The Two Big Questions Concerning Homeschooling

   Eons ago, when I was brand new to homeschooling, the big question in people's minds was, of course, academics.  And why not, that's what schooling is all about, right?  I'm not sure if homeschooling has proven itself academically, in people's minds, or if their values have shifted, but now people seem to be more concerned about sports and socialization than they are academics.
  I do not speak for all home schools, because home schools can be about as different as churches; different priorities, different values, different methods, different everything, in fact. I can only speak for what happens and has happened in our own home school.
  First, socialization.  I have a large family.  We have seven offspring, ages 14 to 33.  Right there, is plenty of social interaction, especially on the tail end because now there are in-laws, significant others, nephews, and a niece.  But beyond that, we have always been very active in church, so we have a church family with whom we are about as close as our natural family.  We've also been involved with 4H (several clubs, to be exact), Red Cross, homeschool support groups, musical activities, and the neighbors.  Our kids have had contact with a nice variety of ages, interests, and opportunities.  In addition, they have all worked for pay.
  There has, of course, been friendships with people of the same age, but age has never been hugely important. More often than not, it has been more like age brackets. Often, my kids have hung out with another family or two in which several of the siblings have been close in age.  This past weekend was a perfect example.  Friday night, a group, which included my three kids - Andrew (19), Elizabeth (16), Rebekah (14), Andrew's wife, Kim (20), and two other brothers, Josiah (19 or 20) and Jared (23) went to Perry County to participate in Relay for Life.  We are talking about an age span here of 9 years.  Under normal conditions, this wouldn't happen.  But in the homeschool world, it happens all of the time.  Each of the young people I have mentioned was/is homeschooled.
   Just to give you a little insight into the variety and frequency of social interaction, I will use this past weekend as an example.  I just mentioned Friday night.  Saturday, this same group went to Knoebel's Grove Amusement Park.  It was my husband's annual company picnic.  Afterwards, they went out to eat, except for Kim and Andrew, and did some Father's Day shopping.  In other words, it was an all day event.  Today we celebrated Andrew's birthday, complete with my parents, and Andrew's two older brothers and their families. That was after attending Sunday School and church earlier today - not exactly that inane picture of kids who never leave the four walls of their house.
  Now I will move on to sports.  I will admit that my kids inhale sports.  They have been involved in soccer, volleyball, and basketball, as they have played with community or homeschool groups. In addition, our kids all learned how to ride bike at an early age.  They have skated - both ice and roller.  Some have gotten serious enough about ice hockey to own gear.  Ping pong is a favorite sport they have played at home, church, and at relative's houses.  Sledding has always been popular here, as well as jogging, rope jumping, and croquet.  At church, there have been AWANA games as well as kickball and dodgeball.
  My oldest son became interested in weight lifting and continues to do that as an adult.  My other two sons continue to play volleyball on church leagues and in charity tournaments.  One now coaches homeschool volleyball.
  My daughter, Rachel, who went on to join the Air Force, played soccer for them, and won competitions as part of the run team.  And though my daughter, Tabitha, doesn't participate in organized sports, she likes to walk, and she can really move when she does!
  No, none of them got scholarships to college and no one is a professional athlete.  The truth is, I'm sure that could have been a reality on some level.  But now we are getting back to priorities, and sports is not at the top of the list.
  I hope this example of one homeschool family has been helpful in answering the two biggies:  "What about socialization", and, "What about sports?"  Having said that, if you are considering home education, there is really only one question, in my mind, to be answered, "What does God want me to do?"



Popular Posts