I’ve been reading articles at Families of the Talented & Gifted this morning. I could write a LOT about the thoughts sparked by this material. I’ll try not to flood you 🙂
These two definitions, though:
def: Socialization (n.) — the adoption of the values of a group.
def: Social skills training (n.) — learning to interact with others.
strike me as being at the heart of the whole “homeschooled kids aren’t properly socialized” debate.
You know what? Those critics are right. The conflict is in the value judgment—is socialization a good thing? Critics of homeschooling make an inherent assumption, that “the adoption of the values of a group” is good and important. Many homeschoolers, myself included, disagree.
No, I don’t want shadowkatt to adopt the values of any group. I want her to develop her own values, and live by them as an honorable person. If that means she is poorly socialized, then so be it. In fact, I consider it something to be proud of.
Social skills training, on the other hand, IS valuable—and we’ve certainly done that. She has excellent social skills, as I figure anyone here who knows her will agree.
The term “peer” does not, in essence, mean people of the same age, but refers to individuals who can interact at an equal level around issues of common interest.
— W. C. Roedell
Yes, the ability to interact with one’s peers is important—but I agree with Roedell. People the same age aren’t automatically one’s peers.