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Home School--Social, Not "Sheltered"

One of the biggest arguments against home-schooling is that it "shelters" kids from the real world. While my daughter is missing out on lines for the bathroom and cafeteria lunches, she is far from being sheltered socially.
We've settled into a nice balance of time out of the house, time with friends, corporate activities, as well as time at home.
I like lists. So here's our list of real world experiences:

1. Once we pulled her out of public school, we enrolled her in Wed. night activities at church (while in school, these activities kept her up too late). She sings in the choir, and has a concert at the end of each semester. {Now our church is no ordinary church--it's a mega church. So when you imagine these events, think on a bigger scale than normal. This Kindergarten choir concert has about 50 kids in it.}

2. On the same big scale, she participates in AWANAS where they have gym for the last hour. She has already come home, head hung in defeat, saying, "I got out every time in dodge ball. I never even got a chance to pick up a ball to throw it." Ah yes, Baby Girl, you are demonstrating the same athletic poise and skill of your mother. But she enjoys her friends and earning badges for her vest. She comes home with both experiences of success and failure.
{Ok, this face is not after a defeat in dodge ball, but just a "I don't want to take a picture" moment. But the expression is similar.}

3. Once a week, I attend a mom's Bible study at said mega church. They offer a home school class for children. She works on self-guided activities and has another hour of gym with a different set of fun friends.

4. My parents bought both daughters dance lessons as their Christmas presents. Once a week, my girls join more little girls of their age to tap and tip-toe in leotards. Exercise, coordination, challenge, and another set of friends. All looking PRECIOUS!!

5. Once a week, we take a Field Trip. We mix it up, but the regular destinations are the public library and the nature center/wildlife refuge (which we got a family membership to last year, thank you Groupon).
{The Nature Center has special sessions for home-schoolers. I like that I am not their only teacher. Here they are learning about the migration habits of monarch butterflies.}

6. Where ever we end up, we make sure to stop and say the pledge to the flag. You'd be surprised how many are around if you make a conscious effort to notice them. They also say the pledge weekly at AWANAS.

7. We hit the playground and have playdates with other homeschool friends.

8. We travel the world. We are taking school on the road for a month this Spring, and across the ocean this summer.

9. We hang out with college students. Real world. Nuff said.

I'm a strong believer in evaluating and making adjustments. But for now, we feel great about how much of the world our little ones are experiencing.

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