I wish a had a dollar for each time I have been asked “How will your children be socialised if they never attend school?”
As you might be noticing from previous posts, our homeschool is often not at home as we regularly attend different co-ops and other activities out of the house, as well as having friends over to help with activities at home. As far as interaction with other children, my children have lots of contact during their learning. We also have playdates and sleepovers with family and friends
The question that I ask is whether school is really the best or only way to socialise children? I don’t think it is. Children are in classes with children very close in age to themselves (for a large part of the day). They are often in situations where quiet is needed, so interaction between children is discouraged during lots of classes. They usually have a teacher or authority figure nearby so aren’t given the opportunity for autonomous choices. I am not saying that they don’t get to socialise, obviously they do but I do not think that it is the best or only way.
Lets look at the way my children learn to socialise. They have the opportunity to engage with with children of all ages. They are rarely separated into a single aged group. The younger kids can watch and see how the older kids interact while the the older kids can lead by example. They also have opportunities to watch how each other interact and problem-solve.
We had a really great example of this at a group activity we attended. The age range of the group is from 5 up to 13 and they all actively play and interact with each other. We had a new child who was going through some big changes and was not interacting well with the group (he was 7). He became rough and threatening, the children his age simply told him they did not want to play with him anymore and they also removed themselves and the younger children from his proximity. He yelled after them, so the older children came over and calmly explained to the boy that his behaviour was upsetting to everyone and they could not play with him until he tried to be nicer to everyone. They then started playing again and asked if he would like to join in and be kind, he did. The boy did become agitated again a couple of times (although not to the same extent) and the children simply asked him to leave until he was calm again. We (the parents) could have intervened but that would not have helped this boy learn the way the children did and the children would not have had the opportunity to solve the problem themselves .
This is a part of the “So what is homeschooling anyway” page, where you can view similar posts that also answer “So what is homeschooling anyway?”.