Thursday, 24 January 2008

So, what about socialisation...?

One of the most frequent questions I am asked about home education (after 'Is that legal?' and 'Are you a teacher?') is 'So, what about socialisation?'

Well you know that's always a tricky one to answer. There are lots of tempting - but cheeky - replies that cross my mind, but I generally resist. After all, what would anyone whose kids are in school understand about socialisation? Is socialisation spending the majority of the day sitting in a classroom with 25 other children the same age as you, not being allowed to talk, make noise or interact as a child would normally do with his peers? Is socialisation the 15 minutes of running around in a restricted environment at 'play time' (or for some running and hiding somewhere so the kids who don't like them can't find them)?

Nah, socialisation is what us home edders and their kids seem to do best.

When I look back on the past 2 weeks it has probably been a good example of how sad and lonely my poor little home educated kids are - NOT! What with ice skating, climbing, wading through flooded fields, playing on scooters out front with the neighbours and having lots of children over to play in between, it has been non-stop socialising!

Thursday last we took a friend to ice skating, then ds1 went back to hers to play and we had another family with 3 children visit us in the afternoon. Friday we had a museum visit with a large group of home educated children - took one friend and came back with 3! All 7 children crammed on the sofa to eat chips and watch a DVD in our lounge (ok, unhealthy I know, but how else was I supposed to feed 7 kids who all liked different things?)

Tuesday this week we spent the morning on the allotment clearing up after winter and then went on to the local Scrapstore to talk to the people who volunteer there and hunt out fascinating treasures. Wednesday we went to a friend's house, ate wonderful pizza and chocolate cake and took 11 children and 2 dogs out for a walk which ended up with most of them wading through a flooded field! And yes, they did all get Very Wet! And then today we took the kids climbing on the local climbing wall. Well there were 6 familes and around 15 children (I've just done a quick count and I figure that's right). The toddlers went into 'Energizers' the toddler gym session, while bigguns just wore themselves out on the climbing wall. Again, the boys invited a friend back to our house for the afternoon.

So, next time someone asks me about socialisation, what am I going to say? Well, you know, it's still a tricky one. I suppose I'll just have to say that we're so busy socialising to stop we really don't have much time to answer daft questions like that!

p.s. forgot to say. My freecycling and selling going well:
sold the Sindy stuff (£60), freecycled the camping mats, packed up a bundle of stuff to recycle in the clothes bin, passed on some kids toys to a friend's fostered child (plus wellies and hopefully a mac and leggings soon), gave away some david attenborough DVDs, some unused language CDROMS (to go soon) and freecyled the large gym mat and some leftover washable nappies. Also got rid of most of my old camera stuff over the weekend (sad, but it's gotta go). OOOh all this space I'm making...

Unfortunately now got huge bags of scrap from the scrapstore...

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