November 1, 2010

Socialization--by Becky

the "socialization" debate:
an introductory post


this last Saturday, i hosted a casual little art class party.
we learned about collage and texture and ended up with a variety of little pumpkins.
i had to do my son's for him.
because ten minutes before everyone arrived he asked,
"so, which boys are coming?"
to which i responded,
"um, i don't know. let mommy make some phone calls."
which were in vain and half way through our morning,
he was done, finished, collapsed on the couch in mock exhaustion/exasperation.
he had had enough of the whole girl thing.
because all his friends are girls and all the boys his age go to school.
he just wants a boy to play with.
one stinkin' little boy.
he doesn't have to be bright or strong or even fun to play with.
he's just go to show up, have the right equipment and be willing to throw mud in the backyard.
we're working on it.

anyhoo, the next day my father-in-law made some comments about his ball catching skills,
and proceeded to compare him to his one year older girl cousin
and explained that he was worried that luke wouldn't do thinks like the other kids
and that it would effect his self-esteem.
i'm not that worried.
so what, he doesn't play catch that often.
(he can kick a soccer ball across the lawn and back all day long)
i repeat, i'm not worried.
we're going to sign him up for some sports camps this year,
stick him in a karate class
and will continue to play ball with him and invite his friends over when we can.
but, i won't become fearful for his self-esteem.
i don't think anyone can argue that the social construct of the modern playground
is building up strong, confident children.
especially as bullying hits an all time high, and aggressive physical and sexual acting out become the norm.

does anyone else have thoughts on this?
what are your worries, concerns, thoughts, ideas on the ever present debate about "socialization"?
and how do you respond to all the "non-homeschoolers" when approached with this ever present concern?


  1. :) I can so relate! I have a son who is surrounded by girls! :) I have to make an effort to have some boys around for him to play with. I do attend park days and swimming days so he does have some boys to play with regularly! I ((love)) the whole "socialization" thing with non-homeschoolers! Ha! I usually ask what they mean by being social. Are they asking how my kids will learn social skills? If so, I don't want them learning social skills from their peers. I want them learning from me. If they mean having friends, I explain that my kids do interact with other kids very regularly but I want their friends to be eachother, first and foremost. Is socialization why we send our kids to school? I thought it was to learn??? Hmmmmm. So funny to me that people get hung up on this all the time.

  2. I agree with what Megan said. :)

    I feel as long as my kids have each other and a few other friends to play with, we've got the socialization thing covered. :)

  3. i really like that you refocused what people are really getting at - friends is very different than social skill building. and personally, looking around at a lot of the growing little kids in my are - i don't want them teaching my kids any of their skills. thanks for helping with upcoming confrontations - i needed that delineation.