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Friday, December 9, 2011

A Positive Note on Homeschool Socialization

I admit it.  I'm a proud mom of 3 kids, whom in my opinion, are amazing.  So, my opinion may be slightly slanted in their favor.  However, something I observed last night sparked a thought that just maybe it happened the way it did because they are homeschooled.

Here's how the story goes:

My two girls take dance lessons from a teacher I absolutely adore. This woman knows how to keep the songs clean, cheap make up off of the girls' faces, and offer encouragement to make dancing fun while providing proper instruction.  In all the times I have known this dance teacher (my oldest began dancing at age 2 and is now almost 10), I have never seen her lose her cool even when a student pushes and tests her limits.  She remains upbeat and positive.  Last night, something happened.

My two girls are in a class with four other girls, making up 3 sets of sisters.  The idea is that they will present a "sister dance" at the recital.  My girls are 4 1/2 years apart in age and have been homeschooled all of their lives.  The other two pair of sisters are slightly closer in age (roughly 3 years difference in age).  One set of sisters attends public school.  I believe the other set attends a private school.  So, we have a wide representation of educational means.

For ease of understanding, we will call them:

Sister pair A
Sister pair B
And my children - Sister pair C

The dance teacher was giving instruction, to which I noticed the little sister in Sister Pair A was not paying much attention.  I then, looked up to see Sister Pair B's 'lil sis had been crying.  The crying sister soon began to poke at her older sis.  This went on to the point that while they were dancing, little sis would pull away and refuse to even hold hands with her big sister.

I dismissed it as just a little sibling dispute until my attention was drawn to my two girls.  Every step they danced was in complete unison (I'm not exaggerating).  They turned at the same time, and connected in perfect harmony and rhythm.  They smiled and laughed as if they thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.  This was a familiar sight to me because they dance together at home all the time.

After the class was over, the teacher commented to me about how my girls were the only ones who listened to her with complete attention, and they were the only two who were in harmony with each other without forced requests.

I thanked her, but inside I couldn't help but wonder.... Does this have anything to do with the fact that they are together 24/7 and have become good friends - not just sisters?  They do not leave each other to go off to a separate classroom every day.  They are together to build a relationship, from sun up to sun down.

It was just another notch I added to my opinion that socialization in homeschooling is superb and relationship and family building.

  • Through homeschooling, my kids are not separated simply because of their age difference.
  • Through homeschooling, my kids learn to work together and build each other up  instead of competing ruthlessly with each other.  Yes, this sometimes comes after an argument.  But, the point is that they are given the chance to disagree and work it out and are encouraged to see the good in the other.
  • Through homeschooling, my kids get to know each other and deal with conflicts day in and day out.

To me, this is true socialization at its best.

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