Although we homeschool, I try to keep the Big-Eyed Boy on a schedule similar to his public school friends. That way he’s never stuck “doing school” while his friends are outside playing. Ensuring he has a chance to play with his peers is important to me, since it helps address the whole socialization thing which causes so many people concern over home education.
Sometimes, I wonder if that’s such a wise idea.
Take, for instance, the argument my son and his little friends had this morning while playing together outside. One of the neighborhood kids mentioned they don’t go to school on Monday because the nation will be celebrating how Christopher Columbus discovered the United States.
My son, who’s been learning about this very thing for the past month, pointed out that Columbus in fact landed at the Bahamas, and that Columbus Day itself is really October 12. We just happen to observe it Monday, instead.
His friends, being products of the public school system, basically told my son that he’s an idiot. The Bahamas, their education has told them thus far, are a string of gorgeous beaches where Mommy and Daddy go for a luxury vacation without them.
Bless his heart, my son at least had the wisdom not to point out how Columbus is far from the Great American Hero his little friends seem to think, or that within three years of landing on the islands he’d enslaved 40,000 Lucayans he’d encountered there.
Instead, he left their illusions safely intact and decided to come home to play a few hands of Uno with me. Since I’d assumed he’d want to play outside as long as possible, I was a bit surprised to find him cutting his playtime short. He didn’t want to stay outside with his friends playing, he said, when they clearly needed to be inside convincing their parents to homeschool them so they wouldn’t remain so clueless.
All of which reinforces my belief that any “socialization” which requires my son to dumb himself down to the level of his peers really can’t be all that good for him.