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Friday, September 13, 2013

Socializing my Child

Socialization and homeschooling.  It's quite often a touchy subject that isn't always easily discussed without someone getting his or her feelings hurt. Maybe it's an underlying guilt or insecurity in homeschool parents that make it this way.  Regardless, this year's goal for me is to focus on socialization of one child, in particular.

My oldest child turned 13 this year, and for the past 13 years has captivated me with his brilliance.  OK, sure, right - Doesn't every mother say this about her son?

It's true.  I had seen other newborns before him.  I had plenty of nieces and nephews, and babysat tons.  I even worked at an Academy for Children and the church nursery.  I had looked into the eyes of numerous babies before I had my own.

But something struck me that day when the nurse placed my newborn son into my arms.  I looked into his eyes, and he did not return a glared, empty newborn look.  No, his was one of the deepest, most profound looks I had ever seen in a baby's eyes.

He looked back at me with this look that seemed to ask, "Can I trust you?  Will you take good care of me?"

It took me by surprise, and I was captivated and determined to give my son everything he needed to grow and be healthy physically, mentally and spiritually.

  • From that moment, this child has continued to amaze me.
  • He learned to read when he was 3, pulling me along every step of the way.
  • He has a bright sense of humor that rivals stand-up comedians
  • He somehow grasps adult-level concepts when overhearing conversations, or even the evening news.
  • He devours college level computer instruction books and has self-taught himself the basics of many computer languages, including HTML, HTML5, Visual Basic, C#, Java and DOS.

This child never ceases to amaze me, except in one area, that is: Socializing with peers

When it comes to joining in and reaching out to make friends, this child shrinks back.  He transforms from a chest-puffed out, speaking loudly with confidence brilliant funny man to mumbling, soft speech and insecure fears while touting that everything he has to share is stupid or that others will laugh at it.

Where does this abrupt shyness come from?

Of course, I go down the list wondering if I have given him the best I could by choosing to homeschool him.  On numerous occasions, I have considered enrolling him in a private or even public school just for the socialization.

But, then I am reminded just as abruptly - usually by him - that this would not be his best option.

So, this year my goal is to socialize my son.  It is my ambition to get him involved in any activity that he shows even the least bit of interest in and surround him with like-minded kids his age or older, getting him away from younger kids who tend to follow him around on playgrounds wanting to be his buddy.

He needs a good friend who isn't into sports and isn't rambunctious.  This boy just is not into typical boy things.

He needs a good friend who is like-minded in computer gaming and technology enough to have some meaningful conversation.

When I look back into his eyes at the end of this school year, I want them to look back at me without the questioning concern of his newborn days.  I want him to look back at me with confidence and shine forth the young man God made him to be.

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