An Answer to Questions about Socialisation and Homeschooling
© Beverley Paine
"If you homeschool your kids they are not going to know how to be social as an adult and if you don't expose them to the negativity that is in the world then they won't know how to deal with it when they get out there on their own."
I realised very early on that most people weren't that interested in why my children were homeschooled, or how they will eventually turn out. Their questions were often quick reactions to the idea of homeschooling, with little thought beforehand, kind of like something to say that sounded as if they were really interested. That's why the questions are always the same old 'what about socialisation', 'they won't learn to cope in the big bad world', 'what about university'... Often it depends on who the person is and what they consider most important in life.
Many times I've taken the time to respond thoughtfully and people begin to stare off into space. Silly me. They're really not interested. And then there are those who feel defensive, and are asking because they feel the need to beat you into submission, to see the error of your ways and do it their way, so as to reassure them that they aren't making a big mistake by not homeschooling their children. Parents and in-laws can be really defensive, because you homeschooling your kids is like saying they weren't good enough parents. In fact, most of my friends felt 'judged' in this way by our decision to homeschool. I finally ended up by prefacing any answer to any homeschooling question by saying "homeschooling isn't for everyone, only weirdos do it, and we never know how it will turn out, but if things don't work out the kids will be back in school, for sure." That's the magical line almost every inquirer wants to hear...
The other magical line that worked everytime for busybodies that weren't really interested: "our homeschool is approved by the government" (whether it was or it wasn't). The number of people that simply shut up and went about their business after hearing this was amazing. Even the ones that looked ready to brow beat me to death!
If people are really interested in our children's welfare they will ask more intelligent questions.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since 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. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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