What kind of race is this anyway? (The OVERsocialized Homeschooler)


Grayson’s team 🙂 #3 in the district 😉

Are we running a long distance or is this the 50 yard dash?

Sometimes, I feel like I live live in a 24/7 version of the 50 yard dash! I’m running so fast my lungs are literally on fire and I can’t feel my legs anymore. My heart is pounding, there is a roar in my ears from the rush of blood. I am unaware of anything except the race, I’m falling behind…..I have to catch up! MOVE FASTER LEGS!! PUMP HARDER HEART!!! BREATHE LUNGS, BREATHE!!!! Then it happens, the inevitable, CRASH! Not just a crash, but a crash and burn……I am totaled….beyond repair….ready for the scrap heap.

I don’t understand how it happens, we start out walking along our homeschool path. We are like the tortoise; slow and steady wins the race. Pretty soon though, “ssssssssocialization” (that homeschool lie the devil told) begins to worry us, so what do we do? “Sign them up for a sport” we think…..yes thats it! So we sign up for the sport of the season and then pretty soon instead of walking/strolling down the homeschool path, we are at more of a power-walk pace. “Is 2 hours a week really enough?” begins to creep into our thoughts, “Ssssssssocialization isssss imporrrtant, the kidsssss aren’t gettttinng enough of it at hooome” Satan whispers . We sign them up for another sport, a music lesson; now we’re at a slow jog running to and fro to two sports and music lessons each week. “They still aren’t getting enough ssssssocialization, they need moooore, they will end up with no friends and be outcasts forever” he whispers again. What do we do? We sign up for something else! and then another and another and another until HOMESCHOOL is no longer at HOME…..EVER.

I am not at all implying that we homeschoolers should stay home all of the time, I’m simply saying….we shouldn’t have to go at a dead run in order to keep up with all of the social activities we have scheduled for our children to “make up” for them not being in school. Why do we feel that we must “make it up” in the first place? I’m not saying that some (very very very few…like 1 or 2) homeschoolers don’t overkill it with “bunker syndrome” , there are those who really do lock their children in the proverbial closet……sadly, this must be admitted. The truth is though, the great majority, of homeschoolers don’t! We have our children in public venues on a regular basis, they go shopping, they go to church, they take them on play dates, and in fact….homeschoolers DO have friends 🙂 contrary to popular anti-homeschooling beliefs. Truly, children who are homeschooled are, in general, more and better socialized than children who are confined to desks all day hidden away in the prison , oops I meant public school.

Satan would love to convince you that your homeschooling efforts will cost your child in the long run. After all, if he cannot compel you to “sssssssssssocialize” them, there is very little room for him to slither his way into their minds…..there is no way to plant the seeds of doubt. I am not saying “don’t socialize”, I am saying choose carefully with whom your child does so. Satan comes but for 3 reasons; to kill, steal, and destroy. He comes to kill your joy, steal your peace, and destroy your faith. When he lies, he is simply speaking his native tongue….there is no truth in him. The problem is, if he cannot convince you to believe the lie directly he will do so indirectly. You may have great discernment of knowing when it is your flesh or satan tempting you to stop journeying down the road God has called you to; often, it is more difficult to discern this though when he is using a close friend, family member, or your pastor……yes that’s right….your pastor. I’m not saying MY pastor has ever spoken against homeschooling, but I do know of those who do and have. It’s a hard pill to swallow when someone you consider to be a spiritual mentor challenges you on the choice to homeschool, especially considering this person has had a much longer and often times much stronger walk than you have had yourself….that is after all why they are your mentor right? I know…..you would think that Satan couldn’t use your mentor….after all, they are in tight with God and they pray all the time, they’re spiritual giants in your eyes; not true just look at Peter. Peter was the one Jesus directly ordained as the first minister of the church, and yet…..he told the Lord it was not so that he would be crucified, thus prompting the ” Get thee behind me Satan” chastisement. Peter also denied Christ the three times before the cock crowed. Satan is very good at using us Christians….so good that we don’t even recognize when he is using us because he “appears as an angel of light”. Let me encourage you then, since now we obviously know these things, not to be so easily swayed and worried about the “ssssssss” word.

Since I covered the lie….and I covered the truth; what isn’t and what is…..allow me now to cover what should be. Yes, your child does need to be among other children their own age, free to play without structure at times. Yes, being on teams will build sportsmanship, social skills, and team work concepts. Yes, musical lessons are wonderful, beautiful, and open the creative mind! Yes, co-op homeschooling can and is a wonderful tool! These are all wonderful. The key however, is “all things in moderation”.

You wouldn’t decide to paint your bedroom and then go buy every color of paint available then come home and splash it haphazardly all about your room on the walls, the floors, the ceiling and furniture! No! Never! You decide to paint your bedroom, you go to the store, look at swatches, perhaps you bring home a small sample of one or even two. You make a decision of whether one or both of those colors “fits” your space, and then you go back, make the purchase, come home and do the job.

