Country Living Series

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Social Skills of Woodlice

Here is my latest RegularGuy column, this one on homeschooling, called The Social Skills of Woodlice.  Enjoy!


  1. Heh, awesome article! I was homeschooled from 1st though 8th grade and then did half and half Public School in High School. Yes, I was socially awkward, mostly because I didn't know all the sexual code words that paraded around like normal phrases. My peers got many a laugh at my expense because I didn't know the meaning of what I had said. But you know what? I count my naivety as a blessing. Kids in public school are not only more "social", they are also growing up way too fast and developing the vulgar vocabulary and innuendo library of a Hell's Angel!

    I say, let kids be naive about social things as long as they can, let them be little kids! They have their whole lives to learn to be socially adept. If you worry about your kids being social, socialize them with adults, because that level of social interaction will serve them longer in their life. Skipping the teen social scene won't stunt them.

    My mom was wonderful, because she would take us once a week to visit an elderly person from our church as a ministry. We would sing for them, listen to their stories and do house work for them. As a result, we appreciated that generation, increased our knowledge with their wisdom and learned to respect our elders. How many of these "socialized" school children can carry on a 5 minute conversation with their own grandparents, let alone an elder not associated with them at all?

    When my sisters and I go back to Oklahoma to visit our old church with our grandparents, who do we enjoy visiting? Our peers have moved on, but the older folk who we got to know are still there and are overjoyed to see us.


  2. Loved it! We don't homeschool our three kids (the younger two have special issues from their life before we adopted them), but many of our friends and neighbors do homeschool and I must say that I notice many of the same "problems" with their children. You know: politeness, modesty in dress and attitude, respect for adults, the ability to think complete thoughts and speak in complete sentences, the ability to maintain eye contact for more than one nanosecond, and other annoying forms of social retardation.

    And I wonder how many of these "appropriately" socialized children complaining about those unfortunate homeschoolers spend any time at all interacting with other families at their church? How about Sunday School, youth groups, community service activities, mission trips, church picnics, etc.? You know, activities in which FAMILIES (not just children) participate, so that adult supervision is omnipresent.

    I suppose your daughter's participation on that teen website has served one useful socialization purpose: it has taught her that many people form very strong opinions based on nothing but hearsay, and that trying to correct those opinions with real evidence can be a very frustrating experience.

    I hope she inherited her mother's ability to see the humor in such situations!

  3. Well, it's all sad but true. As usual, Patrice has been able to see the humor in it. I wish I could. The pathetic, oblivious, misguieded public school-educated youth will be running this country soon, which scares me. They outnumber the homeschooled kids and they are more aggressive.

    On the other hand, as I enter into old age and look ahead to Obamacare for the aged, I have hope. Yes, I have hope! These people won't be able to spell "euthanize!"

    Anonymous Patriot

  4. posted the link on Facebook and everyone loves it! the home schoolers couldn't agree more and even those that publicly school their offspring think you hit the nail on the head with this article.

    you hit another one out of the ball park :)
    home schooling mom who pulled her girls from public school because of the "socializing" they were getting even in the 2nd and kindergarten levels

  5. Socialization; the process of indoctrinating people into socialism. No, I am not raising socialists so socialization is not a problem.

  6. My husband taught me the phrase, "You socialize animals. You civilize children." That usually shuts up the critics :)

    I have to agree 100% with the article since unfortunately, I put my oldest in school 14 days ago. We were having serious behavioral issues and NO ONE was getting an education. Not my older child nor his two younger siblings. While I hope and pray we can bring him back home soon, I've already seen - IN TWO WEEKS - some of these lovely social skills found/taught/permitted in school.

    Let's see, in two weeks (only 9 days due to a teacher work day), my son has been bullied by kids in his class and called gay. Wow - see what we were missing?????

    Everyone asks when I'll be enrolling my 2nd grade daughter. Yeah, right...


  7. We have homeschooled our three children and I have found all of the points in the article to be true. It is my responsibility as a parent to teach my children instead of "trusting" the public schools to do a good job. More and more parents are getting frustrated with the bad results of the public schools and turning to homeschooling. We had a neighbor a few weeks ago come to us to find out how to get started in homeschooling as they are already frustrated with the public schools and their child is only a first grader. Their is real hope for our country but it is not in our government ( we still need to vote and stop the government from taking our rights). It is in people taking the responsibility for themselves and not depending on the government. It is in parents taking their parental responsibility back to raise their children and teach them moral values. Homeschooling is a great way to just that. Thanks Patrice and older daughter for a great article.

    Steve In NC

  8. You forgot "refusing to interact with anyone more than a year older or younger than them." That's one of the chief tenets of public school socialization, and one I'm glad to have missed out on.

  9. I just discovered your blog yesterday and I'm having a great time going through and reading, enjoying your pictures, etc.
    My kids are second generation homeschoolers. My parents took me out after second grade and I was given the great gift of un-institutionalized learning through high school. On occasion, my five-year-old daughter has issues with her preschooled and kindergartened classmates at Church and she and I will discuss why kids are sometimes mean and how she can best deal with the situations. I thought back to my own school years and remembered a little girl in my first-grade class, named Teresa. Teresa decided on the first day of school that she hated me and spent the rest of the year being as mean and nasty as she could, because at that first recess I had played with Penny, who had been HER best friend in Kindergarten. It is very unlikely that this would have gone on so long or gotten so out of hand had we not been in school. If Teresa had had her mother nearby, she could have coached her through this social difficulty, just as I coach my daughter now, and the problem would likely have been short-lived rather than being the school-year-long source of misery that it was. Why on earth people think that taking little clueless kids out of the loving, watchful, constant care of their mothers and throwing them into a school environment under the spotty, inadequate guidance of strangers is going to yield excellent results defies logic. Developing social skills should be near the top the list of reasons to homeschool and not an excuse not to, in my humble...
    Thanks again for your blog!

  10. Welcome, JCD! Just out of curiosity, how did you find my blog?

    - Patrice

  11. Thanks! I think I must have found you through Backwoods Home Magazine as that is the last site I visited before yours. I am early pregnant, very sick, and tired of reading nothing but politics. Your blog is a nice blend of the things I enjoy and feel strongly about. Kids and canning and field fencing feel like an anchor to reality amidst the unreality of our current Government.

  12. Well however you found your way, we're glad you're here. Sorry to hear about the morning sickness, but think how happy you'll be when you're holding a baby in your arms! AFA the political content of the blog - well, you'll get *some* since I write socio-political commentary for, but it's not a constant thing.

    - Patrice