School Socialization: My Lonely Years

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For some reason the topic of socialization has surfaced again recently. I feel like this critique has already been put to rest. But a twist on this issue struck me this morning:

Why do people think kids in school are socialized?

I had friends in high school. They were about as close to me as many of my Facebook friends. Some of them are my friend on Facebook. And we interact now as much as we did then: Not really at all.

So, the more accurate thing to say--and how I phrased it then--would be: I had acquaintances in high school. I didn't have a best friend. I didn't even have a close friend at school. In many ways, I was friendless. I was similarly friendless when I attended a private Christian school in Kindergarten.

Why?

I don't know. I don't blame my youth group, my school, my sports teams. My lonely situation wasn't something caused by the groups I was in. By the same token, my close friends haven't been caused by the groups I was in either.

Schools don't deserve the credit they indirectly receive for our friendships. I "socialized" with the kids in my high school as much as I did my siblings at home, my teammates at practice, my peers at church. Classrooms, like anywhere else there is a gathering of people, do provide opportunity for connection or friendship. But schools do not "socialize" kids. Schools are one confined location where socialization can happen. It's possible to make friends in school. I didn't.

It is possible to make friends anywhere there are people on a regular basis.

So those who dismiss homeschooling because of "socialization" may simply need to get out more. Or perhaps they've forgotten how lonely they were in school. Or, it's possible, they were among the fortunate few to have a really close friend at school.

I had close friends while I was homeschooled. It's odd to me that I didn't while I wasn't.

To learn more about the fantastic educational opportunities of learning at home, check out these homeschool resources.

Did you have close friends when you were in school? Are you aware of a place where you automatically socialize?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

P.S. I was looking for this video clip that beautifully contrasts the loneliness of school with the love of family. And then discovered that the entire episode is available on Hulu right now! Wow! If you haven't watched any Fruits Basket yet, you may want to catch up before jumping in... but this is my favorite episode. The moment starts at 16 minutes.

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