Socialization is for the dogs. Not my sons.

Miss Sundae

Miss Sundae

There’s a hilarious Pin on my “In a Few Words” board on Pintrest that features Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl,” meme.  It basically says we socialize dogs and educate kids.

Wikipedia‘s definition of “Socialization” states

Socialization is the process by which human infants begin to acquire the skills necessary to perform as a functioning member of their society, and is the most influential learning process one can experience.[9] Unlike other living species, whose behavior is biologically set, humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive.[10] 

As the whole world knows, home educators NEVER leave their house, hence their concern for the well-being of our children.  When they ask the inevitable, “What about socialization?”  What most are REALLY asking is, “Do you ever leave your cave?”  As if we are hermits, holed up in our compounds, who never make eye contact with civilization when we dare to make a trip to the grocery stores without our husbands (or wives).  (gasping for breath)

Okay, okay, it’s not THAT bad but the question does surface and not necessarily from friends but sometimes strangers.  My husband and I were grilled, chastised, made to stand trial for our decision to homeschool our kids by acquaintances (a former teacher and her daughter… who was a teacher).

“We need good kids in our schools.”  Like it’s MY fault I won’t feed my sons to them?  She proceeded to ask the question of the universe, “What about socialization?”  Her nose crinkled  when she asked it.  I immediately thought of the bullying epidemic.  Was that the ‘socialization my sons were missing out on? No thanks.  I don’t recall our answer.  My husband jumped in to enlightened them.  Satiated with our reply,  the women went on to complain about class size and uninvolved parents.

Yes, the question does get under my skin. Continue reading

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First Day Traditions

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Candes and I homeschool my two sons, Baseball Shews (8 years old) and Cowboy (6 years old).

I thought it fitting to begin my new blog with our homeschool,  “First Day of School” tradition.  I have been educating my boys for about four years now and each year I like to make the first day special.

When I first started teaching my oldest I felt bad that he wouldn’t know the joy of walking to school with his brand new backpack.  I worried he wouldn’t know the excitement in seeing the rush of new faces eager to start the great adventure (or the crying faces of those who would have rather stayed home).   So, I vowed I would make his day exciting!

The night before school starts I stay up late creating, “Welcome Back to School” signs out of construction paper and bright, fun name plates.  I hang up my store bought posters of the alphabet on the shelving in our dinning room, aka school room.

The first year was the traditional red apples with their names on it.  The next year was a paper chalkboard with their names written in chalk. Over the years I have perfected my decoration themes.   Last year’s theme was Star Wars with hand crafted light sabers name plates  (complete with starburst action effects)   for each boy and coinciding, handmade, Star Wars book marks.

I thought I was being silly, doing it mostly for myself but last year my youngest, Cowboy, asked if I was going to decorate the room.  His face lit up and smiled as wide as his six year old cheeks would allow him when I replied, “Of course!”  I was so excited to learn he actually noticed, not to mention LOVED it.  He wants to be surprised and I can’t wait to plan it out.

Unbeknownst to Cowboy, it’s going to be Wii Mario for him and Nerf guns for my oldest, Baseball Shews.

Besides the tradition of decorating the room, another of our traditions is dressing nice for the first day, getting the backpacks on and going outside to stand in front of our American flag and say the pledge.  I usually take photos while Daddy leads them before heading off to work.  It’s a proud moment for us all.

New traditions I would like to start:

First Day is Picture Day – I’ve taken pictures but not pose-at-the-fake-desk pictures.  I’m kind of ashamed I hadn’t done it and my oldest is in 3rd grade already!

A Special Breakfast – I want to make their favorite meal. Pancakes, bacon (lots), milk and juice.  Not too hard but in the past I hadn’t given it much thought.

What are your plans to start the year off right?