Thursday, September 3, 2009

So, what about their socialization?

“Whew, I’m so glad school is back in session so my kids are out of my hair, they were driving me crazy!”

This is such a common response to the first week of school in our culture that most of us don’t even think about it. How sad for our society that the forced separation of children from their parents is greeted by those parents with joy and relief—“whew, someone else is taking over my parental responsibilities, indoctrinating their values and beliefs in my children and teaching them that the only true success is looking, acting and behaving just like everyone else—only just a little bit better.”

Where do you think our society's preocupation with the idea that you have to be thinner than all the other women, prettier or stronger than the neighbors, have “better” clothes, house, tools, cars, stuff…comes from?

And in our society, this is accepted as “normal”—no one even questions that sending your tiny little child off to spend the majority of their life with strangers is the “right” way to parent. Every homeschooler is asked at some point (and new homeschoolers are asked ALL THE TIME), “what about their socialization?” as if you are going to keep them in an isolation chamber and never allow them any social interactions at all!

I find it very interesting that I have NEVER—in all the time I was homeschooled, my siblings were homeschooled or my children have been homeschooled, have I been asked “but what about their academics?” because at some level everyone knows Public School is about social interaction, NOT about education. Interestingly, while I do know a few socially maladjusted homeschoolers, the MOST socially incompetent people I know were in public school with me.

Why should my beautiful, kind, creative, intuitive, intelligent children be placed in a pressure cooker of artificial standards, peer pressure and negative influences—not to mention bullying (and yes, bullying is done by teachers as well as by other students)? I firmly believe that the ONLY people who were not bullied in junior high were the ones doing the bullying, and that probably most of them were picked on by someone “higher” on “the social ladder”.

Why is this normal in our society? Because as humans we carry on the script that we were raised with. That is why terrible cultural traditions like female infanticide, Chinese foot binding, female genital mutilation and multi-generational child abuse are carried on from one generation to the next.

I am always amazed that the same people who insist that the best thing I could do for my children is to put them back into the artificial world of public schooling so they can be “socialized”, go on in the next sentence to tell me how hellish their school experiences were! I suppose that subconsciously they feel that they are rejected if their suffering is avoided---“it was good enough for me, it should be good enough for you!”

However, I don’t want my children to have something because it was “good enough”—I want my children to have infinitely more! I rejoice in watching them interact well with people of all ages (not just their "peers"), of different cultures and beliefs, and believe that true socialization comes from interacting as a functioning, contributing member of society.

My mom always said, "If God had wanted children socialized in groups of 30, we would have litters. Instead we have extended families and communities, so that is what I want my children to be "socialized" with."

1 comment:

  1. Very strong argument for your case. I fully agree. You were my quirky wonderful, and very socially adept I might add, roommate. Ok, so you weren't with the in crowd, but then neither was I with my public education. Junior High was was horrible, and I am proud of you for sparing your children the monotony and angst that so often accompany public education.