Tuesday, 7 August 2012

We Get Around

The biggest issue for a lot of people, when discussing Home Education, is socialisation.
"But how will they be socialised?" is the common cry whenever you mention that you're not sending the kids to school.
It gets a little annoying to be honest, I mean here I am with my friendly, talkative daughter who clearly knows how to behave in society and people are asking how she'll be socialised.
She already is pretty darn socialised* for her age!
Maybe they mean how will she socialise?
It's true that we won't be sending our kids out every day to sit in a classroom or run around in a contained space with a lot of other children of the same age but that doesn't mean they won't be socialising.
At present Eleanor has two ballet classes a week and Phoebe has one**, we visit the library, where the ladies on the desk always stop to talk to Eleanor, at least once a week, we visit the Soft-Play centre where they can play safely with random kids (who, now I come to think of it, aren't in school either), Eleanor goes to the swimming pool once a week where many people know her by sight, we attend a playgroup and all manner of Home-Ed groups***.
That seems like plenty of socialisation to me.

It's true that it's a different kind of socialisation, it's more fluid, less forced, and the people they socialise with aren't all the same age as them, but I consider this to be a good thing.
Our daughters will grow up knowing how to talk to people of all ages, in formal and informal settings.
They may never experience the latest playground obsession for yo-yos, or slinkies, or collectible plastic aliens with removable plastic bits****; or the woe when we refuse to buy them some rubbishy plastic alien with collectible plastic bits; or the sheer misery of having someone laugh at them because they packed the wrong kind of sandwiches today, but, frankly, that's a price I'm happy to pay.

*To be socialised means to be able to function in society, socialisation is a lifelong process.
** Where "ballet class" in the latter sense means "clap your hands to the music and smile at your friends"
***This was actually meant to be a post about Home-Ed groups, then the introduction got out of hand.
**** I doubt it to be honest, stupid crazes get everywhere, I'm still not going to buy them the wretched aliens though.

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