A Lesson in Socialization 8-)
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.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the
three in red shirts - helps me keep track of them.
OTHER MOTHER: (Smiles) I'm Terri. Mine are in the pink
and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot?
HOMESCHOOL MOM: Usually two or three times a week, after
we go to the library.
OTHER MOTHER: Wow! Where do you find the time?
HOMESCHOOL MOM: We home school, so we do it during the
day most of the time.
OTHER MOTHER: Some of my neighbors home school, but I
send my kids to public school.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: How do you do it?
OTHER MOTHER: It's not easy. I go to all the PTA
meetings and work with the kids every day after school
and stay real involved.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: 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
OTHER MOTHER: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance
that. They have some friends who're home schooled, and
we visit their grandparents almost every month.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: Sounds like you're a very dedicated mom.
But don't you worry about all the opportunities they're
missing? 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?
OTHER MOTHER: Oh, we discussed that at PTA, 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.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: 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.
OTHER MOTHER: That's nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan
some Japanese food for the lunchroom on Multicultural
HOMESCHOOL MOM: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with
OTHER MOTHER: 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.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: 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 dinner.
OTHER MOTHER: 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
HOMESCHOOL MOM: 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.
OTHER MOTHER: Your child talks to strangers?
HOMESCHOOL MOM: I was right there with him. He knows
that as long as he's with me, he can talk to anyone he
OTHER MOTHER: But you're developing dangerous habits in
him. My children never talk to strangers.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: Not even when they're with you?
OTHER MOTHER: 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.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: 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.
OTHER MOTHER: They'll get that in the third and fifth
grades in their health courses.
HOMESCHOOL MOM: 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 you.