Updated! March 25, 2010 – Here’s a great 3 minute audio from Eagle Forum on when it comes to socialization, Homeschoolers Don’t Need It: Homeschoolers Don’t Need Socialization – Eagle Forum
The following is an essay of mine that has been passed around over the years, that deals with the homeschool socialization question. It gets posted around every year or so on our IndianaHomeschoolers e-list. I thought I would pass it on and archive it here, for your enjoyment. If it makes you want to “skip school” and educate your children otherwise, I think that would be great!
WARNING: This is supposed to be funny. If you don’t have a sense of humor, or believe that people who make jabs at public schooling are evil elitists, don’t read this. If you have the tendency to snort coffee out your nose while you’re reading funny things, don’t blame me. You’ve been warned.
A HOMESCHOOLING DAD’S PERSPECTIVE ON ‘SOCIALIZATION’
I am perfectly aware of the socialization needs of my children. As an involved parent and (home) educator, the awesome responsibility falls upon me to make sure my children receive all the diverse and broad educational aspects of the “public school experience” that they miss by not attending their assigned government institution.
So that others may learn from my experience, I submit for your consideration a few of my homeschool curricula plans to keep it real and balanced with the Government School experience called “Socialization.”
Every three months, I send my little school-skippers to Grandma’s house, where they are under strict instructions to beg her to bake dozens of cookies so they can sell them for a fund-raising project.They are supposed to remind Grandma that their education will suffer if they don’t raise money for their “school.” And just like public schools, the money they raise goes directly to … building maintenance, supplies and the administration. Me. The Administration offices need some new furniture and the teachers’ lounge needs a new microwave and espresso machine. (My union got that in the collective bargaining agreement. Caffeinated teachers make better teachers!)
When I sell them at the office, I skip all the details. I just say, “It’s for the children,” and keep the money. But I don’t do all the selling like some parents do for their children. Nope. Kids need to learn about how to use other people’s money to pay for more of the things their taxes already paid for.
[On a side note: If anyone is interested, I’m developing a home education curricula package on free-market entrepreneurialism. Once I teach them that there’s no hope of making a profit, after I impose inspection fees, (fines for minor infractions) taxes and surcharges — then hold up the building permits for their lemonade stand until October — they’ll learn quickly that it’s not worth working for yourself and get back to selling cookies for their school. For the children. At ONLY $30,000 per package, I expect lots of orders from public schools.]
ANYWAY: Any leftover cookies are sold door to door. The kids learn basic Progressive economics by selling them to the neighbors, not based on what the market will bear, but rather based on the appraised value of the neighbor’s property. The more expensive the house, the more the cookies cost.
This is a lesson-plan “two-fer” as it teaches the principle of progressive taxation and the politics of class envy all at once. People who don’t buy cookies are asked, “Are you against education or do you just hate children?” If they STILL don’t buy cookies, my little public school-skippers are instructed to sell the cookies to the neighbor’s publicly schooled kids as they get off the bus.
Any left-over cookies are sold back to Grandma. I understand that some schools make the parents contribute to bake sales then guilt the parents into buying the goods back. Sounds like a sweet idea to me!
As I stated earlier, the money goes to me (as head of the school administration) to buy educational enhancing tools like a new flat screen TV. It helps me relax so I can do a better job administrating my school. Anything that goes towards the “teacher’s lounge” likewise, advances the learning process. It’s all good, and all for the children. Mom pays for school supplies out of her budget (just like public schoolers.) Bonus: This leaves the family with less money for food and qualifies our kids for the free lunch program.
The Meat and Potatoes of my socialization Curricula
As part of my “Kids need to experience real life” lesson plan, every month or so, when the children are given their scheduled bathroom break (complete with hall passes) I randomly yank one of the kids into the bathroom and offer them drugs. When they “just say no” they get a swirlie and a threat that they better not tell anyone (like Mom) or they’ll be in REAL trouble.
After they recover I hand them a smoke and tell them if they don’t light up, they aren’t cool.
Then when they successfully cave in to the peer pressure and light up (because they don’t want another swirlie) I turn on ’em (putting on my Principal’s “We [heart] School!” badge) and give them a detention for smoking in the bathroom.
Lessons learned? Priceless.
You know… this just goes to show that spending an intense three months on our home based D.A.R.E. program wasn’t worth spit!
We should have spent the time teaching them to READ instead. That way they could have read the “Don’t Do Drugs” signs I posted everywhere.
Oh well… when you have to keep up with teaching just like the public schools do, some of the programs like reading, writing and math are obviously going to suffer.
Proper Socialization is just too important.
I know what you’re thinking:
“Homeschooling Dad, you’re doing a darn good job socializing your kids with a quality public schooling-style socialization program at home.”
Yeah… I know.
But I have to admit, there’s at least one difference between our homeschool socialization program and the average public school’s program….
I REFUSE to give the kids free condoms.
I know it makes me look like a prude, but I had to put my foot down: I make ’em pay for them. (Time for another cookie fund-raiser!)