Socialization is always an issue that's raised when a child is homeschooled. In fact it's usually the first thing parents are asked when they tell people they will be homeschooling their children. What about their socialization? Isn't it funny that no one asks about their academics? Kids go to school to learn, to become educated so it's interesting to me that so many people are concerned children won't be socialized when they are homeschooled and never question the academics. Thinking back to my own brick and mortar education, it was come in, sit down, shut up and do you work. The only socialization happened at recess and lunchtime. Occasionally we would have group projects or have an assignment to do with someone else, but for the most part school was a singular thing.
Today we were informed by a SLP that my son with Down Syndrome throws things because he's not properly socialized from being homeschooled. He's 4 years old and yes he throws things. He doesn't do it maliciously or out of anger. He does it because he loves to see things fly through the air. Anything that goes through the air is cool to him. It started when he was about 2 and first noticed helicopters. After that everything started to fly. Basketball is his favorite sport and is incredibly happy when we play with him because we can throw the ball up higher than he can (not by much anymore). My son does not have meltdowns, hit, spit, kick or bite like his public schooled counterparts. He is polite, has and maintains friends, and is very outgoing. Don't get me wrong he's quiet keen on showing his displeasure and has learned the art of pretend crying while squeezing his eyes closed as hard as he can to try to get tears out.
What's also interesting is I have had more calls in the past year from parents looking to homeschool their child with Down Syndrome than I ever have in the past. The major complaints are that the child is miserable at school, they have developed terrible behavioral problems, and that the school does not seem to be able to reach their child. It only makes sense to me to have a child in a setting where they are comfortable, loved, accepted and supported for who they are - a person first, a son or daughter, a sister or brother, a friend, and somewhere down the way a child with Down Syndrome.
Cameron was leading the YMCA at a good friend's wedding reception. Everyone in attendance ended up on the floor with Cameron in the middle of everyone doing the YMCA at a whopping 3 y.o.