Generation Cedar

A common question asked about homeschoolers is actually the wrong question for any parent.

The right question should be being asked of any parent overseeing the upbringing of a child:

“What IS socialization?”

As a Christian, I look to the Bible for the answer: READ CAREFULLY:

“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

“Mind your own business, working with your hands.”

“Let each consider others before himself.”

“If someone asks to borrow something, don’t expect anything in return.”

“Speak kindly.”

“Leave revenge to God.”

“Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.”

“Don’t pay back insult for insult, but return with blessing.”

“Don’t speak too loudly, people will think you’re a fool.”

“Don’t speak to much, people will think you’re a fool.”

(The Bible is full of them.)

This is socialization. This is our goal. This is THE guideline by which “good citizens” are made. Day after day, hour after hour, bending, shaping, forming those characters and habits into ones that glorify God.

And then the revelation…as I was having a particularly frustrating morning, it dawned on me, in the shower, as I pondered the events of the day:

I WAS NOT PROPERLY SOCIALIZED!

There was not anyone present most hours in my day with the constant reminders:

“That was not the right response, try again.” “Control yourself when you are angry.” “Are you speaking to him the way you want to be spoken to?”

(By this, I don’t mean I didn’t have wonderful, loving, Christian parents–I did. But most of my time was spent away from them, at school.

I am in the process myself of “being socialized” according to Scripture. And it’s hard once those habits have been left, years and years unchecked.

I’m not blaming anyone or anything..mind you. I am responsible for my words, my behavior and my conduct. But there is something to be said of ingrained habits–bad habits to be broken in adulthood.

As we struggle to socialize our children according to the Word of God, let’s be mindful of our need of that power in our own lives, crying out to Him for extra grace, and allowing our crucial responsibility of raising children to keep us all the more vigilant to seek Him!

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18 Responses

  1. Absolutely!

    Most people’s idea of socialization, if they are truly honest about it, is for a child to “fit in” with all the other peers–look like the peers, act like the peers, talk like the peers, etc.

    Sometimes when asked this (annoying) question, I respectfully respond, “Define socialization.”

    Thanks for the thoughtful reminder!

  2. Boy! Seems like none of us is socialized today! Read my latest post on my blog:
    http://civillascybercafe.blogspot.com/ (or click on my name, Civilla),to see how far we’ve come.

    I posted a couple of chapters from my Student Handbook from 1969/1970 (when I was a senior in high school) about manners and dress!

  3. Very good – and so good to see it written out. I am constantly telling my kids things that I wish I put into practice more. “Honey, it doesn’t matter what your sister is or isn’t doing – are YOU obeying momma?” These are things I am having to learn NOW as an ‘old lady’…It’s so encouraging to hear my own thoughts echoed… God bless you.

  4. Exactly! This is one reason we plan to homeschool. We want our children to be socialized by these kinds of standards. That is definitely not the kind of socialization they find in public school. When I think back to the kinds of social relations that happened on the playground I wonder why people think that’s a natural or ideal way for children to learn to interact with others.

  5. “If we want to keep our children on a moral path, we cannot place them in the midst of immoral children. No matter how godly and upright our sons and daughters are, regardless of how well we have raised them, we cannot expect them to prevail over the laws of sociology. When we allow them to socialize with a peer group that holds a different set of values, our children will inevitably begin to adopt those values. It’s not even a conscious thing. Many families have seen years of godly training suddenly vanish after sending their children to school or allowing them to interact with worldly peers.

    The same principle applies to all of us. Though we are to be a light to the world, we are not to be of the world. The people of God are supposed to be a different type of people altogether. In order to be different, we need to maintain strong boundaries.”

    Quote from First Fruits of Zion
    The Weekly eDrash

  6. Well put. My mother-in-law once told me, “The only thing children learn from other children are their bad habits.” And from that point on I worried much less about my children’s quantity of time with their peers because I knew how right she was.
    I thank God for your blog and I am grateful that my friend introduced me to it. What a blessing to know that there are others out there who know how I feel.

  7. I agree. Most people do not really comprehend ‘socialization’, in its entirety….I think most people assume socialization means with kids their onw age, and most non-homeshcoolers do not realize what they are even asking, maybe? I did find that homeschooling, alongside belonging to a church where there was only ONE childrens group, ONE mens group, and ONE womens group, allowed for the whole family to learn better socialization. We really enjoy doing things all together…as a family….not matching up age groups for ‘play dates’etc. I myself was not properly socialized, and to this day struggle a bit in how to really deal with myself, others, and conflict. But I am learning; it is never too late! 🙂

  8. Your post is so true. We are first year homeschoolers, and this has been one the biggest issues for us. We now choose EVERY outside activity carefully.

    I’ve been reading your blog for months, it is such an encouragement to me. Thank you!

    -Kathi

  9. I also wanted to add that I find it peculiar that we as a body, generally group our mens and laides bible studies according to age…….’married’ classes, classes for moms with young tots, etc. Nothing inherently wrong with this, but it really secludes us as people into age groups, and keeps us where we were since public school days. If older women should teach the younger, where is there good opportunity for this to occur within the church? I also find older people LOVE younger people and children gfor great company. Some of my favorite ways to serve is by helping older women clean, or keep them company, etc. But the churches around my area anyway, dont really encourage this by segregating us while in our bible studies, etc. Just my thoughts.

  10. Do any of you homeschoolers think there should be some type of check ins with the State to prevent people like the Turpins from holding their kids hostage and torturing them ? I’d have to believe there are other people out there like them who homeschool and society doesn’t even know the children exist. Kelly I’d love to see you address something like this. I think there should be mandatory check ins, not unannounced , but some protocol to prevent something like this from ever happening again. I am not implying you or your readers are doing anything remotely like hiding and abusing your kids, but I am afraid there are other families like the Turpins. They got away with their horrendus acts because their children were not on anyone’s radar. If they went to school outside the home , they would never have gotten away with the abuse for so long. I’d love to know others thoughts and if you think homeschoolers should be registered with the state and gave check ups.

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