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The Socialization Myth

Field Trip: Point Defiance

Field Trip: Point Defiance

Many non-homeschoolers believe that kids need to be in school in order to be “socialized”. I have always found this to be utterly ridiculous. Neither I nor my children live in a cocoon. We are always encountering other adults and children from a variety of ethnic, racial, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. We socialize with older people, young people, people in our neighborhood, at the YMCA, church, stores, parks, playgrounds, family get-togethers, at the pool etc.. My children have and will always be social, so this isn’t something I am worried about. Our routine varies from week to week, but generally my children “socialize” with children their own age five to six times a week and frequently, multiple times a day.

These are some of the activities we are usually involved in:

  • Our Homeschooling Group: We are not alone in homeschooling. In the last few years homeschooling has been on the rise. More and more parents are opting to teach their children at home and consequently there are more and more homeschooling groups. Some groups meet at local parks, others form co-ops and still others do anything and everything related to education (community service, nature hikes, zoo visits, fire safety etc.). The group we belong to falls into the latter category, they do everything and anything related to education. Some of our best homeschooling memories have resulted from their field trips. Our favorites include trips to the firehouse, MOHAI in Seattle (a Seattle museum), the Museum of Flight (another museum in Seattle), and vegetable and fruit picking.
  • Sunday School & Church: My children are involved in weekly Sunday School classes and other related youth events at our church.
Alice at ballet recital

Alice at a ballet recital.

Our Local YMCA

  • Athletic Classes: The YMCA offers countless classes on ballet, rock climbing, basketball, soccer, swimming, gymnastics and martial arts. The classes our children participate in varies greatly and depends a lot on what my children are in the mood for. However ballet and swimming classes are constants in our ever-changing line-up of activities.
  • Local Classes for Homeschoolers: They also have a great program for homeschooled children called HomeZone. A class of 10 -20 children meet once a week for two hours. Each week they attend a half hour art class, a half hour physical education class (they play football, soccer, tag, etc.), a half hour of instructional swim lessons and a half hour of free swim. As you can imagine, this is one of their favorite activities!
  • Adventure Zone at our local YMCA: As members of the YMCA we are entitled to two hours of babysitting daily. As it so happens, the babysitting area is amazing. Along with a toy area, a reading corner and an arts and crafts center, there is also a gigantic play structure making this room, truly an adventure zone. On any given evening, this room is filled with dozens of five to nine-year-olds running, climbing, sliding. and playing. You can only imagine how much fun my kids have here. This is another activity that is not only welcomed by our entire family, it’s become a family favorite.The Adventure Zone at our Local YMCA
The Adventure Zone at our Local YMCA

Play Structure at the Adventure Zone.

If you then take into account the 10-15 hours a week we spend at parks and playgrounds, the countless hours we spend at our community pool during the summer, play dates, church functions, festivals, etc… It is easy to see that homeschooled kids are “socialized”. In fact, usually homeschooling parents have the opposite problem; that their children are involved in too many activities, thus creating very hectic and busy schedules.

Field Trip: Play Time

Field Trip: Play Time

Here is a list of some of our favorite places to meet people:

  • This is where we found our local homeschooling group.
  • Church: It is easy to meet other families during weekend services or at Sunday school.
  • The YMCA
  • Homeschooling conferences or other homeschooling events
  • At after school athletic, music, art or cooking classes
  • Local playgrounds and parks
  • Homeschooling organization websites. These organizations usually provide lists of smaller, local homeschooling groups.
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