Socialization can happen anywhere, at any time. It doesn’t require much planning, money, or time. In my experience, it mostly requires me as a parent to think outside the box and be on the lookout for events, programs, and classes that interest my children. Which may take a little time, but as a home daycare provider I am use to looking for new and interesting things to do with the children in my care! Learning doesn’t require a library or a museum. Playing is learning! So all I have to do is keep my eyes and ears open!
Recently, I came across a photo in one of my home school groups on Facebook that gave information about a Lego building event at Penn Square Mall! Absolutely free to participate (as long as you manage to stay out of the actual Lego store that is!), not too far away, and Legos are something our whole family (and many of our friends) enjoy! Who doesn’t love Legos?
Something I have noticed about my children since we started doing school at home, is that they love to talk to people. They love to share what they know. They love meeting new people and possibly making new friends and even more awesome to me as a mom, is that they love to HELP people!
While at the Lego event and then when checking out the store afterward, I saw something in my children that I was very proud to see and I realized that it wasn’t just coming from me or my husband—but from our friends, too! We all managed to model the same behavior of helping people out. My friend was great about explaining to other parents about what was going on at the event, my son was helping my friend’s son find the pieces he needed. Our daughters were telling each other all about what they were building and telling other kids around us.
In the store, my son helped explain an entire story line and series of character’s to another child’s mom and grandmother. All the kids helped each other find the themes they were interested in. My children worked together to find items within the price range I gave them. All of this comes from socialization and learning to work with others from all age groups, all bac grounds, and in varying environments or situations.
Socialization is not about being stuck in a classroom with 20+ kids of the same age group. Sure that works for some kids, but our kids are thriving by being in different groups, with different backgrounds and interests, and different environments and more importantly to us, they are in safe environments.
Learning is not just about shapes, colors, letters, numbers, math, science, history, reading and so on. Those things are all very important and in many cases the very foundations of learning certain things, but some things have to be experienced. As a parent, I want my kids to have those experiences and learn how to be out in the world. If I can give them that in as safe environment as possible with some guidance, then I believe they will be better equipped to deal with those situations and environments later on in life on their own.
Parenting is not easy for anyone. It comes with ever-changing challenges. The longer we do school at home and out in the world, the more I realize just how important it is to teach my kids about life in the “real world,” not just in the school yard.