Tammy, for your wonderful words of wisdom and for taking the time to help Tawonna and others who struggle with the socialization issue, or who are looking for ways to connect their children (or themselves) with others!
Blessings,
Heather

Jun 29, 2011
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Homeschooling with LOVE
by: Anonymous

Anyone who feels regret about not attending public schools should read "Dumbing Us Down" and then thank their lucky stars they were not subjected to that mess.

All Waldorf schools in my area are full. Instead of feeling frustrated, I'm getting excited about the prospect of homeschooling. I spend a LOT of time thinking about fun ways for my daughter to socialize and learn and grow. With all of my heart I am doing it FOR her, not to her, just like you clarified for Tawonna. I hope your letter resonated with her and she can realize that her mom's best intentions, loyalty and love is probably more than she could even believe !! :)

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