So, you may be wondering, what's got into his sock drawer, that would cause him to say (type) a bad word? Well nothing has really got into my sock drawer, so to speak. There are just a couple of bad words out there that I use from time to time because I like the meaning and the impact of them. This review calls for one of them.
I was recently straightening out my book shelf when I came across a book that I had read about 3-5 years ago. I remembered reading it during a point in my life when I was taking the bus to and from work. As I looked over the book, it seemed I was using the bus ticket as a bookmark. The name of the book is The Socialization Trap by Rick Boyer. It might as well be called (here comes the bad word) The Socialization Crap. Not that the book is crap, it is actually quite good. It's just the whole concept that the book refutes (Home School children are going to suffer ill effects because they have no socialization is a whole bunch (don't have the energy to use it thrice) of rubbish.
Boyer points out that many homeschooling families fall into the socialization trap by buying into the idea that children need some sort of age segregated activities and often become even busier than public or private schooling families trying to remove this "deficiency."
Boyer does acknowledge that Home school moms (He doesn't mention dads, but hey I'm a maverick) do need support groups of other like minded parents, that often these groups disintegrate into centering around entertaining the kids rather than supporting the parents.
You know what conversation, I'd like to hear? I'd just like to hear this conversation of two parents whose oldest children are about to enter Kindergarten:
Parent 1: So Johnny is about to start kindergarten an the public school.
Parent 2: Aren't you concerned about socialization?
Parent 1: What do you mean?
Parent 2: Aren't you concerned that Johnny will soon begin spending more time with his peer group and his teachers than he will with you and your husband? That his ideas about morality and civility are going to be shaped not by you but in a large part by other children his own age?
Could you imagine the look that Parent 1 would have on his or her face? No one really questions age segregation because it is how the majority of adults today were brought up. The majority of adults my age also watched The Partridge Family every Friday night when they were a kid. That does not mean it was a good show!!
And now a personal moment, when Amy and I were just starting homeschooling we had many discussions with friends and relatives and naturally they would all wonder "What about socialization"?We would answer the question best we could. The odd thing during each one of these conversations are children weren't at home. They were either on play dates with other homeschooling families, playing with neighbor kids or out on field trips with Amy or I. In short while our friends and relatives were worrying about socialization our children were socializing.
While I don't agree with everything in Boyer's book, I highly recommend it as an excellent resource to homeschooling Parents. Boyer's book comes from a Christian perspective, I come from the same perspective. If you do not, there may be more that you disagree with the book about. I still think it makes some fine points regardless of your spiritual bent.
Next Time: The Home School Convention