Just in case you were wondering about "socialization" - oh, you know, that crucial issue raised by those who oppose homeschooling...
...the point being that you are depriving your children of something by not sending them off to hang out with their peers in a classroom all day long....that they'll miss out on real life experiences...that you are overprotecting them by keeping them home...that your children may seem a little "off" or not "with it" or something...
I would just like to reassure the whole world that, indeed and most unfortunately, my sheltered children are being properly socialized. Heaven forbid that our decision to homeschool should keep us from a typical scenario experienced, I am sure, by thousands of parents every year such as the one we had last night at the dinner table when one of my sons demonstrated a gesture which he had learned and had explained meant "stupid."
On the one hand, it's so very nice to know that my children are unafraid to show off to their loving parents the wonderful new social graces they acquire in the neighborhood, and I am glad that his father and I are there to explain, calmly, that the middle finger does not, in fact, mean "stupid," that it means something much worse, and that under no circumstances should he employ such a gesture ever.
On the other hand, having taught my children that saying "stupid" is akin to cursing, I question the common sense of my son who would nonetheless demonstrate to me a non-verbal way to use the term.
And I really question the common sense of both my older sons who continued to discuss with us, in almost scientific terms, all the knowledge they had obtained regarding the use of the middle finger (including physical demonstrations), until I quickly interrupted them and pointed out their three younger siblings who were listening, most interestedly, to every detail.
And have I mentioned that we call the toddler Pete the Parrot for obvious reasons? It was about three nights ago that Jenny taught him the lovely phrase "Shut up!" Thank goodness, he forgot it after about five minutes. That little girl is on a roll with causing mayhem.
And so, dear world, it is quite evident that homeschooling in no way detracts from proper socialization. My children have not yet reached double digit ages, and yet they know enough to get their front teeth knocked out by an older boy who really knows what the middle finger is all about. I'm sure a discussion about condoms isn't too far in the future, since the first time I heard the word "rubber" was when I was ten. I had no idea what it meant, but I had enough sense to know that asking my mother meant asking for trouble.
My friends taught me that.