How Will Your Children Get To Socialize?

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Nature Craft for Winter Solstice.

How will your children get to socialize? This is such a common question that us home educating parents hear. I have been asked it plenty of times, from my family, from friends and from people I have struck up conversations with.

I mean what sort of socializing do they believe that children get at school, especially when they are in primary school. Most of the day is spend sitting in a classroom and they usually have half an hour, or an hour if they are lucky to socialize with their friends and also fit in eating their lunch.

Attending school, does not mean that children are getting to socialize. Putting them in a situation where there are placed against one another due to their intellect and progress, can result in them becoming competitive and being unpleasant to one another.

But back to the question at hand. I often wonder if some people think I just lock my girls away from the world, that they are just at home with no other contact with other humans. I guess there are some who feel this way and who believe that only children who are at a similar age should hang out with one another.

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Kids mechanic workshop at local Kids Fest.

My girls are fully immersed in the world around them and are far from being locked up. I strongly believe that socializing needs to happen between all ages, so that our children get to learn from one another and all the other teenagers and adults in their lives. My girls are as confident talking to those of their own age, as they are with older kids and adults.

This helps prepare them for the world, helping them to become confident and independent interacting with all ages. having no fear to approach and interact with others.

I live in an area where there is a large turn over of people, they come to attend workshops, everything from permaculture to healing retreats. There are a lot of creative folk that come into our lives. So my girls get to meet them and to experience their creativity.

Because I live on quite a big piece of land, I can have people come to stay that are passing through. At the moment I have a young women who stays with us 4 days a week, she makes beautiful jewelry and also does archery. Both of which she is doing with my girls. In the past I have had families stay and I even had another steemit stay @vegan-niinja, who done lots of amazing vegan cooking with my girls.

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Creative Space in the mountains.

Twice a week my girls go to a creative space in the mountains, where they get to use hand tools and build structures, from tree houses to furniture and everything in between, They also get to do art and to explore the landscape that surrounds them, picking fruits and nuts and hanging out with other home schooled children from age 5 years to 13 years.

There is no set programme, they decide what they wish to do each day and they decide who they wish to spend their day with, their is no segregation between ages. I have written before, how school really introduces the idea of segregation into our lives. Planting that seed at such a young age, leads to society accepting that segregation is just a normal part of life. When it is not.

My girls get to choose the people they wish to spend their time with, they are not forced to be with those they do not want to be with. When they wish to be by themselves, they do so and believe you me, we all have times like that. Allowing them to do so, really instills the importance of listening to themselves and the importance of implementing self care.

There are other children that live near me that are home educated and they sometimes come and hang out. We share the land with another mama who has 2 children, 2 years old and 7 years old and my girls spend lots of time with them. They also do lots of activities with adults. Just now my middle child told me that she has been learning how to DJ at the creative space in the mountain.

It is so important that our children learn how to interact with the world, and not just with the people in it. That is one of the most important reasons, for me choosing to home educate my girls.

This is my entry into the @HomeEdders, Fortnightly Challenge.


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This is so amazing! I was fortunate to have a brother and neighborhood friends to socialize with. We had free reign of the woods and fields around our home. I attended public school but wouldn't dream of sending my kids (if I end up having any?) there today.

You are doing a wonderful job. Keep it up.

thanks so much @dmwh, sounds like you had a wonderful childhood x xx

Home schooling is something we’ve been thinking a few times. It’s interesting and scary too because we are not familiar with it.

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thanks so much for the feature xxx

I love this!! And I totally resonate with this. I don't get that comment or gesture so much anymore as I did a few years back but I think it is because in the areas we have lived, homeschooling has become increasingly the standard and in fact our county we are in now just posted the stats and the numbers of homeschoolers registered this year has nearly doubled. I'm blessed with a ton of resources from kids clubs to local library programs. Even a lot of local businesses offer homeschool days. It's funny to think though, how when I was posed that question, "how does she socialize" that the people posing the question don't stop to think about kids in public school. Public school these days are long hours inside, in an enclosed room, stuck behind a desk, little talking, little socializing....just seconds between the bell as you rush from class to class. My homeschooler gets FAR more socializing then this.

I miss offering work exchanges and living in an intentional community. I hope to one day put a cabin here and have it available to once again offer a space for work exchangers to come to visit, lend a hand, learn, and enjoy. It sounds like you have a pretty sweet set up. Enjoy the blessings!! XOXO

you should put a cabin there, I have only have wonderful people come and visit and me and girls always learn so much, as do those who visit xxx

That sounds really good. When we were looking for a kindergarten for our son, we first heard about the "age-mixed concept". I never thought about mixed groups before. But it makes sense, because people have always grown up in social groups that spanned all ages, including adults. How old are your girls?

