by Gena Suarez, The Old Schoolhouse
I heard you’re struggling. Not because of anything you are doing per se, but because of the “nonsense talk” you’ve been hearing from friends or family. That your kids really should be in public school so they can have friends. That they’re not “socialized” enough. Mama, you know better than to fall for that old myth.
You’re educating your children on your timeline, your schedule. They’re plenty socialized, probably because they actually have way more time to be active—with all different age groups—than their public-school-socialized peers. Remember, you’re the boss, Mama. You set the standard for their socialization. And Daddy is the bigger boss. Be on the same page.
If you’re caught up in the mindset of copying the public school model of education, you may feel a little burned out, and your kids are going to be spinning, too. Remember when you and I were in school all those years ago? We may have just been getting into an art project or finishing up a really good story for a creative writing assignment, when all of a sudden, the bell rang. Loudly.
Like little sheep, we had to pack everything up, put it away, and unnaturally switch our brains into another mode: math or reading or some other session being taught next. We hustled from room to room, down hallways, and across the campus, only to show up for the next requirement on the checklist. It had to be that way because we were following a program. A system. And all marching to the same pre-scheduled drumbeat.
Your house is different, Mama. Your children’s schooling is uniquely theirs. They get to work for hours on that LEGO® invention, and if they’re totally getting into it, you’re likely not going to blow a whistle in their ear and tell them to stop so they can “do art” next. Maybe art is the furthest thing from their minds right now. Let them finish their engineering masterpiece first.
The bell does not dictate your homeschool. You are not a slave to it. You’re free and your kids are, too. In fact, they’re at liberty to socialize however they want … with the elderly neighbor planting flowers in her garden, with the toddlers they assist at Sunday School, with the sweet cashier who offers them stickers at checkout, and with all their friends at the next homeschooling field trip.
Yup, your kids are plenty socialized.
Deep conversations, heart talks, lots of side-by-side interaction, pursuing their own interests, having fun while learning—that’s the stuff that’s going to stick, Mama. All the socializing happens naturally within that model. And if your family is anything like ours, you’ll find yourself needing to pull back. Too much socializing is real. It’s definitely a thing (grin).
Just because school may have felt like a prison to you as a child (and I could tell you stories) does not mean it should even come close to resembling such a thing for your children. Enjoy learning with them. Do it in freedom with a light heart.
In Christ, Gena
Publishers Paul and Gena Suarez, who reside in eastern Tennessee with their family, have homeschooled their seven children since 1990. They embrace and promote the Biblical philosophy that “homeschooling” is not so much about schooling/education as it is about discipleship—bringing up our children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). The Suarez family wishes to share this vision around the world as they publish the trade magazine for homeschool families, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. They can be reached at [email protected].
Copyright 2021, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms. Read The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or download the free reader apps at www.TOSApps.com for mobile devices. Read the STORY of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and how it came to be.