Social Skills

The local primary school had their open day today and I took the girls to have a look around. They enjoyed the art displays and the music performances and they especially loved the playground equipment. They spent almost an hour cruising around the outdoor kinder gym having a great time and making lots of new friends. While they were playing one of the teachers came over and we started chatting. The conversation got around to us being home learners and the teacher became quite confused. She watched the girls playing with the other children for a moment, then she said to me, "But they have such good social skills! I'd never have picked them as home schoolers!"

So there you have it - We are not weird because we do home learning, we are weird because we do home learning AND have good social skills.

Who'd'a thunk it?!


katef - said...

It's interesting isn't it.. everyone expects homeschooled kids to lack social interaction but all the homeschooling families I know it is the exact opposite. Mind you, the big reason why I am not thinking about homeschooling is because of the social side - because my social skills are terrible and I know I'd really struggle to get out in the community and not just become a hermit. And here I have twins in mainstream preschool with a teacher who thinks their 'twin-ness' may be causing the delay in their social development.... I guess it just goes to show that you can't pigeon hole anyone!

Pencil Writer said...

Education is the key! Some educators haven't exactly been well educated. I home schooled my youngest for 4 years. I did not keep him isolated from life and reality. I won't launch into one of my excessively long diatribes on public education to save peoples eyes, etc. As you have found in your circumstances there is ALWAYS good with the bad in most situations.

My children exclusively public educated were blessed with some awesome teachers along with some apparently insanely close-minded, inept ones. Life is like that in lots of ways.

I wish I'd pursued the avenue of getting my son (our youngest) enrolled in college when I finished home schooling him rather than putting him in the local high school. He was so bored in most classes.

Actually, I could have been a better Mom/teacher all the way around. My education is still happening, so I learned that hind-sight often beats foresight.

Hopefully we'll all come out right in the end--if we try REALLY hard!

Me & Boo said...

Would you please just make your children stereotypical so that others can place them in the boxes they belong! ;)

debby said...

Just tell them that you are all atypical stereotypes. And then walk away.

Alison said...

Kate - It does help that the kewl girls are naturally social, but I also think that their skills have improved since leaving daycare. They are by no means perfect, but they are far more confident in their interactions with others and they LOVE having more 'room' to make their own fun. J and F almost always play together and it seems to work for them. It doesn't stop them from participating successfully in groups or with other children, so I don't mind.
Social development seemed to me to be a fine line between genuine skill development and kids behaving the way teachers / adults think they should. (ummah, too controversial?)

PW - I totally agree, there is good and bad in most situations, and certainly there is good and bad in homeschooling. I also think you make a good point about being blessed with good teachers. There are some fabulous people out there in public education systems! It's the not so good ones I have a problem with.
Your youngest son really does sound like an inspires young man - and you an inspired woman!!

Lani - LOL! Why didn't I think of that?!

Deb - Hahahahaha.. I will definitely have to try that. Although I might stick around for a follow up conversation in the hope of changing an opinion. :)

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jeanie said...

We-ell, I can assure you, there are many children with great social skills and many with abysmal - some has to do with their nature, some has to do with their parents and some has to do with the environment.

Having my daughter at school and being behind the tuckshop counter and in the classroom (far too often) mainstream school CERTAINLY does not guarantee great social skills.

Alison said...

Great points Jeanie. There is so much more to developing social skills than whether children go to "school" or not.
I admire your tuckshop abilities! I know I would not have the social skills to handle it!