Socialization?

Dear Reader,

I observed a few things recently that made me think about the whole “socialization” issue we homeschoolers have.

1. My kids are taking tennis lesons this summer. After class one day this week, my 6 year old really wanted a piece of paper to write things down. I told him I didn’t have a blank piece. When we got home later after the older kids’ class, he ran and got a piece write away and began writing. He asked me how to spell “scream.” At the time this didn’t sink in at all. The next day at dinner we were talkign about their class and I said mentioned that there was a little blond boy who had called my son’s name and soon as he got to class and ran to catch up with him. My son replied, “Oh yeah, that is the guy that spit on me.” What?! This is the first we had heard of it. He didn’t seem particularly upset and I guess he wouldn’t have told us if it hadn’t come up in conversation. It turns out what he wanted to write so desperately was a list of “what happened in tennis class.” It included kids screamed in his ear and this guy spit on him and one more thing I forget now.

2. Also at tennis, while we were waiting for the littler kids’ class to finish, a girl from my daughter’s class called her over. My dd scowled at her and didn’t answer. Now my dd is not good in social situations. I mouthed at her “go over, talk to her,” but she didn’t which really didn’t surprise me. Later at home I brought it up with her and said things like, “You know, you say you want friends but when someone reaches out to you, you don’t respond” and “maybe that girl felt bad when you didn’t answer her.” Then my dd told me that the previous day when this girl had been her doubles partner the other girl had suggested that they lie about their score and say they had 1 point when they didn’t have any. My dd had said no and it seems that was the end of the exchange. But it was why my dd had been so cold the next day. She didn’t know how to deal with this girl after the lying thing.

Now, obviously I need to work with my one dd at least on how to make friends. I know she has problems there. It is not that my kids are perfectly behaved. But I wonder if these things can happen at an hour long tennis class when I am sitting right outside the court and I never would have known about them if they didn’t come up in conversation, how much could happen in a 6 hour school day? I am sure I never would have told my parents about little things like this that happened at school. Over time I would think kids get more and more used to not telling too. Now I am not wholesale against public or other schools. But I do think it would take a lot of diligence to keep up with what is going on in your kids’ lives if they go out to school. Or maybe I am overreacting and we should just let kids deal with these things on their own?? I don’t really think so of course. I would rather know what is going on and at least talk my kids through it after the fact so that they can better deal with it tht next time. While my son didn’t seem to mind the spitting, my dd did seem disturbed by the lying and I am glad we got to talk about it.

I have one more observation but it is slightly different and my kdis are hungry for dinner so look for part 2 soon!

Nebby

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