Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Socializing on the Road

"Socialization" always seems to be the last ditch argument about why all children should attend stix and brix schools. Smart homeschoolers know that's exactly why they shouldn't. As homeschool families, we choose who our children socialize with. As a full-time RVing family, this can get pretty interesting. We spend much of our time taking care of parents and visiting children and grandchildren in 2 different states. We also make regular visits to the Homestead, so we have communities of friends, family and activities in each of these areas. Because we stay for a month or so at a time, we jump right into our regular church activities and whatever groups and sports are going on at the time. It might be hockey, tae kwon do, watercolor painting or music lessons. Also because we may not be back for a while, we try harder to get together with old friends when we are in town.

In between our "regular" stops, what happens? It really depends on a variety of factors. We normally don't stay in RV parks, so we don't have the advantage of meeting other families in the park and using the facilities. We might be working a craft show or festival for a few days, and get acquainted with other vendors and their families. We strike up conversations on the train, at the store, with other remote campers. One luncheon companion on the train gave Yak tips on game building software. Another paid a little too much attention to him, which resulted in a “creeped out” feeling that made him want to stay a little bit away from that person.

I think the key in socializing our children, whether on the road, in the homeschool or in regular school, is the same as our own socialization in our lives. Being open to it. At the same time that we’re being cautious of the dangers in meeting new people, we are also open to making new friends. Most of us have a sense of when something is not right and of who we want to spend more time with. Sometimes we need to follow our instincts in walking away. Other times we just take it as it comes and make a new, lasting friendship. We need to use our better judgement to supervise our childrens’ relationships and guide them in choosing their friends. We may not always be popular because of that, but hopefully we will not have regrets that we did not supervise them more closely, either.

You might also enjoy:

10 Reasons I Homeschool Year Round

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