School Socialisation or Socialists in Training? Home Education an Alternative View of Socialisation.
by Martin Forte
In 14 years of homeschooling, I've heard that word more than any other term relating to schooling children. It is truly amazing how concern about socialization seems to have been inserted at the front of every non- homeschooler's mind in America. That fact alone is indicative of the intellectual depths to which we have sunk. When the first question to arise regarding an educational choice has nothing whatever to do with the acquisition of knowledge, what does that say about our attitude as a people toward learning? At the very least it indicates a deep misunderstanding of what education is while it says all too much about what schooling is.
Fact: The opposite is true. Visit any school playground for a half hour if you doubt it. On the contrary, homeschool children get along well with children of all ages and often feel comfortable conversing with adults. There is no place in adult society where people are segregated by age to within one year plus or minus. Adults would think it absurd to be told they could only work and socialize with people of their exact age. Yet, we have grown accustomed to segregating children and pretending that this is an appropriate venue in which they can learn to get along with other children and people in general.
Myth #2: Children learn to behave around other people in school.
Fact: Children trade barbarities in school. Research has established that when children spend more time with peers than with adults, they adopt the value system of the children rather than of the adults in their lives. In a school setting, the adult child ratio is at least 1:20 and often as much as 1:35. There is simply no contest. Left with a bare minimum of positive adult input during the day, children in school mimic whatever comes in front of their faces the most often. Add to this the negative societal input of a latch- key generation (TV, radio, movies, inappropriate reading materials, etc.) and you have a formula for disaster. With all the negative roll models in the world today (often disguised to appear very attractive) it takes almost Herculean effort to raise a civilized child in a school setting today.
Fact: The Smithsonian Institute studied what geniuses had in common and came up with an interesting formula. It was found that geniuses had three things in common:
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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