Yet another person asks “but what about socialization?” and I nod and smile, “I know, that’s something we’re working on.”  It seems the first thing people ask when they hear you’re homeschooling is a pointed criticism.

Worse, it’s one of the main things I’m worried about.

Homeschooling isn’t new for me.  I’ve got this.  In fact, I’m probably one of the few people out there who can say I know what I’m doing because I’ve done it – K through 12, and right into college.  I would say it worked pretty well because I graduated Suma with a double major in 3.5 years.  Not bragging, just saying I am experienced and capable.

What I don’t have is experience with a 2e kiddo.  This is new.  This is frustrating, because what I know should work, doesn’t!  I have to rethink each concept and plan to make sure that the Engineer won’t get bored or frustrated because he just doesn’t learn that way.

People think (but are usually too polite to say it) that homeschooling makes kids weird.  Undersocialized, unable to carry on a conversation, and unable to function in a “normal” world.  I hate that word.

Normal is a bell curve.  Just because most people happen to land in the middle doesn’t make it the right way to be.

The thing is, we have the weird no matter what.  I love my kid, but I can’t ignore the fact that some of the stuff he does or says turns people off.  He looks and acts average 90% of the time, but that last 10% is way out there.  If he went to public school he would be a tempting target for bullies and a constant bother for teachers.

So I worry.  Will he get enough interaction to be able to study and learn acceptable behaviors?  Can he learn to function in a large group of people without having a meltdown?  Will I be able to teach him effectively?  Will he hate me forever for making him do things he hates, like math?  Can I force him into a co-op situation to help him learn without triggering massive meltdowns?  Will I be able to keep up with his endless questions and curiosity?

And then I have a moment of clarity: if we can’t do it, no one else can.  There is no magic school or teacher that can step in and help him more than we can.  We are his advocates, his support, his guides, and no one can do it better because we love him and (mostly) understand him.  We’re invested in helping him succeed more than anyone else could be.

The path ahead is scary, I won’t lie.  I can’t visualize what he will be like as an adult.  The possibilities frighten me if we can’t help him learn to cope and adapt now.  But that’s for later – I have enough worries right now.

Right now, I need to worry about doing a project on soap.  Because the Engineer wants to know how do we make soap, and why does it clean your hands?  And even though I can tell him it’s a colloid I can’t explain precisely what that means in 4-year-old terms yet.

Good thing I have great study skills, right?  Because I’m sure going to need them when he asked about particle physics or string theory.  Ouch.

(and yes, his dad tried to explain string theory to him already.  that’s our normal)






Homeschooling 2e: Welcome to Worry
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5 thoughts on “Homeschooling 2e: Welcome to Worry

  • May 19, 2016 at 11:16 am

    This is the point all my family kept trying to make with us, while they were completely ignoring how social Kyra was and still is! It’s like a preprogrammed worry. When we have a worry in mind often we align to it rather than the solution. Also are you like me a little shy yourself? this is where a worry could come from but instead of worrying use it as a call to push ourselves further.
    I completely identify with you as we are in a minority being home schoolers it seems we should worry and keep checking we doing it all right… whatever right means. But lets just relax with this one and think about where you socialise yourself. What in society is important and what do we need to do to be a part of it?
    It may be easier for me with just having one daughter but I kept Kyra at my face level throughout all my daily chores in town. I either held her, had her in a sling or on a hip seat that had thick a velcro band around my waist. So she saw my face and the shopkeepers face and heard clearly all that was said between us, while learning what was done to exchange energy/ money for goods/ smiles for smiles. I’d include her, asking questions about what we we buying or in reference to what the shopkeeper asked and I’d accept her reaction while simply saying “is that right?” or “I see” even if it was a bit random. She could get down and explore or chat with the staff and would make no reason to rush away from the experience until we really were done or the shop became busy. Play parks with sand or at the beach are good for socialisation too… we may have an extra bucket or spade that when Kyra was young I’d ask if she wanted to share and she’d make friends quickly. I have always treated my daughter as a person rather than a child but while being mindful of things she wasn’t ready to cope with and I feel living this way she very quickly and naturally learned how to be social and kind.
    You are doing amazingly because you are considering options, you are outside of the cage and you are sharing with communities of a similar ethos. From giving in such honesty you find more truth in yourself and others. Remember your choice in home schooling is the right one for you and your family and there’s no need to worry, you’ve done it for years and as you said- you’ve got this!
    Just a thought for your awesome little engineer regarding math… have you thought about (sacred) geometry? starting at the core foundation of why and how it links to engineering. Encouraging more building in sequence… numbers in sequence.

    • May 20, 2016 at 3:10 am

      Yes, I’m more than a bit introverted. Not really shy, just hermit-like tendencies. My kids do great at playgrounds and around town just like yours, but I still worry. Silly, I know! I haven’t really delved into sacred geometry with him yet because of the whole fine motor difficulty with writing, but we’re exploring shapes and patterns in nature and he loves our collection of tanagram games. Good idea – we should really focus more on that, since he loves it. Thanks for commenting!

  • May 7, 2016 at 7:46 am

    OMG I completely identify with this post! I stress daily over socialization! Then, I think to myself, the pros are so much better than that con.

  • May 5, 2016 at 4:01 am

    I think you’re doing fantastic! 🙂

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