Socialization, aka "How I learned dirty words in school"

I think more homeschooling fathers need to speak up.  At the bare minimum, they need to at least have logical and concise answers to people who question their choice to home educate.  I have only met one other dentist in my community that homeschools their children, so in many of my professional circles, I am the lone voice for homeschooling.  Most of my colleagues have chosen private education for their kids (that's normal and acceptable), but my wife and I remain the only "odd" ones that are "trying" this at home.  I've developed answers out of necessity, but that is only because I am forced to answer these questions every single day from my patients that want to know why/how we homeschool our kids.

If you are not in a position to constantly answer the critics or the curious with the reasons behind your decisions to homeschool, I would encourage you to begin formulating the answers to the "typical questions." this way, you are prepared for the next family reunion, business lunch, or golf game when the conversation turns to the oddity of homeschooling.

I am going to post some of my favorite questions and responses here.  Maybe we can share thoughts.  I think I will start with the granddaddy of all questions: "What about socialization?"

This question has waned over the years.  I think it's because enough homeschooled kids have grown up to be quite normal (surprise!).  But it is still a valid question and a good question by those who want to know.  Let me begin the answer with a question of my own: What do you mean by socialization? Defined it means to "adapt to the rules of society and societal norms through social interaction." In my opinion, I think it's better for a 6 year old to learn the rules of society at home from his/her parents, Instead of "picking them up" on the playground from other 5-6 year olds, who may be playing by different "rules." On a personal level, back in 1973, I was in Miss Pimental's 1st grade class at Blackford elementary school in San Jose, Ca. By the time I finished that year of school, I had been exposed to several new words (including the "queen mother" of all dirty words...), as well as learning the art of "the middle finger" (promptly distinguished by my attentive mother).

But that's now what most mean by "socialization." I think what most people really want to know, is how will you develop social skills with your children by "isolating" them at home all day with only their family and parents.  Ha Ha Ha Ha! Hardy Har Har! and again I repeat Ha Ha Ha Ha! (in a real belly laughter kind of way!!!). For most homeschoolers that I know, the problem is not how to create social interaction, but how to limit social interaction for their children (for those that really know our family, you know how funny this question is when you consider our social lives).

Quietly making noise,
Fletch