This morning, I asked the boy how he was feeling about homeschooling. Like many kids, he can remain tight lipped about most things grown ups consider important, but go into an awe-inspiring monologue about his latest fascinations; The show TOTAL DRAMA and the game MINECRAFT.
This morning I got wonderful honesty from him. He started by saying he loved having me as a teacher. Imagine me as a puddle on the floor now. Then he followed up by the unexpected statement, I miss seeing people everyday.
Uh-oh, a homeschool parent’s red flag (Or maybe just mine). The constant warning from people – that is, those who do not home school- was about socializing. Where will he make his friends? Will he have enough contact with other people? Who will he play with? (With whom will he play, I should say, since I am also trying to get him to grammar good.)
I reassuringly told him no problem, we can rectify that, while internally, I turmoil-ed. I knew that, as close as I am with my Boy, he needs to play with kids his own age, or thereabouts. So I paused to think about the past week. On Wednesday he met one of his new friends at a park, then his best friend from down the street came up and they played before going to karate. Then Thursday was our weekly trip to a home-school co-op, which was unusually quiet that day followed by band practice. Friday and Saturday was mostly hanging out with just me.This week, in addition to two field trips, he will go to the park again with yet another home school group.
I see this kid who doesn’t complain and doesn’t ask for much. When he is with other kids, I see more parallel play than interactive play. At school, even at the private school, he was often off in his own world. But apparently, proximity matters. Even when not actively engaged with other children, the boy likes their company, he craves it.
So now daddy has to strap on his big boy pants and transition to finding more social opportunities for him. While I hardly think he is deprived socially, a few more close friends couldn’t hurt. It’s nice to have people around…sometimes.