Quality verses Quantity
I am often asked about the social element of home-schooling. When do my kids socialise with other kids? The only time they not in the company of other kids is during our school day.
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs the many extra- murals my kids are involved in on a weekly basis.
From Soccer, Karate to Ballet and others, most of our afternoons are spent at extra-murals. This is one avenue where they are able to connect and socialise with kids similar ages to them.
Another is church, as we are very involved in church, our kids go to youth group, junior youth group and Children’s Church. Here as well they are in social circles with kids their own age.
Most importantly for me though, is not the quantity of the friends made but rather the quality of the friendships formed. I find most of our intentional friendships are formed among fellow home-schooling families who have the same values as we do.
I believe God has ordained friendships with fellow families who have similar beliefs and moral standing that we have. We have become much more intentional with friendships and our kids also have become much more aware of friendship choices. Friendships are no longer based on whether you will play with me during break, or whether you will invite me to your next party. My son sometimes used to take a toy to school to win over a child who he wanted to play with during break time. Which for me has always been so shallow.
They are no longer forming friendships out of peer pressure or wanting to fit in to certain popular groups. It’s become more about making meaningful friendships with kids that are kind and caring, or kids they share common interest with and I’m finding that age is not much of a factor for them anymore. My 11-year-old son is emotionally immature as most boys his age, so he has formed friendships with 9- or 10-year olds and plays little boy games like cars or guns, without the pressures of been forced to act more mature than what he is.
My daughter is 8 years old is very particular about what she loves, so she’s connected with girls who have similar interest to her. Some of her friends are the same age or older than her.
I love the freedom of forming meaningful friendships rather than friendships formed just because we are in the same class at school. Or because we travel in the same lift club. Or do the same sport after school. One great friend is better than having a handful of unintentional, fake friendships that never last the year.
I think finding your tribe takes time, but when you do find them, it’s nothing short of awesome!
Deborah Pretorius is a mother of 3 kids and a BCom graduate on the amazing adventure of home schooling her family.