Every time I hear that word my butt puckers. "Socialization."
I admit, when I pulled my kids out of public school the one thing that I had a difficult time with was the "S" word. I *knew* my kids would get a better education academically. But I truly was worried that they would become withdrawn and unsocial.
BOY was I wrong. Over the past three years my kids have actually participated in *more* extracurricular activities than they were able to while in public school. My son did take piano and baseball, but it was a mad rush to get there after school and by the end of the day, we were all hungry, tired and grumpy. Kinda sucked the fun right out of it. Now they take piano, homeschool tennis, ballet, sports (depending on the season could be soccer, baseball, basketball), chorus, and we are about to begin our first ever co-op next week. They have friends who live up and down the street that they play with when they are home from school. They have homeschool friends they meet for playdates and parties and field trips.
So now I cringe at the "S" word, but for different reasons. YES, we love all of these activities. However, sometimes when I think about all of our obligations I need a paperbag to breathe into. How will we get it all done? How will we manage to, oh, I don't know, actually have SCHOOL?
Moments like this happen and then I have a parent-teacher conference with myself. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexiblity of it. If we need a catch-up day, there is always the weekend. Most of these activities are finite, lasting only a few weeks. And by participating in these activities we are out in the real world, which was a big reason why I wanted to homeschool. And yes-my kids are learning how to have independent relationships with other kids, something they would miss if I were to only schedule playdates with kids we already know and if I were to hover over them the entire time. (Which, anyone who knows me, knows I am anti-hover.)
So, while these activities pull us in all directions, they are as much a part of their education as the stuff we learn from the books.
And the reason I posted on this is so next week, when I feel the need to hyperventilate into a paperbag, I can go back and remind myself WHY I do this.