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The Socialization QuestionPosted Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 3:13 PM
Every now and then one of my kids' friends tries to convince my kids that they should go to public school. Why? So they can have friends, of course. Because everyone knows you can't have friends if you don't go to school.
My kids and I always get a chuckle out of the assumption that homeschoolers don't have friends. Yes, we may do the majority of our lessons in our living room, but that doesn't mean we stay in our house all the time. We actually do get out and see real people on a regular basis. We also know that there are other places to meet people other than schools.
Most of our kids' best friends are also homeschooled, so public schooling for us would mean they wouldn't get to see their friends as often. We are actually involved in two different homeschool support groups right now--one that we've been involved with for the past four years, and the other one that we've just recently started attending. We have co-op once a week, plus skating parties, bowling parties, Christmas and Valentine's Day parties, and teen activities. During the week the kids all get together often for sleepovers and just to hang out. Then of course we have the drama class that I teach on Fridays for homeschoolers.
Then we have church activities. Since the church that my husband pastors is small, we have been letting the kids attend Wednesday night services at the church down the street for kids' activities. The older ones sometimes attend youth group there on Sunday nights still, even though the youth group at our church on Tuesday nights has grown to about fifteen kids. My kids are youth-group hoppers and also end up at their friends' youth groups a lot as well. Of course, being involved in youth groups means another whole slew of activities--geocaching, missions trips, miniature golf, trips to concerts and conventions, gym night, movie night, epic spoons night, and more.
Our children have also been involved in 4-H and we're getting ready to sign up for that again. My oldest son is trying to convince me to let him join Boy Scouts, but I'm just not sure. On a quiet week with no other activities or friends coming over to spend the night, they still see friends on Sundays (church and youth group), Tuesdays (youth group), Wednesdays (church) and Fridays (co-op and drama). I'm not sure we can swing Mondays for Boy Scouts on top of that.
Our kids have so many friends that we had to buy a bigger van, not for our kids, but for all of the friends that we take with us everywhere. We went to McCormick's Creek for my son's 15th birthday a week and a half ago and took a half-dozen of his closest friends along with our own six children. This weekend we had some other friends from New York come down and stay with us with their five kids and we took them to Turkey Run yesterday.
The video I linked to, "Seven Lies About Homeschoolers," is one of my kids' favorites. They especially enjoy the fourth one--that homeschoolers have no friends. Sometimes when one of their friends asks my kids how they meet friends when they don't go to school, they like to mimic the boy in the video and say (with a lisp, of course), "My siblings are my bestest friends. They're all I need!" But most of the time they just say, "Well, I met you, didn't I?"
Homeschooling -- The Next Generation
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