I am the youngest of six children and grew up in a small town surrounded by relatives. I had many friends in my school days with whom I had very intense good and bad times. I remember the competition in the classroom very well and didn't know at the time that the school system shaped competition and neglected cooperation. Today it's different with my son, who is in the 8th grade. The children are much less competition-oriented, at least in the environment in which my son moves, but it is of course still something different than home schooling.

State schooling is only a logical consequence of the externally supplied societies in which we live. Exceptions rather confirm the rule, because it is always minorities who choose a different form of lifestyle. The majority ensures that we get everything we need to live, often more than that. Self-sufficiency reveals a value chain much more quickly than external supply. The effort spent on food, roof over one's head, transport, etc., can be learned and understood more quickly by children in small, self-sufficient communities. In modern societies, children must gradually realize this abstract intellectual achievement and this often leads to them not really understanding what world they are in.

Your community seems to move exactly between these two worlds and to draw the best from each. This is a feat and at the same time a privilege that you have certainly worked for. Nevertheless, you benefit from the external supply, because such existential things as salt, sugar, flour or other staple foods have to be bought, just like clothes, building materials etc. What percentage, would you say, are you self-supplied and how much externally supplied?

I think the most difficult task in modern people's lives is to learn to accept the habit of their own existence, while advertising and the media keep telling you something else: that you can bring it to greatness, glory and wealth. It is this contradiction that causes many people misfortune, because they are inevitably irritated by the fact that they themselves lead an average life, while it looks as if everyone else is not doing so.

I am in the middle of this modern city rather an exception and lead a simple life with very little money, but an inner wealth. I benefit from those who provide me with everything: mobility, electricity, heat, food, clothing, garbage collection, sewerage, etc.

It's a world where it's difficult to express thanks, because you don't meet the people who make sure everything runs smoothly. People get paid to do that, but if you ask a truck driver if he is sure of the gratitude of the people who unpack at home what he transports on the highway, he might not be really convinced. It is said that income and money would be a sufficient incentive, but I don't think it really is just that.

I think you could say that usually people always directly and indirectly do much more for each other than they are aware of.

May you continue to get interesting guests who show you and your family something of interest and value. Greetings from Hamburg.

I do need to buy some staples that is for sure, my electricity comes from the sun which is amazing. I do need to buy gas to cook and I do buy rice and grains from the local co op . I am very lucky that the are I live in has a boat, where people leave things that they no longer use, clothes, books, shoes, small furniture etc so I never have to but any of them. I do love to use pallets to build things and my truck is full of upcycled products. I would liked to be more self sufficient but I am not doing to bad, we have fruit and nut trees on the land and I grow a lot of my own greens and veg.
I live in an area where we help one another out which is great, living a minimalist lifestyle but one that is full of riches x

I'd say it's not minimal in the sense of suffering, but from realizing that it is more fun to feel the impact of effectiveness. Food and what effort is connected with letting it grow or building things for living ... all this activities gives humans a sense of meaning. If the environment wasn't rich from having enough to give away, an independent life would be harder to accomplish, at least this counts for me. I am picking up as "garbage" what other people place on the streets and it often is in good condition.

So, I would describe your lifestyle as "reduced to the max". :)

I mean minimalist in the best way possible as we do not need much to thrive in life. Living in a truck with my girls means we can not have too much stuff any how and that is exactly how I like it. I do like reduced to the max xxx

Oh wow, what you write is like a post on it's own but hard to find. The thing I find intriguing the most is that the external support you are talking of eventually comes from the inside originally - or from theft (and even legal theft). But that's definitely another story. Cheers!

:) HaHa, I'd say that is my usual amount of text in the comment section when I want to engage.

What you pointed at: that's the challenging area of tension most of us live in in modern societies, isn't it? I am surrounded by hard-working servants, from far and wide, and what I can do is make my service available to the community in which I exist in this space-time. No one is independent today, civilization is too advanced for that. Everything is intertwined and interdependent. Nevertheless, to feel comfortable in this ambiguity and to make my peace with the facts of life, in the environment into which my life has carried me, a constant, never-ending task.

