Socialization: What Exactly Are Homeschoolers Missing?
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about socialization (except as something for feral cats and aggressive dogs), though I realize it’s often one of the first things non-homeschoolers worry about. However, I found the scenarios from Lisa Russell’s article on socialization amusing and thought-provoking so I’m sharing them with permission (don’t miss the rest of the article at the host site, linked below).
How Would School Socialization Translate to Real Life?
Excerpted from the article, “No Thank You, We Don’t Believe in Socialization!” by Lisa Russell:
Imagine the following scenes:
Your employer is auditing the Inter-Office Email system and comes across a personal note between you and a coworker. You are required to stand at the podium in the next sales meeting to read it aloud to your coworkers.
The Police knock on your door, and announce that because you and your neighbor have gotten so close, they’re separating you. You must move your home and your belongings to the other side of town, and you may only meet at public places on weekends.
You’re sitting at a booth waiting for a coworker to arrive for a scheduled lunch date. Suddenly a member of upper management sits down across from you and demands your credit cards. When your friend arrives, you just order water and claim you’re not hungry, since he stole your lunch money.
You’re applying for a job and in an unconventional hiring practice, you are made to line up with other applicants, and wait patiently while representatives from two competing companies take their pick from the lineup.
You’re taking your parents out for an anniversary dinner. After you find a table, a waiter tells you that seniors have a separate dining room, lest they “corrupt” the younger members of society.
You go to the grocery store only to find that since you are 32 years old you must shop at the store for 32 year olds. It’s 8 miles away and they don’t sell meat because the manager is a vegetarian, but your birthday is coming up and soon you’ll be able to shop at the store for 33 yr. olds.
You’d like to learn about Aviation History. You go to the library and check out a book on the subject only to be given a list of “other subjects” that you must read about before you are permitted to check out the aviation book.
You’re having a hard time finding what you need in the local department store. The saleslady explains that each item is arranged alphabetically in the store, so instead of having a section for shoes, you will find the men’s shoes in between the maternity clothes and the mirrors.
Your Cable Company announces that anyone wishing to watch the Superbowl this year must log on a certain number of hours watching the Discovery Channel before they can be permitted to watch the game.
You apply for a job only to be told that this job is for 29 year olds. Since you’re 32, you’ll have to stay with your level.
In a group project, your boss decides to pair you up with the person you don’t “click” with. His hope is that you’ll get learn to get along with each other, regardless of how the project turns out.
These absurd examples were created to point out how absolutely ridiculous the idea of “socializing” in schools is. Many people had a friend who they stayed friends with all through grammar school — WHY? Because their names were alphabetically similar, and they always ended up in line with each other. As an adult, have you ever made friends with someone simply because your names were similar? How long would such a friendship last and how meaningful would it be, providing you had nothing else in common?
Lisa Russell is a Gen X homeschooling mom, writer, wife, daydreamer, U.S. traveller, hiker, poet, artist, web designer, and whatever else suits the moment. Visit her website: http://www.lisarussell.net or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above portion reprinted with permission from Lauren Conforti of The Homeschool Hutt.