Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This picture is from a month ago during the height of dewberry (blackberry) season. We love to hunt all over our property eating as much as we can a saving a few. One day the boys came to me with a 3/4 full small cup of berries and informed me that they cost $1. After the shock wore off, considering all the years of pricked and stained fingers i endured to share berries with them, I settled on $.75 (since it wasn't full) and applauded their entrepreneurial skills. Small businesses have to start somewhere! Just a side note.

on to my real post....

This is part of an email from Heart-to-Heart with Diane who owns http://www.lovetolearn.com/ -a great homeschool resource. I subscribe to her blog and always enjoy what wisdom she has to share!


I read in the news that a new study has proven that the mother* in a family has enormous power to socialize the children. It's not the school, it's not the parents' education or income level, it's not the opportunities that child has for extra classes or summer camps that matters. It is the way the mother interacts with the children that makes a difference—a difference that lasts a lifetime. The results of the study show that mothers who point out to their children, from as young as 2 years old, the way other people are feeling in any circumstance helps that child to think of others, become more compassionate, more sensitive, and more "socialized". A child who has been taught to say "you go first", who has been taught to think about how his actions affect others, grows into a caring and compassionate adult. By age 12, children who have been trained by their mother to perceive the needs of others are already exemplifying adult levels of socialization! This confirms that experience that I have had in my homeschool. It seems by about the age of 12 years, homeschooled children are socially capable, able to handle themselves confidently around adults, able to befriend the lonely and watch out for the needs of other people.

When I was a girl on a family vacation, while driving through the forest I saw a billboard that had been put up by a Christian camp. The word "J-O-Y" appeared most visible, but as we drove closer, the message became clear: J for Jesus, O for others, Y for yourself. In that order. It made an impression on me. I realized that was the formula for joy! That stuck with me through the years and right into mothering. I had never been taught that directly, and it was like a revelation to me!

"Socialization" is usually the main concern others express when we tell them we are homeschooling. I know my mother still worries about it. I think as homeschooling moms, we innately understand that the socialization of our children really lies within us, and how we approach life, and how much the "J-O-Y" formula is a part of our daily living.

On Sunday at church, my 19 yr. old daughter and I were walking alongside an elderly lady with a cane when a teenage girl rushed hurriedly past. My daughter quietly remarked to me that if she herself had done that, even at age 3, she knows I would have pulled her out of the way and told her to think how frightening it must feel to the elderly lady to have someone rush by, threatening her stability. I am sure that teenage girl didn't even have a clue. If your children are at school all day around children their own age, you have less time and opportunity to teach them to think of how others feel. If you don't talk to them about caring for others, the result is that they are less socialized.

Academics are one part of homeschooling, and we rejoice when that goes well. But socializing our children to be caring, sensitive and wonderful people is far more important. Thank goodness homeschooling gives us the time, and the mindset to do so.

Hurrah for homeschooling!

*Note: unfortunately the study could not research the effect of a father on the socialization of his children, because they could not find a sufficient number of fathers who spent enough time with their children to make a significant difference.

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