Staying Socialized

empty chairs in classroom

One of the common concerns of homeschooling we often hear is that kids need to be socialized. But socialization is public schools is only one specific type of socialization.

In schools, kids socialize in small chunks of time, generally with larger groups of other children the same age and status. And they’re constantly being monitored by adults, rather than engaged with (since there’s 30 other kids needing monitoring).

Throughout human history, most children were given the freedom to spend large parts of the day either alone or in the company of people from various age groups and backgrounds. They lived in their own private world, or they visited the world of adults. They didn’t spend much time in the pretend world of school.

Someone asked us how our kids will learn important things like following rules, taking turns, or standing in lines. As if we’d never taken our kids to a grocery store or a library, or we don’t all have to take turns having six people sharing two bathrooms at home.

It gets to the heart of what school actually is. Is it babysitting for busy parents? A component of the social safety net? A place to prepare children for the future? Or a place to change the future by changing children?