Wednesday, December 07, 2011
What about socialization? (from another angle)
Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging
and playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching.
Eventually, they begin to talk.
W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts --
helps me keep track of them.
W2: (Smiles) I'm Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do
you come here a lot?
W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.
W2: Wow. Where do you find the time?
W1: We home school, so we do it during the day most of the time.
W2: Some of my neighbours home school, but I send my kids to public
W1: How do you do it?
W2: It's not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with the
kids every day after school and stay real involved.
W1: But what about socialization? Aren't you worried about them
being cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the
opportunity for natural relationships?
W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some
friends who're home schooled, and we visit their grandparents almost
W1: Sounds like you're a very dedicated mom. But don't you worry
about all the opportunities they're missing out on? I mean they're
so isolated from real life -- how will they know what the world is
like -- what people do to make a living -- how to get along with all
different kinds of people?
W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTO, and we started a fund to bring
real people into the classrooms. Last month, we had a policeman and
a doctor come in to talk to every class. And next month, we're
having a woman from Japan and a man from Kenya come to speak.
W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other week,
and he got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo . My kids were
absolutely fascinated. We invited him to dinner and got to meet his
wife and their three children.
W2: That's nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for
the lunchroom on Multicultural Day.
W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.
W2: Oh, no. She's on a very tight schedule. She has two other
schools to visit that day. It's a system-wide thing we're doing.
W1: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, maybe you'll meet someone interesting in
the grocery store sometime and you'll end up having them over for
W2: I don't think so. I never talk to people in the store --
certainly not people who might not even speak my language. What if
that Japanese man hadn't spoken English?
W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it.
Before I even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he was
going to do with all the oranges he was buying.
W2: Your child talks to strangers?
W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he's with
me, he can talk to anyone he wishes.
W2: But you're developing dangerous habits in him. My children never
talk to strangers.
W1: Not even when they're with you?
W2: They're never with me, except at home after school. So you see
why it's so important for them to understand that talking to
strangers is a big no-no.
W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meet
interesting people and still be safe. They'd get a taste of the real
world, in real settings. They'd also get a real feel for how to tell
when a situation is dangerous or suspicious.
W2: They'll get that in the third and fifth grades in their health
W1: Well, I can tell you're a very caring mom. Let me give you my
number--if you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meet