Everybody’s Doing It – Socialization

When I was still a baby believer, I had a pastor ask me the following question:  “Where in the Bible is the majority right?”

I didn’t know my Bible very well at the time and I wondered if it was a trick question.  I had visions come into my head of different Bible accounts that I knew, but no actual verse came to mind that revealed the answer.  I decided it was a trick question and said, “Nowhere.”

To my shock and amazement, the pastor said, “Right!”  It was the correct answer? I should have known it was.    It was the very response my mom would give me when I wanted to do what everyone else was doing.  “Would you follow your friends off a cliff? Should you follow the crowd?”

It is the very answer to the greatest question ever asked about homeschooling:

What about socialization?

“What ABOUT socialization?” is always my response back.  Just because ‘everybody’s doing it – school’ does it make it the right and best way for my children?

Following are two definitions of ‘socialization’ that I found on the internet.

1.  To place under government or group ownership or control

In regards to this definition of socialization  I can only say that my husband and I took very seriously the upbringing of our children.  We did not and still do not want to place our children under any government ownership or control.

This definition is the perfect outline of the public education system bought with taxpayers’ dollars.   Through the Department of Education, there is control over what can and cannot be taught in school.  There is a ‘dumbing down’ of this country’s educational system that has been taking place for decades.  Today, we see the results in young people graduating who have little to no reading and writing skills.  Math and science in this country is at an all-time low.  Yet, we have the best, most funded government-controlled schools in the world that allow parents to believe they are directing their children’s education.  (For more information about this read “What’s Really Wrong With Our Schools? by John Taylor Gatto.)  To top it off, most (not all) of these young people have no idea how to socialize apart from parties and sexual promiscuity.

2.  To make fit for companionship with others; sociable (friendly or agreeable in company)

This second definition is more likely the one that questioning people ask.    I remember a wise friend telling me that socialization is not about sending your  five-year-old to a five-star restaurant with their peers.  It’s about taking them there yourself and teaching them appropriate behavior at a five-star restaurant so they grow up with social skills.    This is the truth.  My husband and I have literally done this and have reaped incredible rewards – both when our children were young and now that they are grown adults.

Proverbs 12:26 “A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

When people ask about ‘socialization’, they believe that school is a social place and that without school children will not have friends.   School should not be a social place, it should be a place of education, but that is not how it is viewed.    Though schools are filled with children,  it’s not a healthy social place.  It’s a place of great peer pressure and challenges that young children and especially young adults should not have to deal with until they are grounded and mature.   It is through the educational system that the concept of ‘teenagers’ was born.  Teenager describes a rebellious child who has no idea who he/she is and find their identity in being like everyone else.

In terms of sociability, public and even private education are the only institutions in the world that puts people of the same age together for 12 years of their lives and tells them that is life’s reality.  It’s not reality.  There is no office, no business, no other occupation where people of the same age are together for the rest of their lives.  There are always various age groups working together for a common purpose or goal.

To be sociable is defined above – ‘friendly or agreeable in company.’  What is company?  When our family has company, it is not a group of 10 year olds that come to my house.  It is a family that consists of adults and other aged people.  True  socialization is the ability of a ten-year-old child to enjoy the company of the two-year-old toddler as well as the grandfather who visits with the toddler.  It is the ability of the ten-year-old child to have an intelligent, making eye contact conversation with the parents of the toddler with respect.   It is the ability of the ten-year-old child to find fun things to do for himself and the others who visit him.  It is true reality for the ten-year-old to understand ‘they’ are not the center of attention nor are their childish whims and desires

In order to appease those who have questioned the sociability of my children, we did have them do extra-curricular activities.  Our sons played soccer or baseball.  Our daughters took dance classes.  All of our children were involved in theater groups.  Within all of these social activities, they were quite capable of making and being friends with others of their same age.  However, even more important was the relationships they also created with their coaches, instructors and other actors.

Today, all of my children are quite sociable and enjoy social events like eating out, going to theater, and spending time with other people.    They are confident in who they are, what they like and don’t like, and what they want to do and don’t want to do.    Their lives are not defined by their peers or the crowd, but by who they were and are created to be following the path set out for them by God and not an educational system bent on dumbing them down in a world of unreality.

©2011, May

 

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