Friday, April 4, 2008

But What About Socialization?

Emma working on the fund raiser quilt.

We try to volunteer at least one Thursday a month at the Quilter's Guild, which I am president of. Our usual days are Tuesdays, but there is so much activity then that it is hard to concentrate. Our guild is committed to be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and two Saturday's a month. Thursdays are usually pretty quiet.

Joining the guild is one of the best things we have done. We have been members for about 4 years. Not only have we learned TONS of quilting skills for a very small cost, but all the money that we raise goes back into the community and we give to a wide variety of groups.

Most people that don't understand how home schooling works usually will ask first, "But what about socialization?" As if THAT is why we send our kids off to be *educated* by the Government. I think it is BECAUSE we home school that our kids are very well socialized. Our girls had no trouble jumping right in and and being part of the guild. They already knew how to talk to people of ALL ages, and they knew how to do their part in any work. The same goes when we volunteer at the Fire Dept. activities and fund raisers. Josh was a Jr. Fire Fighter at 15 with his dad. We do everything as a family and we are involved in our community. THIS is how we witness (attempt to evangelize) our culture.

It's not so much what we say to people, but instead it is what we DO to show what Christ has done!

All that being said, our young adult son is struggling spiritually right now. I promise you, that is the deepest pain a parent can know. We have had more than a couple of people say to us, "Well, if you would have sent him to public school he wouldn't be making the choices he is now." I honestly cannot believe the ignorance in this statement. His choices are because of his sin nature, not because he had a family that loved him, taught him about God and know how to work. As if sending him off with with hundreds of heathens everyday would make him know God. As parents, we are responsible to do all we can to train them in the way they are to go, the results are up to God. As long as there is breath, there is hope.

So what about socialization? True socialization is to be able to love thy neighbor.


Dana said...

AMEN! Well said!

I have one of those magnetic signs on the back of my van (The "Mom-Mobile") that is a yellow diamond and says "Caution--Unsocialized Homeschoolers on Board". It gets lots of comments--mostly from other homeschoolers who understand it.

My girls are 2 (almost 3) and 4 and are already the most social creatures you'd ever hope to meet. They are not afraid of people and are comfortable with everyone because, get this, they're already VERY socialized!

The only problem we ever have is that Audrey does NOT like the nursery at church. She's had a few developmental delays and I think the chaos is overwhelming to her.

We've been having discussions about "loving your neighbor" and who is your neighbor. Katie will say that our neighbor is Juanita--and she's right because she lives next door. Keeping in mind that she's only 4, that's a good answer. She's starting to learn already that EVERYONE is our neighbor and we're supposed to love them all as we love ourselves. That also means that you love your sister and treat her as you'd want to be treated. That part is hard for them to grasp right now.

Just a note of encouragement about your son. My dad was raised in the church. Sometime in his early 20s he just stopped going. (He and my mom were married when Dad was 24 and mom was 20.) It broke my grandmother's heart. She would bug him about it sometimes, but it didn't seem to matter, in fact, it might have made it worse. During these years my Dad was the most moral person you'd ever meet. That may have made it harder also because he may have thought that his "goodness" would get him into heaven. (In the meantime, my great-grandparents took the 4 of us kids to church.)

All this time my grandmother prayed and claimed the verse "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." (That's from the "Dana Revised Standard Version" and not a direct quote because I can't remember the exact words.)

When my dad was about 45-50 (20+ years ago) he suddenly "got it" and came back--110%. He's now a deacon (he's been asked to be an elder but has refused), is in charge of the missions at our church, and is there every time the door is opened. In fact, a lot of times he opens the doors! It's hard to believe he's the same unsocial man who raised us. He's a human pillar in our church. He's also an example of what God can, and will, do when we fervently pray--sometimes for years. I know you won't give up...I just wanted you to be encouraged.


Niki said...

I enjoyed this post Kathy. I send all 4 of my kids to public school. No I'm not very happy with it, but right now, for us, it's the best decision. Maybe later, who knows. To me, how one schools their children, raises them, etc, is one's own choice. It doesn't make it right OR wrong. I don't think anyone should tell another how this whole school thing works. It's an individual choice, and how neat is that!? HUGS to doing great for you and your family. I enjoy your blog, when I get the time to visit :)

Anonymous said...

I have never read your blog before, but stumbled upon it today. I enjoyed and agreed with a lot of what you had to say, but I was troubled by your comment about sending your son to school with all the heathens. My husband and I have looked into the possibility of homeschooling once we have children, for various reasons. So I have no problem with homeschooling. Where we need to be careful is in our attitude toward it. Are we keeping our children home so that we can train them up in the way they should go, or to keep them away from the heathens? While I don't agree with some who would say that you have to send your child to public school so that they can be missionaries to the other students, I do agree with the life of Jesus. It was the religious teachers that he rebuked, and it was the sinners that he loved and reached out to. He did not condone their sin, and he did not join them in it. But he did not take the disciples and camp out in a cave to hide them from the sinners. He sent them into the world, to be a light, and to proclaim the gospel, and to make more disciples. Remember, the heathens are not our enemy. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

I hope I have not offended anyone in a personal way--my intent is to speak the truth in love.

My heart breaks for you and your son as he struggles with his faith. I have been in his shoes, and they are very uncomfortable. I will pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to pursue him as He did me.