Wednesday, 12 February 2014


There has been a thread on one of the yahoo home ed groups about socialisation - what it is, how much children need, what form should it take. The original poster said that she's been told by a social worker that her child needed 15 hours a week. Someone else commented that a teacher told her that her child was not at school to socialise.

There is a difference isn't there, between the process of socialisation, and the activity of socialising? For me, socialisation is the process of learning about how your society operates, and how to behave in that society. Socialising is being with other people and interacting with them (does this need to be in person? I regularly interact with people online, as does Fred when he plays Clash of Clans and Dino D Day).

I've just checked the Collins dictionary - socialisation is 'the modification from infancy of an individual's behaviour to conform with the demands of social life', while socialising is 'the action of behaving in a friendly or sociable manner'.

I know people worry about either or both of these concepts in respect of home education. People have images of children kept at home, working at the the kitchen table. In fact, there are opportunities to socialise every day if you wish to do so. As for socialisation, I think our kids learn about the 'demands of social life' by having siblings, grandparents, local friends, children and their parents at groups we go to, shop keepers, the postman (really! He's very chatty).

So I've been mulling this over, prompted by the yahoo discussion and our last two days. We've spent them at home, but it's been very sociable!

My mum came over for a few hours yesterday. She stayed for lunch. Betsy and Meg persuaded her into some board games. Betsy spent half an hour showing Nanny her Minecraft world, and Fred gleefully showed her some of Dino D-Day (she didn't know what to make of it!).

10 minutes after she left, Billy and his mum Zoe popped in on their way home from a walk on Ivinghoe Beacon. Fred played Minecraft with Billy, and they went over to Jarvis's house for a while. Betsy asked Zoe to play Moshi Monsters with her. They stayed for a couple of hours. So all together they kids had 6 hours of social contact with people outside of their immediate family.

Today was Betsy's Girl Club. She had this excellent idea to invite home ed girls over and do 'girl stuff'. So, I sent a message to our local home ed email lists and got some lovely responses. The first club was last week, and we had one family (with two sisters) and it went really well. They made cupcake badges and pop-up cards, and played Sylvanian Families.

Today we had a heart theme, and had some wooden hearts to decorate.

Three families came, so we had 6 girls including Betsy and Meg. They played upstairs, then did some craft, then played on the Wii and the DS. It was a lot of socialising and socialisation! We're planning another one in two weeks time, and Betsy would like to do some sort of animal activity. I'll get my thinking cap on (aka go to Pinterest for some ideas!).

We finished the daffodils and I hung them up next to the nature tray. I added the crocus and snowdrop fairies to the tray, as we inch closer to spring.

Oh - great news from Fred.  He's now a level gold 3 in Clash of Clans.  He's delighted!

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