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Why we home educate – Part 3

February 24, 2009

To finish this series I am going to tackle the ‘big S’ issue that home educators all over the world deal with in some form on a regular basis. It’s not so much the ‘issue’ of socialisation that we have to deal with, rather the question from others regarding our children: “but what about socialisation?”
One dictionary definition of the word ‘socialisation is “the adoption of the behaviour patterns of the surrounding culture; “the socialisation of children to the norms of their culture” .

As you will have now realised from my first two posts; there is nothing ‘normal’ about our choice to home educate and by no means is our intention to raise our children into the ‘norms of their culture’. We don’t want to raise children who simply fit in and go with the flow (socialised!), we want to raise social transformers who revolutionise a generation for Jesus, turn the world upside down, shake the cultural ‘norm’ and make history!

We seem to use the term ‘socialisation’ to describe what children usually learn from school, team sports, after school clubs and children’s/youth groups; our culture dictates that we can only be ‘socialised’ if we are exposed to these busy, people packed, room filled situations. When others ask me “but what about socialisation?” what they are normally asking is “how are they going to make friends and learn to get along with others?”. To me ‘socialisation’ would indicate our children learning how to care for others, speaking respectfully, acting kindly etc. etc. Do our children really learn these skills from social ‘norms’ or is it what we as parents pour into our children day after day; manners, character lessons, observing and building relationships to name a few?

I am quite sure there are many people out there who know a home educated ‘odd ball’; I’ve heard the stories and been ‘warned’! Believe me, I’m sure those very same children would have the same if not worse social issues if they were placed in a state school situation…that’s just people! Of all the home educated children I know what strikes me more and more is their amazing ability to carry out a real conversation with an adult, the beauty of being able to relate to anyone, of any age in a kind, considerate manner – I’ve never met a more ‘socialised’ group of children!

Home education isn’t a locked-up life within the four walls of your humble abode – the world is your class room and there is much beauty to explore and amazing people to explore it with.

When I first started to home educated the ‘S’ issue was more at the fore front of my mind; I was desperately trying to make plans for the children to have ‘out of school’ activities, join sports clubs and go to every home education group I could…that didn’t last long! I’ve learnt to realise that if I’ve caught a revelation of ‘home education’ then I need to be at home…educating my children. Yes of course we see friends, go to groups etc. but it’s purely an extension of who we are in the home and an opportunity for my children to be a blessing to many; rather than grappling at the chance of ‘socialising’ my children.

So what am I saying? I think really the issue of ‘socialisation’ is more of a perceived one than a real one; we are constantly fighting against the ‘norms’ of our culture. If we want to raise Kingdom children we MUST instil in them Kingdom values and teach them to have a biblical world view -to me this starts in the home.

Here’s to raising social transformers!


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