What is it with this dreaded socialising question I get to hear so often? "How do they socialise?"..
I find this a really strange question and it becomes more and more absurd every time I hear it.
I had to take my car for an MOT so it meant getting on a bus and mingling with the masses on our daily doings. Our first encounter of the sentence of the day was pretty fast in making an appearance.
Arriving at the bus stop and a man was stood there and one of the first things the twins did was say "hello" and started to inform him of why we where catching the bus, where we where headed etc (I can't keep any secrets with these two) and after a lengthy little chat spilling all our business, he then said to me "no school today?". Louby quite perkily said "we home school". and then the usual reared it's ugly head "oh how do they socialise?"...
Had he not just had a very articulate conversation with two four year olds?. I find it an absurd thing to say, I just replied with the usual of explaining the home education groups and the usual extracurricular clubs kids have these days, and how they meet people all day, every day, in different settings like the library, the park, the shops, the museums etc.
Our next encounter was in the library, a lady said to the twins "no school today?", again the similar conversion arose that I had 20 minutes earlier.
We then made our way over to the park with our books and I sat on the bench and let the kids go and play, I watched them making friends with random kids in the park, happily playing away striking up conversations and introducing themselves to each new child that came along and happily adjusting games for each new child that came and went. Along came a dad of another child and sat near me and he said "no school today"..... again the same conversation ensued with the same presumptions of them not being able to socialise, as I watched them play with his child leading happily in the various games they where playing.
Then after getting the call that the car was ready, off we went in the taxi to pick up the car and unfortunately Louby had a nasty fall getting out of the taxi where she ended up with a nasty bump to the head, which lead us to Accident and Emergency where they had to clean it out and glue her back together.
As we where waiting in the waiting area I struck up a conversation with a woman sat next to me, who happened to be a nursery teacher, again same words, "no school?", I then went on to explain that we home educate, she said "is that legal?". I then went on to informed her of the law and she was stunned and said she had no idea it was allowed and then she went onto "how do they socialise?,", do they have checks?, do they have a curriculum?, etc, etc, etc, all the usual questions any home educator will be familiar with...
There was a girl sat across from us and she said "I home educate too" and we struck up a conversation. I was so relieved to not have to engage the nursery teacher on my own answering the same old, same old questions. (I really should write the answers down on a piece of card to give to people, it would save me feeling like a parrot)
We where allies and the lady who was the nursery nurse ended up just listening to us sharing our experience and listening to our enthusiasm.
Do people really think that kids can only socialise in a school setting?, I find it such an absurd and ridiculous notion.
A fabulous blog I read explains my thoughts on the socialising question more articulately than I can which you can read here,.
I would certainly say that with the other comments I have had today about the twins with regards to the fact they quite freely gave toys to other children in the A & E, and someone commented how good that was as normally kids are all about taking, and another comment regarding how well they talk and how articulate they are, another comment of how polite they are, and watching how well they both interact with other children, I would definitely say they have no problems in socialising....
We have experienced this question on so many occasions and I know we will be experiencing it an awful lot more as the twins get older, I think we might start a game of spot the sentence and mark the answers down to see how many of the same questions we get asked each month.
I'd love to learn what others say when asked this question, and if they find it as absurd a sentence as I do!...