Thanks for the encouragement, Robin. My daughter brought two female friends home with her for dinner one night. (She lives at home while attending college.) They chatted amiably with us, and whenever my daughter contributed to the conversation, one of them would comment that they'd never heard her talk so much!
My son, on day 2 of college, video called us so we could hear how things are going. He's in a living and learning community of 10: two guys and 8 women. They met for the first time with their adviser. Son told us that one of the other students said, "You don't talk much, do you?" He said, "Do you want me to talk more? I will!" LOL. Apparently if you hog the conversation you are the leader, the extrovert, and the one with all the friends. And I guess I did teach them to be listeners and treat others as more important than themselves (as in Phil. 2:3-4). Also, being an introvert or "shy" is NOT a character flaw! And yet that seems to be the determining factor of socialization success. Grrr.
I am at the end of home schooling looking backwards. My two have never had a wide circle of friends. I tried to present multiple opportunities to explore their interests, took them on field trips, took part in "fun" activities put on by our association. My daughter, who is now 21, still struggles in that area. Having fun with a group of people, always left her on the perimeter. We were in a co-op, 4H, youth group, sports, etc. and people just ignored her for the most part. Now she thinks it's because she was home schooled that she's socially awkward. I've tried telling her it might not have been any better in a public school setting, just because she thinks so. She is a people pleaser and a follower.
My son is a little bit more outgoing, but is still a homebody. His baseball teammates did NOT become his friends, because they were all in a clique with each other at school. He has a few people he goes to the movies with, and fantasy baseball (online) friends. He's now attending college out of town, and I'm confident from what I've seen, that he will have a ton of friends before long. He doesn't much care what people think.
Over the years I've wished I could teach socialization to my kids. I know that home school moms all bristle with defensiveness when someone mentions the "s" word, but the struggle is real for some of us, and sometimes home schooled kids were the most cliquish toward other hs kids. That's just my two cents.
So true, Lois!
You did well. Your children clearly enjoy the company of others, and it sounds like they are considerate listeners to boot!
Well done, Mom!
Assistant to The Home Scholar
I am right there with you! I have found that my child who defines herself by what others think has struggled a LOT more socially than my children who don't care about the opinions of others. Some of my four are introverts, some are more extroverted. People can be cliquish and nasty no matter where you are attending school. I have family members who send their children to public school. Some of these children struggle socially. Attending public school or private school has never been a cure for social anxiety.
Assistant to The HomeScholar
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