Bye from Germany

Well, I'd loved to disagree, but there's actually no point to bring something into question when everything is contradictory already. No treason, Lysander Spooner. Quite an infamous classic. Make taxation theft again.

This statement right here rings sooooo much truth:

I have written before, how school really introduces the idea of segregation into our lives. Planting that seed at such a young age, leads to society accepting that segregation is just a normal part of life. When it is not.

If only everyone could come to this realization. We are so programmed in many ways we can’t even see it. We are pumped with so many lies that we live them as truth because that’s what we’re used to. It feels so great to have the shades removed from my eyes to be able to see and distinguish between the truth and the lies.

You know how much I admire you and your free lifestyle and how you are raising your children. I love that they get to meet so many different people of different ages and skills and learn from them. It’s a beautiful thing to have a free mind and freedom of choice. Kudos to you mama! Nice read ~

thank you @croshellie, I really wish more people would see all the seeds that are planted by the educational system, so many things are engrained in us adults, I am still unschooling myself xxx

You’re welcome. I wish more people would see too. I’m still learning so much as well.

Ha! interesting, you cited the same words. Steem on!

Lol oh yes I just saw that! So cool! 😎

Art, exploration, archery, carpentry, me-time, what more does a child need! And just look at that setting! Healthy humans in the making in your hood!

thank you my friend they are lucky indeed as am I xx

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I’m almost envious at how much variation of interaction your girls get with so many passing through and so many events. I love how everyone has got something they can teach them.

we are learning all the time, that is for sure xxx

You’ve been visited by @porters on behalf of Natural Medicine. Sounds like your kids have many wonderful opportunities for social interaction and that all important interaction with the world around them! Love that they have the creative space in the mountain to go to - sounds like fabulous stuff happening there! Once again, after reading your post I do so wish I could meet your kids, so full of life! Thanks for sharing!

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I really would love you to meet my girls, and I would so love to meet you @porters xxx

I think this can not be said often enough: "I have written before, how school really introduces the idea of segregation into our lives. Planting that seed at such a young age, leads to society accepting that segregation is just a normal part of life. When it is not."

And is I wrote in my enty for the writing challange, that's probably where the question is coming from in the first place. We normally don't ask those kind of questions.

thank you @andrepol, I look forward to reading your entry xxx

Lovely that your girls have such diverse and colourful people around them to help them socialize.

But I'm chuckling at your assessment of schools. Things are definitely NOT like that here in Thailand, nor in many countries. Class activities are done in small groups, lots of self-directed learning and heaps of activities having older kids assisting and supporting younger ones. My daughter has 4 hours of dance practice with girls from across 4 different grade levels tomorrow, on a SATURDAY. She's looking forward and took herself off to bed early so she would be energized (her words!). Dutch schools are incredibly creative and children-led learning too. My Dutch mother attended one of the first Montessori schools in Holland after WW2.

Just do you, and stop worrying about or justifying your choices. You're doing you best, and that's enough. There are virtues and drawbacks from both (all) ways of raising kids and, in the end, they will find their own way.

You're a great mom.


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Yeah I have heard that of Holland, I have some friends here from Holland, however public schools are not child led in Ireland or much of the rest Europe that I know of. If only all ages would be allowed to mix, there is so much value in being able to do so. Of course we all do our best. I am not worried about my choices and don't feel like I need to justify them, I was just happy to answer this question put forward by the homeedders community, it is always the first thing that other people worry about when I tell them my kids don't go to school. It is always interesting to hear other people's opinions though. I am happy to share my experience. Thank you for your support xxx

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Yes, I love everything you just said! That mixed age interaction is so important. We really don't need to grow up at the same time... there's a natural mentorship that happens between kids that is unheard of in the school system. And yesh, it's replaced by segregation, perhaps unknowingly, but it's there and it's strong.

I wish we had more friends who lived like we do... but for now the little homie is going to a Sudbury school and that is equal to unschooling with a bunch of friends who are anywhere from 5 to 18 years old. He loves it and has two friends now, one is 7 and the other 9, not bad for a 5 year old 😁.

Thanks for this article on that subject people seem to never think about that bit where we aren't allowed to socialize durring class!

Hoping you're well... sorry I cannot come say hello, we are very crazy busy with this move, that seems to never end.

Sudbury is great, I love their whole philosophy on education. Kids are more tuned into to learn from other kids, so true it is a natural mentorship.
I'm sure we will get to see one another at some point, that move is taking quiet a while, you must be exhausted right now, you take care of yourself and your lovely family xxx