Why then, do so many homeschoolers (myself included) decide that we need to get our kids “ssssssssocialized” and then proceed to do so by signing up for every lesson, co-op, sports team, play date, church play, vacation bible school, day camp, overnight camp, and every other imaginable social activity that one could become involved in…..all at one time!? This sends 2 messages; 1. You are insecure in your abilities as a homeschooler to socialize your child adequately. 2. It tells other people that homeschoolers are in fact poorly socialized….after all, if they were socially fine then why on Earth would their parents spend all that time and money running and chasing after “friends” for them through extra curricular activities…..homeschooling must really not be “enough”….just like they thought. In conclusion, since I myself am guilty, I am committing to only ONE musical lesson per week for each child and ONE sport per season for each. Gone are the days of leaving from the library reading buddy program, and running straight to competition cheer….followed by the next day’s piano and then basketball game……followed by the next days basketball practice and soccer practice…..followed by the next days children’s ministry activity……followed by the next days’ play date….and on and on…..it’s OVER. I am reclaiming my life and my purpose, and I encourage YOU to do the same. After all….I think we’ve more than proven that we do know how to socialize. 🙂

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28 Comments

Filed under homeschool, Homeschooler, Homeschooling

28 responses to “What kind of race is this anyway? (The OVERsocialized Homeschooler)

  1. I can totally related! With four little ones, sometimes I feel that we’re trying to ‘fit’ everything in for everyone. Our first year in Tulsa (2010) was like a whirlwind of activities-trying to sample everything. Now…we’re down to church & choir. I like our days being free for whatever it is we want to do, when we want to. P.S. you’re right-our blogs are similar. I enjoy your writing style! 😀

  2. It’s funny how people use the socialization as a reason NOT to homeschool. But the world is living proof that not all socialization is GOOD socializiation. Loved this post!

    • you’re right they do…and it is beyond ridiculous…..I say to those who ask
      “how do you think they will fair in the real world” questioners…

      “Mine are already out living in it….how do you think yours will do when they graduate and join it?”

      read blogpost “Homeschooling does not prepare you for the real world”

      you’ll enjoy it!

  3. I often say in my workshops that the competition should be with myself, as compared to last year, or something like that, NOT with other home scholars. 🙂 Also, we need to figure out where our gaps should be, and leave some gaps, already!

  4. Excellent! Especially as the announcements for next years’ activities have already begun!

    • Well….my kids informed me TODAY that they’d like to do the following

      swim team
      soccer both spring and fall sessions
      basketball
      gymnastics
      competition cheer
      baseball
      softball
      piano lessons
      and
      vocal lessons

      do you see the inspiration for my blog post HAHA we did all of these THIS year as well!

  5. You are on the mark! I love summer because it is just family and friends…but the rest of the year becomes a blur because the kids and parents socialize in so many activities. Well I guess time flies by though!

  6. I love, love, LOVE this. We were preparing to sign our five- and six-year old daughters up for a whole host of structured activities – team sports, Irish dance lessons, music lessons, art lessons, faith formation, character formation, you name it – and my husband and I looked at each other one night and said, “Is this really what we want for our children? Always running from one place to another, thinking that we can find joy and friendship and stronger faith when we’re too busy to sit down at the table for meals as a family?”

    We answered no. The list was immediately reduced to parish faith formation classes and American Heritage Girls, with trips to the park and the library at least twice a week each. We have enough homeschooling friends that we are constantly giving and receiving invitations to tag along on field trips, and you know what? Our kids are happy, healthy, reasonably well-mannered, insatiably curious about the world around them, avid readers, and have a vivid prayer life. THIS is what we want, not that insidious “ssssssssssocialization” monster. And I loved that you used the sibilance of the serpent in the Garden!

    Peace be with you,
    Kelly

    • We are currently doing only CCD, occasionally my son runs in a road race and they take tennis lessons once a week until cool weather. In spring they will both play ball, followed by summer swimming. We narrowed it down to ONE sport per season.

      I was EXHAUSTED until we put the brakes on!

      Unlike you though, we have few homeschooling friends and the ones we do have we rarely see. 😦

  7. One way we have kept the madness to a manageable level is to have all four of our kids involved in the same activities. Church, co-op, dance and theater keep us hopping–but we are hopping together, not feeling scattered to the winds. Luckily, we have found activities that they all enjoy together.
    This is a great post–so important to give homeschool moms permission to slow down and not worry so much about the big ‘S word.

  8. Pingback: What kind of race is this anyway? (The OVERsocialized Homeschooler) | Home's Cool!

  9. I am glad you liked my last post. I am on a mission to find some good homeschooling blogs. I have to laugh, because just today, talking at the bus stop with other mom’s and Grandmother (the new mom) I told them I was homeschooling my two oldest. The first reaction was a comment about socialization…how IMPORTANT…it is. I,of course, nodded and quickly rattled off ALL THE WONDERFUL activities my girls were going to join. But all the while I was thinking “American kids spend way too much time with peer already…that is not the problem…no time at home and no time with their parents is the real problem. But of course I did not say that out loud. Maybe one day I will stop being a wimp and will say just that.
    Cheers,
    Leah

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