In our discussions of home schooling, my husband and I come back around to one question over and over: How will they become “socialized”?
Of course, the typical home schooling argument is that children learn how to live and work with others in their families, in their churches, and through clubs, co-ops, and other activities. For my husband in particular, the fact remains that he met many of his best friends in school. These were mainly children who were the same age as him, living in the same neighborhood, and whose last names placed them near him in alphabetical order. They sat by each other in class, played with each other after school, and joined the same sports teams. Despite the arbitrary nature of their beginnings, these have proven to be lifelong friendships.
Our boys have many wonderful family relationships, not just with cousins of various ages but also with aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles and so on. We are fortunate to have a big, loving family. However, most of their cousins live out of state, and those who do live nearby we see once a week at most. Similarly, their friends from church include not just other children but also adults of different generations. While we treasure these connections, are they really a substitute for the daily interactions kids have with each other in school?
How do you provide your children with opportunities to interact with many different types of people and to develop deep friendships with other children when they are not in school with them every day?