Sunday, January 18, 2009

Socialization…What is it?

I hear this word often, particularly as a homeschooler. What about socialization? I think to myself, “Thank goodness my kids are not socialized to the current society!” What do I see when I look at our local high schools?

I see competition over cooperation. And I want my kids to be cooperative. I also want my kids to be so strong in their self-concepts, that the only competition they will ever need is to stretch their personal limits to the best of their ability and help everyone else along the way.

I see psychological pressure to conform. I want my children to be able to stand calm in the rising tide of social confusion and reactive behaviors. I want them to be able to evaluate their path along the way and not automatically ‘be like everyone else.’ I do not intend to raise lemmings. I want my children to be able to connect with everyone. Raised in a multi-aged environment, my kids learned to deal with kids of many ages and a variety of adults under different circumstances daily. I look at them now and am delighted they can reach out and connect to anyone regardless of age or social standing.

I see a lot of angry kids in high school. Do we call that social? I see an angry culture that listens to anxiety- producing music and violent lyrics. I don’t wonder why. Kids who have no internal direction, who have never had an opportunity to find their passions and talents, who are told all day, everyday, what to do….have a tendency to be angry and defiant. I am grateful my children have been directing their own daily activities since they were little. I am happy to see they are never at a loss as to what to do. They are active, productive and creative thanks to years of self-directed activity and the ability to create in the real world. They are not angry.

So, what about socialization? I think to myself, we dodged that bullet. If conforming, angry, non-cooperative kids are part of the social norm…we’ll pass. Thank you.


Cathy said...

Resa, I am so glad to find that you have a blog and I can read more from you on a regular basis. What I most enjoyed about your book is how you come from such a loving place in educating your children.

I was lucky to read your book and hear you and Matt speak in the Chicago area. Thank you for spreading the word about the brilliance each of our children have. They are wonderful, aren't they?


Jena said...

Exactly! You are so right. My youngest child is going to a public high school after being homeschooler all her life. She is strong in her self esteem and she has a mom who is ready to bring her home anytime! The difference between how she relates to people and how the "socialized" kids act is startling. We are truly blessed to be able to homeschool. Thanks for the great post.